The stats on flossing in the U.S. are pretty dismal: a recent study showed that only 4 in 10 Americans floss once a day. 20 percent of Americans never floss. These numbers are hardly startling. Flossing can be painful, difficult and tedious. For individuals with disabilities or grip issues, flossing can be nearly impossible.
Unfortunately, not flossing has serious consequences.
Individuals who don’t floss are more likely to develop gum issues like gingivitis or periodontal disease. Not flossing can also contribute to gum pain and bad breath.
So what do you do if you hate flossing, but you want to take care of your teeth? It might be beneficial to research this unique oral care option.
You can start that research with this blog.
Water Flossing: What Is It?
Water flossing (also known as oral irrigation, water picking, and water toothpicking) has a longer history than you may think.
The practice of flossing with a jet of water has existed for decades. The first water flossing device was developed in the early 1960s by a dentist in Colorado; that water flossing device went on to become the flagship product of the best-known water flossing brand, WaterPik.
With a water flossing device, a concentrated jet of water (delivered through a small rubber nozzle) is aimed towards the gum line. The water jet can remove food particles, plaque and other debris from beneath the gum line–the area usually cleaned by traditional dental floss.
How Effective Is Water Flossing?
A 2013 study from BioSci Research in Canada found that a WaterPik water flosser was indeed effective in helping patients remove plaque and food particles from between teeth.
The study showed that water flossing was responsible for a 74.4% reduction in whole mouth plaque when used in conjunction with traditional tooth brushing.
Despite the stats on the effectiveness of this new flossing technique, most dentists don’t recommend totally replacing traditional flossing with water flossing. The scraping motion of traditional flossing will always be more effective at removing particularly stubborn plaque. However, supplementing traditional flossing with waterpicking can help improve your tooth health–especially if you hate flossing so much that you’ll never do it every day.
Talk to Your Dentist
Before adding water flossing to your dental care routine, talk with your dentist. He or she can offer advice on which water flossers to purchase and advise you on water flossing techniques.