What is all this talk about Waterpiks?
What is the likely dreaded question both kids and adults anticipate heading into their dental exam?
“How is your brushing and flossing going?”
I am often asked the question which toothbrush/paste is the best? My answer is: “whichever one you/your child will USE routinely!”
This is relevant in answering the question of the topic today: is it best to use traditional floss or a Waterpik*? Though there is some discussion on the difference between the two, it is relevant to my initial response about toothbrush and paste; “whichever one you will USE!”
Let’s discuss the specific advantages and disadvantages to each choice!
- The proper way to floss requires contouring of the floss around the surface of the tooth. This is likely a rare occurrence, and I’m quite pleased to hear a patient confirm that they are using floss on a daily or regular basis. I am not delving into whether or not they are contouring each surface between each tooth! If they are flossing…we are winning!
- Is there a reason I lean to using floss over Waterpik*? As mentioned, proper flossing is occurring, the physical contact between the teeth does evidently remove plaque, tartar, and food debris most effectively.
- Now for the Waterpik*:
- The one patient I recommend the Waterpik* to, without fail, is anyone in traditional wire and bracket orthodontics-braces! The same flossing routine I do with my patients takes me approximately 30 seconds without braces, and 20+ minutes with braces in order to achieve the same/similar results! This is neither efficient nor realistic. In my experience, a typical adolescent or adult does not floss on the regular without braces. To implement the habit of flossing – with the added complexity and frustration of adding braces into the equation – is highly unlikely.
- I cannot imagine expecting a typical adolescent or adult to floss on the regular without braces. Let alone implement a routine flossing with the complexity of adding braces to the equation.
Conclusion: Floss the teeth you want to keep! And…the best floss is the one you USE!
*I am not endorsing this brand as I have no affiliation with waterpik. I simply do not know of another product or company making any similar product.
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