From high-tech electronic toothbrushes to specialized toothpaste, there’s no shortage of dental products on the market. With the vast range of products to choose from, many patients are unsure about what tools are best for their smile.
One common question we hear from our patients here in Vincennes is “does it make a difference if I use traditional string floss or a water flosser?”
There are benefits and drawbacks to each option, and it’s best to take a critical look at your oral hygiene habits and the current state of your dental health before making a final decision.
The Pros and Cons of String Floss
Traditional string floss is one of the oldest dental tools, with evidence of primitive interdental cleaners dating back to ancient civilizations. Modern dental floss didn’t catch on until 1882 when a company called Codman and Shurtleft Company first marketed their unwaxed silk dental floss.
Today, we have a wide variety of floss options, including flavored floss and unwaxed or waxed string. Some of the major advantages of choosing string floss include:
- Inexpensive and readily available
- Easy to transport
- Effective at scraping plaque off
On the other hand, some of the disadvantages include:
- Difficult for those with dexterity problems
- Difficult for those with braces
- Can be time-consuming
The Advantage and Disadvantages of a Water Flosser
A water flosser is a device that shoots a stream of water between your teeth. This dental device is also commonly known as an oral irrigator and has quickly gained popularity over the last few decades. Some of the major benefits of a water flosser include:
- Gentle on sensitive gum tissue
- Easier for those with braces, dental implants, or dexterity issues
- Less time-consuming than traditional string floss.
However, some of the negatives of using a water flosser include:
- More expensive
- Less travel-friendly
- Less effective at removing stubborn plaque
The effectiveness of a water flosser is a hot topic among many dental professionals. Since a water flosser simply shoots a stream of water, many argue that it is less effective than the scraping capabilities that string floss provides.
It’s difficult to give a verdict on the string floss versus water flosser debate because it all comes down to your specific circumstances. For example, a water flosser may be the better option if you have dexterity issues and wouldn’t floss otherwise. If you have periodontal pockets where plaque can easily accumulate, it may be a better option to use traditional string floss to clean those hard-to-reach areas. We encourage you to choose the best option according to your own individual case.
Contact Herman Family Dentistry
Whether you have questions about your dental health or the best oral hygiene practices, we’re here to assist you! We offer numerous dental services, ranging from routine dental cleaning to restoration with dental implants.
To learn more, contact our Vincennes office and schedule your no-obligation consultation with Dr. Eric Herman.