We all know the cardinal dental rule. If you eat sugary foods, use cheap toothpaste, skip brushings … If you do nothing else, floss. Flossing is where the real, deep, important cleaning happens. With flossing, we can reach and remove that dangerous, bacteria-ridden plaque and buildup that causes infection, gum disease, and cavities that brushing just can’t accomplish, which means a whiter, more healthy smile. So, we want to know, is water flossing the same?
“Everyone wants a whiter smile,” says Dr. Kevin Sands of Beverly Hills Cosmetic Dentistry. “The key to achieving and maintaining your pearly whites is your home oral hygiene routine. Most people brush and floss for the most part, but not everyone has jumped on the water flossing wagon. Water flossing can be very effective in dislodging food debris and surface plaque, which can absorb and stain teeth if not removed. This can be essential in helping maintain a clean, healthy, white smile.”
While water flossing is great at loosening up plaque and buildup, it’s not ideal all on its own. That means we can’t substitute a good brushing for one rinse with the water flosser, and we shouldn’t forgo traditional flossing altogether for this convenient contraption. But it is super helpful if an ultra-clean, white smile is what you’re after. Which we all are, let’s be honest.
“When performing your oral hygiene routine, you should floss to dislodge food particles and plaque, water floss to flush out the debris, and finally, brush to clean all surfaces and reap the benefits of the fluoride toothpaste,” Dr. Sands tells us.
Essentially, water flossing is one step in a daily deep cleaning oral hygiene routine and should be used in addition to flossing, rather than in place of it. Using a water flosser as a second step is a great way to loosen everything up and prepare for a super-effective dental cleanse with little error for margin, which means fresher breather, and whiter teeth.