Can I Substitute Waterpiks for Floss?

Aug 12, 2013

Flossing isn’t the easiest or most fun of activities in one’s daily dental hygiene routine. In fact, many people end up neglecting to floss entirely due to the perceived difficulty and annoyance that comes along with flossing every day. In other cases, many people choose to opt for a substitute for flossing that performs similar functions. Among these is the “oral irrigator” commonly known by many as a “Waterpik”. So what is this tool and is it an acceptable alternative to string floss? Read on to find out.

What is a Waterpik?

First developed in 1962, the oral irrigator is a tool that uses pulsating streams of water to clean out debris and plaque from in between the teeth and below the gumline. Here are some of the pros of using a Waterpik:

  • Reduce Bleeding/Irritation of the Gums — One of the main reasons people avoid flossing especially in their oral hygiene routines is the fact that flossing has the potential to cause bleeding and sore gum in patients that don’t regularly floss. Waterpiks essentially cut down on this problem entirely.
  • Easy for Patients Braces — Anyone who has tried to floss with braces knows the difficulty that those pesky metal wires can cause. Using a stream of liquid water eliminates those difficulties for those looking to clean in between the teeth and wiring.
  • Proven Effective in Treating Gum Disease — Studies have shown that Waterpiks can be a great measure for those looking to prevent and cure themselves of gum disease. This is because, in many cases, Waterpiks can rinse away plaque in deep pockets that simply can’t be removed by dental floss. Likewise, studies have shown that oral irrigators can remove a considerable amount of plaque from the surface of teeth.

Can I Use a Waterpik Instead of Floss?

So now that we’ve outlined the benefits of this handy dental device, we can ask the question: Is a Waterpik a reasonable alternative to traditional means of flossing? Unfortunately, the answer is probably not. Though Waterpiks have been proven to be a valuable tool in maintaining peak oral health for many people, the fact of the matter is that it works better as a supplementary tool for your dental regimen, rather than a substitute for flossing. Flossing still does a much better job of scraping plaque away from the surfaces of teeth in the first place and promoting the health and removal of plaque from gums. Nevertheless, Waterpiks are certainly a great tool for you to add to your daily dental hygiene routines.

If you have any questions regarding Waterpiks, or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jahangiri, contact Noble Smile Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today!