The invention of water flossers has certainly upped the game of dental hygiene, and made flossing not only easy, but incredibly more effective.
However, the question remains: “Can water flosser replace flossing?”
Traditional string floss for sure has its merits. It is simple to use, very cheap, and it could be easily be a part of your travel bag. Which makes it suitable for use virtually anywhere.
So why would anyone think of a water flosser as a replacement for traditional string floss, you ask?
Ditch the String Floss. Upgrade to a Water Flosser.
String floss causes pain and gum bleeding. A water flosser uses a stream of water to effectively remove plaque. Learn more: Best water flosser to buy
Consider these water flosser vs string floss pointers before you make a decision
You can’t argue with results and statistics. Especially those done and collected by dental professionals, whose sole purpose is better oral hygiene for you.
Studies have shown that water piks can reduce ginigivitis 51% more effectively than traditional floss. Not only that, but plaque removal improved by 29% when using water piks. (1)
Finally, the risk of gum bleeding decreased to almost half its original value compared to traditional floss.
2. Easier to use
While traditional floss is quite easy to use or learn, it still poses a challenge for certain people. Those of us with good manual dexterity really have no issue with traditional string flossing.
However, for children, the elderly and people suffering from Parkinson’s disease, string flossing is actually quite a challenge.
Water flossers solved this problem entirely because they can be used by anyone. It's just a matter of pointing the tip in the area you need to clean between the teeth, and press the button to activate the stream of water.
And you're done, simple as that! So can water flosser replace flossing? It's looking like it sure can, but do keep reading.
3. Suitable for all kinds of teeth and mouths
Some people cannot use string floss, not because they can’t manually wield the string, but because their mouth and oral environment are just not suitable for its use. These are people that have extremely tight contacts between their teeth so the string can’t pass. Or people who have bone bulges and malformations, preventing the string from reaching certain areas.
With water flossers, the environment is not an issue. The stream of water easily adapts itself to the shape of the area being cleaned, and the pen like handle reaches easily anywhere in the mouth.
4. Less Risk of gum damage
Traditional string floss always had the underlying problem of accidentally damaging the gums. And rightfully so since the process involves sticking the piece of string between the teeth, and pushing down hard for efficient cleaning.
If that push and pressure is uncontrolled, it almost always results in gum damage. (2)
This simply doesn't happen with water piks. Although there is a small risk of damaging your gums from the string water jet, the damage is nothing compared to the damage a string can do.
5. Refreshing WITH GREAT SMELLING BREATH
Unlike string floss, which causes an unpleasant sensation when used, especially if it is unflavored, water flossers could be filled with a refreshing mouth wash. Or any other form of mouthwash mixture prescribed by your dentist.
This leaves you relaxed and refreshed, with great smelling breath for hours after use.
6. Solved the problem of brushing & flossing with braces
Water flossers have single-handedly solved the age-long problem of dental hygiene for those that have dental braces. People who wear braces, especially those who are unfortunate enough to wear them for a year or more, always complain of how difficult it is to clean their teeth.
When their braces do come off, they would be surprised of the amount of damage that was done to their teeth and gums. All because they couldn't brush and floss correctly.
With water piks, gum disease and gum bleeding have decreased by more than 50%. The efficiency of dental hygiene for braces wearers have almost tripled!
The strong water jet easily fits between the braces and is very capable of cleaning between the teeth as well.
7. Preserving the skin and circulation of your hands and fingers
This could seem a bit of a reach for you, but the fact is, if you are a regular flosser (even twice per day), you are bound to have some pain in your fingers and hands with prolonged use.
The hands are just not meant to bend that way, and the thin piece of string compressing the fingers literally cuts off the circulation. Even a few seconds can potentially do damage in the long run.
The handles of water piks are held like pens, and with a point and click method of use, you can be sure that maximum comfort for your hands and fingers are guaranteed.
Some minor (really minor) water flosser drawbacks to be aware
That being said, you should also know that water flossers are not without their drawbacks. The equipment is very bulky and takes a lot of room in your washroom. Their size and weight make them unsuitable if you decide to spend a night away from home.
They also cause quite the mess, especially if filled with something other than water, so take extra care of your floors and your clothes.
Finally, there is the financial aspect. Water piks are not cheap, so some serious consideration from the financial department of your household (yes we mean your wife) is needed before you attempt such a purchase.
In summary: Can water flosser replace flossing?
In conclusion, you need to know that most dental professionals would recommend a combination of both traditional string floss and a water flosser. But we all know that this is too much for one person.
Considering the fact that water flossers work so much better and so much easier, it is unreasonable to assume that anyone would do that combination.
So to answer the question ”Can water flosser replace flossing?”.....Yes
If you are not a travel bug, then by all means, ditch the old string and start using a water flosser as soon as you can.