Can a water flosser replace flossing?

Is regular flossing still required?

Flossing is a vital part of a good oral hygiene routine. You should be cleaning between your teeth at least once a day as well as brushing them twice. This allows you to remove any harmful bacteria that if left, could cause cavities or infections. Flossing involves a thin dental string of nylon or Teflon, that is put between the teeth and used to clean away any morsels of food. Conversely, water flossing is when a stream of pressurized water is shot into the teeth. This clears out the morsels. Some people find water flossing preferable to regular flossing as it enables the user to wash away any food or bacteria without needing perfect technique and less effort. 

However, dentists would still recommend regular flossing as well as water flossing. Whilst it can do an effective job of clearing bacteria and washing away plaqueA soft sticky substance that accumulates on teeth composed largely of bacteria and bacterial derivatives., it does not effectively mimic the scrapping technique of floss, which allows you to remove tartar that can cause gum disease. 

Should you have sensitive gums, then water flossing is a better choice as it will cause less pain. Additionally, people with braces may prefer water flossing than having to weave traditional dental floss through the braces, which can be frustrating. Finally, if you have a condition such as arthritis then you might choose water flossing to avoid the difficulty of manoeuvring with floss.

Please ask your dentist or hygienist for their recommendation regarding flossing and they will be happy to provide answers.

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