We cover some of the best flossers available today, but this page is all about water flossers in general. Anyone who’s had problems with their gums, or is eager to avoid such problems, will be well advised to scan through the following.
Why Use a Water Flosser?
Dentists must feel like the Cassandras of the medical world: no matter how often they explain to their patients that flossing is important, they still have to deal with numerous preventable cases of gingivitis, periodontitis, and tartar buildup. We’ve all heard this song and dance, so there’s no need to repeat it, but suffice it to say that some dentists actually regard flossing as more important than brushing, at least when it comes to avoiding disease.
Frankly, one reason most people don’t floss as often as they should is simply because they don’t like the sensation of having their fingers in their mouth or don’t want to spend the time just before going to bed. Water flossing, however, is actually kind of pleasant and need take no more than a minute each day, avoiding both of those objections.
This means that the convenience of water flossing, by itself, improves dental health outcomes. Used properly, it removes as much as 99.9% of plaque, even from tricky areas like around braces and the gum line around orthodontic implants.
On a cosmetic level, the water jet even helps to polish and whiten teeth, especially around the base of each tooth where plaque and tartar often build up and leave a brownish-yellow line along the gums.
Comparing Water and String Flossing
You don’t want to start flossing because it makes your gums bleed; your gums bleed because you refuse to floss. How to resolve this dilemma?
Water flossing is much better for people with sore, swollen gums since it’s far gentler and you can in fact adjust the intensity of the water jet to suit your own preferences. More importantly, you’re a lot more likely to floss daily when using an oral irrigator – nothing to do with dental health is ever going to be much fun, but people who actively hate fiddling with string floss will enjoy water flossing far more.
In particular, water flossing is superior due to its ability to clean around the gum line. This task is normally left to your toothbrush, but brushing alone really isn’t adequate, especially if you have periodontal pockets. This factor makes a water flosser a must-have for anyone with gum disease.
Some people also literally can’t floss with string: aside from challenging their dexterity and possibly triggering their gag reflex, anyone whose teeth aren’t perfectly straight automatically has a more difficult time running a filament in between them. In this case, the only options are to get a water flosser or wait for gingivitis to set in.
There’s also the problem that most people simply never learn exactly how to floss. Following the proper technique is time-consuming, and even people who know better often cut corners. This temptation is greatly reduced with water flossing: all you really need to do is move the nozzle around your mouth for a minute or so, and you’re done.
Finally, any kind of orthodontic work – braces, crowns, etc. – makes traditional flossing a nightmare or, at the least, less effective. Using a water flosser, especially one equipped with specialized tips, is really the only viable solution in this case, especially because it’s so effective at cleaning the seam between tooth and gum.
FACT SHEET & STATISTICS - DID YOU KNOW?
The first recorded oral irrigator was designed half a century ago as a collaborative project between a dentist and an engineer.
Fully a quarter of people fib to their dentist about how often they floss, even while the evidence is right in front of them.
The average American pays almost $400 annually for dental coverage. Unfortunately, the amount you can claim during that time is usually no more than $2,000.
According to the CDC, a disturbing half of Americans over 30 suffer from advanced gum disease.
While 20% of people never floss, two fifths of Americans actually do so on a daily basis.
a 3-second jet of water at 70 PSI removes virtually all bacteria and their waste products from a tooth’s surface.