If you’re anything like me, you probably get convicted about your need to floss more every time you go to the dentist for your bi-yearly cleaning and your gums start spurting out blood. It’s not that you never floss. It’s just that you don’t floss enough. After every cleaning, many of us go on a flossing kick for a few weeks and then fall back into old habits. In the morning when you’re getting ready, it seems impossible to squeeze in those few extra minutes, while before bed, you’re simply too tired to remember. If flossing isn’t second nature, you may want to consider water flossing. I did, and I’m never turning back to string floss.
Flossing is an essential part of your daily oral care routine. Brushing merely removes the surface plaque and buildup from your teeth and does nothing for the food that gets wedged between your teeth. When you don’t floss, you are inviting damaging bacteria to come and hang out in your mouth, which can lead to gum disease and infection. However, floss can often be tricky to maneuver, especially for people that have to work around braces or those with arthritis. Here are our favorite reasons to switch to water flossing today.
Cleans more thoroughly
Think about it, what happens to all that food and debris that comes out of your mouth when you floss? Unless you use a mouthwash or rinse your mouth out with water, it ends up staying in your mouth. Water flossing uses a concentrated stream of water to powerwash your gums and cleanse your entire mouth.
It is less painful
If you are using string floss properly, it shouldn’t be painful. However, many people press too hard and end up damaging their delicate gums. Water flossers, when used on the proper setting, are totally painless and will often cause less gum bleeding than string floss.
Works around orthodontic appliances
Retainers, braces, crowns, bridges, and dental implants can become serious roadblocks when you are trying to keep your teeth clean. Yes, you can use floss; however, it is often difficult to work around the hardware, and you end up getting a subpar cleaning. A water flosser has no such limitations and can go where you wouldn’t be able to take a regular piece of floss.
Is easy to use
Once you get over the initial learning curve, you should be able to floss your teeth with water in under a minute. Sometimes string flossing can take twice as long! Plus, you don’t have to worry about buying refills or replacements. Once you purchase the water flosser, it should last for years, and all you need is water. It is efficient, and having the device in plain sight will help remind you to use it.
Reduces oral health issues
Studies have shown that regular flossing with water can reduce inflammatory gum disease, gingivitis, and various other dental problems. Because it uses water pressure to remove buildup and bacteria from the gum line, your mouth will stay cleaner and healthier.
Always buy a water flosser that has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA)
According to the ADA: “Water flossers that have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance have been tested to be safe and effective at removing a sticky film called plaque, which puts you at a higher risk for cavities and gum disease. Water flossers with the ADA Seal can also help reduce gingivitis, the early form of gum disease, throughout your mouth and between your teeth.”
Before you buy a water flosser, keep in mind that it is a decent investment upfront and you will need to have somewhere to store it since the device takes up quite a bit of counter space. If you travel a lot or live in a small apartment, you may want to consider a portable water flosser.
How to maintain oral health:
- Brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice per day
- Floss or use a water flosser at least once a day – You can also use both for an even more thorough clean
- Go to the dentist twice per year for regular checkups and cleanings
- Stop eating sugary foods such as candy and soda that damage your teeth
- Avoid using tobacco
Have you ever tried a water flosser? Let us know in the comments below!