Ask a Dentist

May 14, 2020

Water Flossing vs. Regular Flossing

Q: I hate flossing — can I skip it and use a water flosser instead?

A: Water flossers, also known as oral irrigators, work by using pressurized water to flush away food particles and plaque from between your teeth. For anyone who has trouble maneuvering floss strings, this device it allows the user to clean hard-to-reach areas of your mouth, which can be especially helpful for people with braces, implants, bridges or sensitive gums. For new users, it is important to remember to direct the stream of water on both sides of your teeth and clean each one slowly. You may need to play with the settings to determine the perfect temperature and speed of the water as using the incorrect settings may cause discomfort.

The bad news, however, is that using an oral irrigator does not necessarily replace flossing. Dental floss is capable of wrapping around teeth and scraping off plaque. There’s a good reason why flossing daily is an integral part of maintaining oral health. Using string floss is a much more efficient and successful method of removing plaque from teeth.

If you already own a water flosser, we recommend using a combination of dental floss and water flossing. However, only dental tools can safely remove tartar build up on your teeth, which is why it’s important to schedule regular dentist appointments. Book an appointment with one of our Winnipeg dentists today.