Traditionally, string flossing has been the default method of getting rid of the food particles stuck in between the teeth that the toothbrush won’t remove. If you’d rather forego the traditional string flossing or in cases where it is not viable, water flossing is also an option but how do they compare? Which works best for your dental health?

Traditional Flossing

String flossing has long been the preferred way of getting rid of the plaque and food particles from in between your teeth as well as around the gum line. Even the most rigorous brushing action might not serve the purpose of dislodging tiny food particles from in between your teeth. When these stay there for too long, they become breeding grounds for bacteria which may lead to the formation of plaque and other oral health problems.

However, string flossing requires a little dedication and investment of time. You need patience to go through the numerous spaces on your teeth and run the string to remove food particles and plaque which are likely to cause tooth decay and gum diseases.

The flossing also has to be done correctly. Tear off a short piece of the floss, wrap it around the two middle fingers and leave only a small section for flossing your teeth. You can hold the floss tightly in place using your index fingers and thumb and then slide it up and down each tooth.

While the string floss is still the default method for flossing your teeth and will be recommended by most dentists, it may not be suitable for all scenarios. Due to the slight pressure that is applied on the floss, the string flossers can be problematic for people with sensitive gums as they might cause slight or sharp pains. The string flossers will also not be practical for people who are putting on dental braces or those with dexterity issues since it requires a little bit of hand coordination. In these cases, it is preferable to use water flossers.

Water Flossing

Water flossing is another effective mechanism that you can use to get rid of hard-to-dislodge food particles along with plaque from your teeth. Unlike string flossing that requires the use of a string and some slight pressure from your thumb and index fingers, water flossing uses a steady stream of water that is passed in between the teeth. It is best recommended for people with dexterity issues, sensitive gums or those wearing dental braces.

Advantages of String Flossing

String flossing offers the following advantages:
• More effective at removing the plaque from teeth due to the scrubbing action.
• It is very cheap.

Disadvantages of String Flossing

• It is not practical for people who have difficulty coordinating their hand movements.
• Will not work for someone who is wearing dental braces
• It is not recommended for someone with gum issues.

Advantages of Water Flossing

• Easy and quick
• It can be substituted for scenarios where string flossing is not practical such as or those with dexterity issues, painful gums or with braces on.

Disadvantages of Water Flossing

• The cleaning action is not as effective as that of traditional string flossing.

If you are looking for the best flossing mechanism that will help you maintain optimal dental health, string flossing should be your first point of call. Water flossing should only be used in cases where string flossing is not viable.