Flossing with Water: Could that really help?

The benefits of flossing with water

Using water for flossing: Added benefit or waste of time?

The importance of flossing cannot be stressed enough. Flossing is capable of cleaning the shielded, difficult to clean areas between the teeth, shielding you from gum disease and bleeding, as well as decay which more often than not starts in those areas. But flossing is not easy, and not everyone can do it right and regularly, which is why a lot of people attempt to make the act easier, and from this aspect, flossing with water came out.

Water is a blessing. If used correctly, it could be the answer to most of the body’s problems. Everyone knows they should drink an ample volume of water daily, as it is good for the stomach and the digestive system, as well as the kidneys and it also clears the blood. When it comes to oral care, water is essential. A rinse of water after you eat lowers the acidity in the mouth and washes away the food remnants and debris, which could save you from a whole lot of problems, but what about using water to facilitate flossing?

Could flossing with water make the difficult act easier?

Two aspects to consider here: Using water with traditional string floss, and using water itself as floss, or in other words, water flossers.

As we said before, you cannot do without water when it comes to oral hygiene, and using water with string floss is certainly no different.


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Using water with traditional string floss:

  • Water before flossing:
    Of course you should rinse your mouth with water before attempting brushing or flossing. This serves to clear the large, unstuck particles and food remnants from the teeth and mouth, so when you use the brush or floss, you don’t push those remnants into the gums, and therefore is a major act of protection.
  • Water during flossing:
    In this case we mean using water as a lubricant to facilitate the passing of the string between the tight contacts of teeth. Water is a natural lubricant. Although it is quite volatile – unlike commonly known lubricants as oils and jellies- but still it is very safe to use, and with it the act of forcing the string between the teeth becomes a lot easier. Another important function of water in that instance is cooling, because forcing the string between the teeth results in friction which generates heat, although it is minor, but it could cause damage to the teeth and gums overtime. Finally, water contains a lot of minerals that strengthens both the teeth and the gums, so having water in contact with the teeth at all times is certainly beneficial.
    Another aspect to consider is flossing with salt water. Salt helps to clean wounds and reduce gum disease on its own, so adding salt water to the flossing regimen is certainly big help.
  • Water after flossing:
    It goes without saying that you should definitely rinse with water after flossing or brushing, and certainly if you do both at one time. Brushing and flossing clear all the debris and small food remnants as well as plaque, which if not cleared away could easily find their way back to the surface of the teeth, and all your efforts would have gone to waste.


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Using Water As Floss:

The use of water flossers ( AKA water piks) is definitely on the rise. This amazing device was introduced about 15 years ago as a substitute to using traditional string floss. The idea was to make the act easier, as well as adding benefit, and boy did it deliver!


Water flossers consist of a small pen-like handle, with a small tip that could be easily directed between the teeth for cleaning. This handle is connected to a reservoir that could be filled with regular water, salt water and even mouthwash. It works by directing a strong jet of water between the teeth, clearing all the debris and plaque in its path.


If you are wondering if this setting works .. it definitely does, and the numbers don’t lie. There is no doubt that water flossers have upped the game of oral care. Various studies have tackled the matter and found without a shadow of a doubt that water flossers not only work, but are more efficient than any other flossing method available today.


These studies have shown that water flossers are 51% more effective than string floss in reducing gum bleeding and gingivitis, and almost 30% more effective in reducing plaque accumulation and build up.


It is also particularly useful for people who have large restorations as crowns and bridges, or people who wear braces where the water stream can easily wrap itself around these structures to clean the teeth. Water flossers improved the efficiency of flossing in braces wearers 3 times over, and reduced their gum bleeding and chances of gingivitis by more than 50%.


Add to these numbers the fact that water flossers are extremely easy to use, and can be used by everyone even the elderly, people with limited dexterity such as those suffering from Parkinson’s, and even children (with supervision of course), and you find that water flossers should be a part of your oral care setting.


Of course, this is not for everyone. The device is not cheap and not everybody can afford one. It is also very bulky and quite messy, so could be unsuitable if your washroom doesn’t have the sufficient space. Finally, it is not easily portable as string floss, although newer models are a bit smaller and some are even mobile as claimed by the manufacturers, but not as effective as the stationary model.

So to conclude our topic, water for flossing is of course beneficial. If you are comfortable enough with your good ole pack of string floss, just add water to the mix and you would find it even easier, but if not, then you should definitely consider getting a water flosser.

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