How Does Water Flossing Compare to Traditional Flossing?

woman flossing

There's an old-school catchy jingle that says, "You are what you eat from your head down to your feet." Whether your preferred snack is fresh fruits and veggies or you prefer to satisfy your sweet tooth, at some point food will get stuck in your teeth. While your initial reaction is to brush those food particles away, remember that water flossers help too. For those who forego traditional flossing, water flossers might be the answer as well.

Types of Flossing

Traditional Flossing

Flossing helps to remove food particles and plaque from between your pearly whites and under the gumline. Teeth can decay and gum disease can develop when plaque isn't removed. If you're going to invest the time to floss on a daily basis, make sure you're flossing correctly.

Start by tearing off a piece of floss approximately 18 inches in length. Then wrap most of it around each middle finger. Only a couple of inches should be free to floss.

Use your index fingers and thumbs to hold the floss tight. You're now free to slide the floss up and down between each tooth. Be careful not to force the floss, and curve it around the base of each tooth. Work the floss around your fingers so that a clean section cleans each tooth. Use the same up-and-down sliding motion to remove the floss from between two teeth.

Water Flossing

Though water flossing is another way to clean teeth, it differs from traditional flossing. This modern method incorporates a hand-held device that removes food from between teeth using steady water streams. Water flossing is a substitute for traditional flossing for people who have difficulty holding string floss or who have dental work, such as braces, where maneuvering floss in between teeth can be tricky.

Flossing Benefits

The Times of India published an article on flossing in which cosmetic dentist Dr Karishma Jaradi states that "Another great reason to floss is that recent studies have shown that flossing helps to prevent heart attack or stroke".

Traditional floss containers are small and quite portable, so it's easy to floss even when you're on the go. They fit conveniently in a pants pocket, a purse, or a desk drawer at work. On the other hand, a water flosser device may be too big to take with you and needs to be plugged in, so the inconvenience may deter you from flossing while travelling or other places.

If you prefer traditional flossing to using a water flosser device, try the Colgate Total Dental Floss. Also do remember to schedule a dental cleaning every six months. Not only will a professional cleaning keep your teeth in good working order, but your dentist can identify mouth concerns before they become bigger problems.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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How to FLOSS

  1. Pull 18 to 24 inches of dental floss from the floss dispenser.

  2. Wrap the ends of the floss around your index and middle fingers.

  3. Hold the floss tightly around each tooth in a C shape; move the floss back and forth in a push-pull motion and up and down against the side of each tooth.

How to BRUSH

  1. Place the toothbrush at a 45°angle along the gum line. Move the toothbrush in a back and forth motion, and repeat for each tooth.

  2. Brush the inside surface of each tooth, using the same back and forth technique.

  3. Brush the chewing surface (top) of each tooth.

  4. Use tip of brush to brush behind each tooth — front and back, top and bottom and up and down strokes.

  5. Be sure to brush your tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria.

Don’t brush off your oral health

Brushing and flossing are the keys to a healthy smile. Check out of products to find what’s right for you.