3 mins read

Should I Still Floss If I Use a Waterpik?

by | May 16, 2022

Water flossers are excellent alternatives to traditional flossing for those who have sensitive gums, braces, or dexterity issues. Or maybe, you’re just looking to add something new for your oral care routine. However, water flossing does not replace flossing with a string, and it’s still recommended that you floss twice a day using the traditional method.

How Water Flossing Works

Water flossers such as the Waterpik brand use water pressure and pulsations to help clean gums and teeth. Instead of the traditional string floss method, an electronic water flosser device sprays a small stream of water to clean plaque and debris from your mouth. You can adjust the pressure settings depending on your comfort levels. Studies indicate that a pulsating stream is more effective than a steady stream of water, as the intermittent spraying encourages more movement between teeth and gums.

To set up your water flosser, you’ll need to fill the device with lukewarm water, then put the flosser tip in your mouth. Hold the flosser at a 90-degree angle while leaning over the sink to avoid water droplets getting on the floor or the mirror.

Advantages of Traditional Dental Floss

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), flossing is incredibly important as it removes plaque and debris from areas that your toothbrush can’t reach. Additionally, flossing can help reduce risk of gingivitis, bad breath, yellowing of the teeth, and periodontal disease.

Some additional benefits of using traditional floss include:

  • No electricity required: Easy to pack and take on-the-go, which means you can floss just about anywhere.
  • More technical flossing capabilities: You can use a scraping motion to remove tartar-causing plaque, which you can’t replicate with a water flosser
  • Fresh flavor: Cooling, minty flavors leave your mouth and breath feeling fresh and clean

Advantages of Water Flossers

While a water flosser doesn’t replace string floss, there are still numerous benefits. It’s a simple, easy solution that can still tremendously improve oral hygiene and reach places traditional floss can’t after brushing your teeth.

Benefits of using water flossers include:

  • Less abrasive on gums and teeth: Sometimes people floss too aggressively, causing gums to bleed. Children also may have a tough time flossing correctly. Water flossers are smooth and easy on the gums.
  • Easier on braces: Braces can harbor pieces of food and debris that are tricky to clean with floss, while a water flosser sprays it right out from underneath the wires.
  • Easier for those with dexterity challenges: For those who may struggle fine, technical movements of using string floss (for example, somebody with arthritis), a water flosser is easier to hold and maneuver.

How To Make Your Dentist Speechless

One of the best things about going to the dentist? Having them tell you that your teeth look perfectly healthy and clean! By following all three steps of brushing your teeth, using string floss, and finishing off with a water flosser, you’ll be taking all the necessary steps to ensure a maximum clean.

The Cleanest Teeth in Raleigh

Triangle Dentistry is a state of the art dental facility in Raleigh, North Carolina. We regularly welcome new patients and treat every individual with specialized care. We offer services for adults and children including orthodontic aligners, dental implants, veneers, periodontal treatment, and complete hygiene services.

Booking an appointment is easy. Simply fill out a request and choose a date, and we’ll be in contact with you soon!


Triangle Dentistry, located in Raleigh, NC, provides a state-of-the-art facility that offers exceptional general dental and specialty services guided by empathy of a patient’s needs and desires. Services range from dental crowns to veneers and whitening procedures. For further information, questions, or to schedule an appointment, contact the office at (919) 847-6000