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Let’s Look at The Benefits of Flossing and Why You Might Want to Try A Water Flosser

by Carolyn Lee Feb 6, 2023

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Let's Look at The Benefits of Flossing and Why You Might Want to Try A Water Flosser

Proper oral hygiene can help prevent bacteria in the mouth and reduce the risk of oral infections like gum disease and tooth decay. Plaque can build up between the teeth and along the gumline when you skip flossing. So, daily brushing and flossing are worthwhile dental care habits to develop and maintain.

Some people might struggle with effectively flossing for different reasons like overcrowding in the mouth or tight teeth, making the process painful at times. Today, the option of using a water flosser might make flossing easier. We are breaking down the benefits of regularly flossing with dental floss or using a water flosser.

What is plaque?

Plaque forms on and around teeth when bacteria in the mouth mix with sugary or starchy foods and drinks. Bacteria in the mouth release acids that break down carbohydrates and can combine with these acids to form a film of plaque around and on your teeth and gums. The acids released from bacteria in plaque can attack tooth enamel. If these acids remain without brushing and flossing, they can result in cavities or tooth loss.

Benefits of flossing

Eliminate plaque: Flossing can help reduce plaque in and around the teeth and gums.

Reduce bad breath: When you floss regularly, you eliminate plaque that might cause cavities and gum disease, which contribute to bad breath (halitosis).

Prevent tooth decay: It minimises tooth decay (dental caries, cavities) by removing hidden food particles between teeth and plaque build-up.

Avoid gingivitis: Efficiently flossing can also prevent gingivitis, an indicator of gum disease. Typical signs of gingivitis are inflammation around the gums and bleeding gums when brushing or flossing. Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. Untreated periodontitis can result in inflammation in the body.

Types of floss

Traditional floss

Traditional dental floss is typically waxed or unwaxed. Choosing conventional floss is left to preference. People with their teeth closer together or crowded might prefer a wax coating to make it easier to get into tight spaces. Floss also comes in tape form, broader and flat, which works well if there are gaps in your teeth.

Water flosser

Water flossers are easy to use, effectively clean between tightly spaced teeth, and can get into areas difficult to reach. A water flosser, also known as a dental water jet or oral irrigator, is a device that aims a stream of water at the teeth. It uses a pressurised stream of pulsating water to remove bacteria, food particles, and plaque between the teeth and under the gumline. Conventional flossing effectively removes plaque on the tooth and between teeth. So, do not replace it with water flossing.

Benefits of Flossing and Why You Might Want to Try A Water Flosser

What else should you know about water flossing?

A water flosser may be practical, especially for people with braces, other orthodontics, or dental work who might have difficulty using standard dental floss. Avoid sharing your water flosser with others to lower the risk of contamination with bacteria.

We hope this information helps you to choose the type of floss that works best for you. Remember to get regular dental check-ups and speak with your dentist before switching up your dental routine. We’ve made it easy for you to locate dentists and dental facilities with our user-friendly Find Yello search bar. You can use it to type ‘dentist’ or the name of a dental facility for quick access to their contact details.

Sources: Mayo Clinic, Healthline, WebMD, Good Housekeeping, and News in Health.