What is Better for your health? Water Flosser vs. String Floss Comparison

What is better for your oral health? Water flosser vs string floss comparison

Is water flossing better than string flossing? Well for many, flossing can be a somewhat dreaded part of the daily hygiene routine.

Bleeding gums, tricky hand positioning and tedious maneuvering can drive you wild. Which can really press you for time if you are in a rush.  

Water flossers offer a new technological solution which is tempting users by being easier on the hands, faster and less painful (irritating) for gums.

If you’re one of the many who hates flossing by hand, could water flossing be the solution for you?

Then keep reading and soak up our Water Flosser vs. String Floss Comparison.

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Common flossing features to consider

Here are some common water flosser vs. string floss comparison features to consider before you make your mind up about which flossing option is best for you.


Flossing by hand with string floss will beat using a water flosser here easily.  String floss is an almost negligible cost. A single spool of floss will last you for quite some time depending on how much you use per flossing session.  

However, a good water flosser can cost you anywhere from $30 to $70 dollars and can add up to even more if you factor in replacement tips and other similar peripherals.

Even though a water flosser is a long-term tool (and better than string floss), because string floss is so cheap, it will still take many uses an incredibly long period of time for the money they save on floss to even out with the cost of the water flosser.


Usability is important because you should be flossing 1-2 times a day. After all, we know flossing every single day is important.

String floss can sometimes be troublesome because of the 34 individual gaps to floss in the adult mouth. Plus the awkward hand positioning required to reach all of those spots. 

However, an experienced flosser would probably still have no issue flossing all 34 gaps in about 90 seconds or so.  However, even for an inexperienced user, a water flosser would easily match that time and might even be faster.  

This also spares the wrists and fingers of those who might have hand/joint problems or feel that they don’t have the time to really practice proper flossing technique.  

In this category, flossing might be an equally good option for an experienced string flosser. But for someone who might not already know how to string floss, water flossing is a strong choice.


String flossing doesn’t really require much except that you buy more floss when you’re running out.  However, water flossing can require some preparation and maintenance to ensure optimal performance.  

Routine cycling of the reservoir on the water flosser is essential to preventing the growth of bacteria and other organisms in the tank.

In addition, more intensive routine cleanings of the tubing and handpiece are also necessary to prevent the buildup of mineral deposits and germs in other less accessible parts of the flosser.

The flosser requires an ample amount of counter top space as well as an electric outlet to operate. For someone who might have a cluttered bathroom sink or already utilize a plethora of hygienic gadgets, this may pose a problem.

Quality of flossing

This is probably the ultimate factor when considering if water flossers can replace string flossing.  The short answer from dentists, such as Alan Carr D.M.D. of the Mayo Clinic, say no.  

Despite the fact that water flossing is very good at rinsing food debris from all parts of the mouth, including hard to reach areas, it can’t match up to string flossing at removing plaque.  

Even though removing food particles and rinsing teeth is important, ultimately, plaque is what causes cavities, tartar buildup and gum disease.

Some plaque can be removed by water flossing, but even with higher water pressure streams, the scraping motion of string floss is still decisively more effective.

Should everyone string floss?

Again, the short answer is no.  

Even though string flossing is ultimately the more effective option. For those who don’t have the time, physical ability, or simply can’t be bothered to string floss, water flossing is a quick and easy alternative. String flossing however is still better than doing nothing.  

Dental health is a very important part of daily hygiene and even though you may not appreciate good dental health while you have it, you will definitely miss it once it’s gone.

Water flossing will help you preserve this dental health for much longer than if you did nothing at all.

Water flosser vs. string floss comparison recap

Lets recap everything we’ve just gone over to give you a succinct comparison on whether a water flosser or string floss is right for you.

Water flossing:

  • ​Quick
  • ​​Convenien for daily use
  • ​​Requires maintenance (long term)
  • ​​Gentle on gums and teeth
  • ​Expensive

String flossing:

  • ​Cheaper
  • ​More effective
  • ​Somewhat tedious
  • ​Somewhat slower

Water flosser vs. string floss comparison, done!

So there you have it, our water flosser vs. string floss comparison done. I guess ultimately the only major deciding factor between the two flossing methods is price.

One comforting thing to know though is, if you do decide to invest in a water flosser, you know you will improve your oral hygiene regime and maybe actually enjoy it. A water flosser is pretty fun to use!

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