Water Picking vs. Flossing: What’s Best for Your Teeth?

Flossing vs. water picking: it’s a tale as old as time. These two rival cleaning methods both claim to leave your teeth cleaner than the other. But which is really better? When it comes to oral health, listening to your North Pole dentist is key. When it comes to this battle royale, the facts will prove the winner. Here’s what your emergency dentist in Fairbanks says you should know about water picking and flossing.


Flossing is a tried-and-true method to get your teeth cleaner than by brushing alone. By using a thin piece of string, you can gently scrape each side of your tooth, removing food particles and buildup. It’s extremely efficient and also economical. A roll of floss doesn’t cost much. Plus, you can typically find it anywhere. Whether you’re at a grocery store or a gas station, chances are you can buy floss there. Floss is also easier to use after meals. You can keep a roll in your purse, at your desk, or in your backpack. This means that no matter where you go, you can keep your teeth exceptionally clean.

While there are a lot of pros to using floss, there are a few downsides too. For instance, it’s sometimes difficult to reach molars or other areas of your mouth with floss. If you’re not careful, you can cause minor bleeding to your gums. Over time, this can cause more gum sensitivity or worsen the sensitivity that you already have. Plus, flossing isn’t always easy to do. People with unsteady hands, and even children, may struggle to floss efficiently.

Water Picking

Water picks are much different than floss. These are special machines designed to apply a stream of water into your mouth and gums. There’s no scraping involved. Instead, the water pressure simply pushes away food particles from in between the teeth. They’re relatively easy to use and are the perfect solution for anyone with braces or who may have a hard time using floss. Those with bridges or certain types of dental work may find that water picking is more advantageous for their mouth. Opting for a pick instead of flossing is also a great way to improve gum health and avoid sensitivity.

Unfortunately, water picking isn’t the most economical choice. These devices are often expensive, making it difficult for some people to justify the purchase. On top of the price, they’re not portable. You can’t carry a water pick in your purse and use it after your midday meal. For a water pick to function properly, it must have access to water and electricity. This eliminates the possibility of taking it camping or on other adventures.

So, which of these practices is better? While researchers have suggested that those who use a water pick typically see nearly a 75% reduction in plaque, in comparison to the 58% reported by flossers, most dentists still recommend flossing. It’s a surefire way to remove buildup and clean more of the surfaces of your teeth. However, many dentists recommend using both as part of a regular oral health routine. There’s no clear-cut winner in the battle of the teeth cleaning. While neither flossing nor picking is king, when the two combine, they’re a force to be reckoned with.

If you have questions regarding your oral health routine, consult with your AK dentist at North Pole Dental Workshop. Visit our website www.northpoledental.com to learn more today.