Dentistry is incredibly complicated; your dentist goes to school for years and years to understand the intricacies of the mouth. However, day-to-day, there’s really only one thing you need to do for your teeth: maintain good dental hygiene.
Within that, there are a few choices you need to make. For example, when it comes to cleaning between your teeth, you might be familiar with WaterPiks that which use pressurized water as a substitute for regular dental floss. If you’re wondering which to use, here’s a guide that may be able to help you choose between the two.
What is a WaterPik?
WaterPiks are small, pressurized water hoses that can be aimed in between the teeth, cleaning up plaque deposits.
WaterPiks are substantially easier to use than regular dental floss, making them ideal for people who have dexterity issues. They’re also easier to work into oral appliances than floss, so people with braces, metal retainers, or dental implants might prefer them.
When you get your WaterPik at first, you may have to do some experimenting to find the water pressure and pulsing setting that works best. They can also be a little messy, and might not be quite as effective at clearing out plaque as traditional floss.
What About Dental Floss?
You’ve probably encountered dental floss at some point; small strips of waxy thread that you can run between your teeth to clean out food buildup.
To use floss, take out an 18-24 inch strip, wrapping the floss around one finger twice, then wrapping the rest of it around the other. Slide the small bit that remains back and forth between the teeth, and then slide it out. Try and roll up a little bit of the floss after each use so you have a new section for every tooth.
Which Should I Use?
Waterpiks are easy to use on oral appliances, but they can be a little bit less effective than dental floss. If your priority is comfort, you might get a lot from a WaterPik. However, if you want to feel as clean as possible, traditional dental floss may be the way to go.
If you really have trouble picking between dental floss and WaterPiks, you can always ask your dentist for advice during your next checkup.
About the Author
Dr. Mike Asay is a dentist who distinguishes himself with his compassion and genuine care for his patients. He believes that the best way to help his patients is to put them at ease and listen to their concerns. Dr. Asay is a graduate from the Baylor College of Dentistry, and he is currently a member of both the Seattle Study Club and the American Dental Association.
If you have any questions about the differences between a WaterPik and dental floss, he can be reached at his website or by phone at (512) 244-2796.