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Is a Waterpik as Good as Flossing?

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Young woman in her bathroom using her Waterpik to clean her teeth.

Regular oral care is extremely important to your health, and when it comes to your oral hygiene, there are many tools available. Some of the more common choices used for cleaning teeth are traditional flossing and a device called a Waterpik. 

A Waterpik, or a water flosser, directs a stream of water to help clean your teeth and gums. It helps remove and dislodge food particles from your teeth and gum line, where traditional brushing and flossing may have a harder time reaching. However, a Waterpik isn’t a full substitute for regular flossing. Flossing is better for cleaning in between your teeth, while the Waterpik is better for cleaning the surface and gumline of your teeth.

You can take care of your oral health through a combination of flossing, brushing, and using water flossers to thoroughly clean your teeth and gums. Practicing proper oral hygiene is important, so why not use all the tools at your disposal?

What Is a Waterpik?

A Waterpik is a branded version of a handheld device called an oral irrigator or water flosser. These devices shoot a small pulsating stream of water at your teeth and gum line to help dislodge food particles and clean your teeth. You’re able to adjust the stream’s size and pressure to clean effectively without causing discomfort. 

Water flossers can be particularly effective for people who have braces or dental implants, as the water can be aimed around them to clean hard-to-reach areas. These devices come with several attachments, grips, and tips so you can adjust them to suit your needs. 

How Does a Waterpik Compare to Flossing?

While a Waterpik is an excellent tool for cleaning your teeth and gums, it shouldn’t be considered a complete alternative to flossing. Flossing is still essential to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth. There may be areas between your teeth that are either too tight or shaped in a way that makes it difficult for the water stream to reach, and floss is the best way to help clean this. 

Removing plaque and food buildup from your teeth can help you prevent a buildup of bacteria or tartar in your mouth. A great way to do this is by using floss and a Waterpik together. By incorporating both of these into your oral hygiene routine, you can help keep your gums and teeth healthy and clean. 

Young woman in her kitchen drinking a glass of water.

Best Way to Maintain Oral Hygiene

Using the Waterpik alongside dental floss is an excellent start to maintaining your oral hygiene, but there are many other things you can do as well to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as they can be.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes at a time with fluoride toothpaste. This helps remove plaque and bacteria, and can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Use mouthwash. An antibacterial mouthwash can kill bacteria in your mouth and improve your breath.
  • Eat a healthy diet. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is one of the best ways to maintain good oral health. Avoiding sugary or starchy foods when possible can help you avoid tooth decay and staining.
  • Drink plenty of water. Drinking water helps wash away food particles and some bacteria, and keeps you hydrated!
  • Visit the dentist regularly. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are one of your best defenses against tooth decay.

Is a Waterpik a Good Idea?

At the end of the day, a Waterpik or similar device can be an excellent investment and a great addition to your oral hygiene routine, but it isn’t a complete substitute for other oral care habits. 

One of the best ways to properly maintain proper oral hygiene is by combining all the above methods together. This gives you a comprehensive routine that can fight against gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral conditions.

Through regular exams and cleanings, your dentist can help determine the best way for you to adapt your oral hygiene routine to your own needs and recommend ways for you to maintain your best oral health. Schedule an appointment today with us here at Maplebrook Dental, and let us help you build a great oral hygiene routine!

Written by Fotini Molnar

Dr. Fotini Molnar started her dental experience working as a dental assistant in a co-op program during high school. She went on to complete her Bachelor of Science, majoring in biotechnology at York University and then obtained her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the University of Toronto. Prior to her career in dentistry, Dr. Molnar researched neuroblastoma at Sick Kids Hospital.
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