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Does a Water Flosser Really Clean Better Than String Floss?

added on: January 13, 2022
My Rivertown Dentist in Madison

A key part of maintaining a healthy mouth is making sure you brush twice a day and see your dentist in Madison every six months. But it’s also crucial to floss every day. In fact, it’s one of the most important things you can do. When it comes to which type of floss you should use, whether it’s traditional string floss or a water flosser, there can be some confusion as to whether one is actually better than the other. The truth is, it can depend on your individual needs.

String Floss

Traditional string floss is economical and easy for most people to use. Dental hygienists explain that properly flossing with string floss requires the following steps: 

  1. Use about 18 inches of floss each time
  2. Wind the floss around your middle fingers so that the thumb and index fingers are free to control the floss. 
  3. Gently glide the floss between the teeth, and pull it to the side to “hug” on the teeth in a C shape. 
  4. Move the floss up and down gently to remove debris between teeth.
  5. Twist the floss to get a clean section each time you move to a new tooth

Now, some dental professionals say that this flossing method is most effective at removing debris between the teeth and below the gum line. However, some people may find the instructions for string floss too complicated and may not be able to finesse the dexterity needed to properly clean their teeth. Those individuals may find a water flosser useful for additional help.

Water Flossers

While water flossers definitely have their place, our dental office in Madison doesn’t recommend them as a replacement for flossing with string floss, because they cannot replace the mechanical action that traditional floss creates. We do, however, recommend them as an additional tool if patients have difficulty controlling periodontal disease. 

The Best Floss

No matter which type of floss you use, it’s important to do just that – use it! Flossing helps clean the parts of your teeth a toothbrush can’t reach. Your dentist in Madison recommends that everyone floss once a day, every day for optimal oral health. 

If you have questions about which floss is right for you, talk with a dentist in Madison.