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Waterpik vs. Dental Floss - Which Is Better for You?

August 25, 2022
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Posted By: Harlow Dental
charlotte nc dentist

Patients are often reminded that maintaining good oral health requires regular cleanings and exams, along with brushing and flossing regularly. It's without question that excellent dental hygiene will keep your body and smile happier and healthier.

What Is a Waterpik?

Dental floss and a Waterpik are both effective at keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy. However, there are some key differences between the two. 

Dental floss, as we all know, is a thin thread of material that we use to remove plaque and debris from between the teeth. Waterpiks, on the other hand, is a brand of water flosser that uses a stream of water to dislodge food and plaque from the teeth. 

Ultimately, the best way to keep your teeth clean is to use both dental floss and a Waterpik (if necessary) daily. Both methods are effective at cleaning the teeth, but Waterpiks may be more effective at reaching hard-to-reach areas. In addition, Waterpiks can be useful for people with braces or other dental devices that make it difficult to floss effectively.

How Is a Waterpik Useful?

It's important to note that a Waterpik doesn't replace brushing and flossing. Waterpiks are an excellent choice and addition for anyone looking for an effective way to improve their oral health, including people who:

  • Wear braces
  • Have tightly spaced teeth
  • Find it challenging to floss
  • Have periodontal pockets
  • Have bridges
  • Have crowns
  • Have veneers
  • Have dental implants
  • Have an impacted wisdom tooth
  • Have difficulty flossing due to arthritis or dexterity issues

Taking good care of your smile at home and with regular dental exams can minimize or prevent oral health issues caused by dental work or the inability to floss. Gingivitis and gum disease can develop if you cannot brush or floss around dental work, and veneers and crowns do not protect teeth from decay. When it comes to keeping dental work clean, Waterpiks prove incredibly beneficial.

How Does Dental Floss Work?

Dental floss is an important part of oral hygiene, but how does it actually work? It is essential first to understand the tooth's anatomy to understand how dental floss works. The tooth is made up of three main parts:

  1. The enamel: The hard outer casing
  2. The dentin: A softer layer beneath the enamel
  3. The pulp: Contains blood vessels and nerves

When plaque begins to build up on teeth, it does so first on the enamel. However, over time plaque can begin to erode the enamel and make its way down to the dentin. Once decay reaches the dentin, it can cause serious damage to the tooth. This is how dental floss comes helps.

Dental floss is designed to remove plaque from teeth by getting in between the teeth and gently cleaning away the plaque. Dental floss can also help to remove food particles that may be stuck between teeth. Because of this, dental floss is an effective tool for keeping teeth clean, preventing cavities, and preventing gum disease.

The Scary Prevalence of Periodontal Disease

So, which one is right for you? The short answer is that it depends.

If you find it challenging to floss, a Waterpik can be of great use to maintain oral health. But then we have another issue. Many people don't seem to enjoy flossing. The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day, yet a survey conducted by the ADA found that only 4 out of 10 Americans actually do so. Worse yet, 20 percent of Americans say they never floss at all. 

There are too many people living with periodontal disease to be comfortable with these numbers:

Left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss, receding gums, and tooth decay. But it's preventable with proper oral hygiene. 

So please just use your toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, or Waterpik. These simple measures can go a long way toward preventing damage from tooth decay or cavities. Taking preventative action is much easier than trying to restore what has been lost. Additionally, if you’re experiencing tooth pain, please understand that this is not normal. If you are in or around the Charlotte area, please contact Harlow Dental right away.

Preventative Dental Care—Charlotte, NC

Healthy gums and teeth don't just happen by chance; they take hard work and dedication to maintain. As professionals, we do not judge or scold; we understand that anxiety and busy schedules can make symptoms go unnoticed. Additionally, we know that patient education can lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. By scheduling regular appointments with Dr. Harlow in Charlotte, you'll be able to address problems while they're still easy, fast, and inexpensive to address. Contact us today—you'll be glad you did!

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