Water Flosser vs Regular Floss
By Mina Levi, DDS, 10/23/2014

If there is one thing that most people have in common, it is that they are not as good at flossing as they should be, or flossing is a hassle for them. For those of us who have a hard time flossing regularly, there may be a supplemental method available to help fight gingivitis and oral bacteria that collects when we don’t floss, called a water flosser or Waterpik. San Francisco Dentist Mina Levi, DDS has outlined some information about the water flosser as well as some pros and cons of flossing vs. the water flosser in the article below.

What is a Waterpik?
A Waterpik is a device that shoots pulses of water in between the teeth and below the gum line to remove plaque and bacteria.

Dentist San Francisco water flosser
1.       Inexpensive
2.       Effective in cleaning tight spaces between teeth
3.       Effective in removing plaque from teeth due to scraping up and down the sides of each tooth

1.       Can be irritating for people with sensitive gums
2.       Can’t be used by people who have braces without a threader

How to use:
Remove a good length of floss from floss holder. When flossing correctly, the floss needs to be pushed through the teeth and pressure put on one side (pressing against one of the teeth) and into the gums, then to the other side (pressing against the other tooth) and into the gums. It is very important when you are flossing to make sure that your floss reaches down below the gum line. There is plaque and bacteria that can accumulate in the periodontal pocket (space between the tooth and gum) and can lead to gingivitis and periodontitis if it is not removed.

1.       Gentle on the gums
2.       Ideal for people who wear braces because it can penetrate the gums under the wires
3.       Effective in flushing bacteria out of deep pockets
4.       Can be used by those with limited hand mobility

1.       Not as effective in removing plaque from tooth surfaces than floss

How to use:
Fill container with warm water and place at the setting desired. Aim the tip of the waterpik between the teeth. Start with the back teeth and work your way forward, making sure the water pulses are reaching the pockets between the tooth and the gum as well as the spaces between the teeth.

waterpik san francisco Dentist

Dr. Levi does not recommend that the waterpik is used as a replacement for floss, but is used supplementary to regular flossing to ensure the optimal health of the gums. For more information about water flossing, visit Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi, DDS on the web at www.minalevidds.com or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.