First, let’s review their purposes:
Water flossers are intended to reduce gum inflammation by flushing out bad bacteria that irritate your gum tissues. Traditional floss on the other hand is intended to be used as a wiper for the sides of the teeth — where a toothbrush can’t reach.
Traditional floss wipes off the sticky plaque that causes cavities and prevents it from calcifying into your teeth. Calcified plaque is sometimes referred to as tartar or calculus – if these are allowed to grow on your teeth they almost always instigate gum infections.
So which one do you need? Or do you need both?
You need a water flosser if you have any of the following:
- Actively bleeding gums,
- Pockets around your teeth greater than 5 mm,
- Root canals, implants, bridges, or braces.
Each of these creates crevices where biofilm and bacteria will fester if you don’t use a water flosser. In these situations, a toothbrush and floss are simply not sufficient.
Does Water Flossing Replace Traditional Floss?
The simple answer is no. If I’ve recommended a water flosser for you – I still need you to use traditional floss. You will hear conflicting information on this subject, especially from reps of water floss companies – they will insist the water flossers are superior and a true replacement for traditional floss.
However, studies comparing flossing and water flossing are varied in their outcomes with limitations on their scope and purpose – if you’re a researcher like me, you can head over to my blog and check out my references. Water flossers are excellent devices, but they are an investment and may not be necessary for your situation.
Still Unsure? Get a Professional Assessment!
It really comes down to your circumstances. A good dentist or hygienist will take the time to assess your oral health, along with your home care regime, and give you personalized advice.