How to floss your teeth: The most effective technique

Waterpik water flosser top

Is it your current flossing technique the best one or are you making common mistakes?

Benefits and methods of flossing your teeth

In this post we will first discuss the benefits of flossing, then I will give you guidelines on how to floss your teeth properly and finally I will reveal to you the most radically effective method of flossing available today.

Food debris is inevitably deposited and even if you regularly use your manual or electric toothbrush you can only remove 50% or less of what is needed. This is why all dental experts strongly emphasize the great benefits of flossing. Incomplete cleaning, without flossing, turns out to be one of the main reasons for oral health problems such as bad breath or bleeding gums. With the brush you only removed what you see, what you don’t see will be the cause of future problems for your teeth, problems that you can perfectly avoid.

According to the ADA, flossing is a fundamental practice for removing plaque:

“More than 500 bacterial species can be found in plaque; some are good and some are bad for your mouth. To maintain good oral health, the American Dental Association continues to recommend brushing for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner”. Flossing is the great forgotten solution.

You may be wondering if your current flossing technique is the best one or if you make some of the most common mistakes. Before answering this question I want to say that the traditional way of flossing, using dental floss, is by no means the most effective. There is another method that removes 93% more dental plaque. For many years, technology did not make it possible to use this method at home, only professional dentists in their practices had the necessary equipment. However, in recent years water flossing completely revolutionized dental cleaning and today allows us to have an exceptional level of cleanliness and health in our mouth. In the third part of this article we will see the differences and advantages of this method of water flossing with respect to the traditional method and which are the best options that you have to reach this new level of oral health.

A proper way to clean your teeth with dental floss

Most cavities and periodontal disease develop between the teeth. Follow these steps to floss properly:

  • Your first usual question is: How often should I floss? Professionals recommend that you floss to remove plaque between your teeth at least once a day.
  • Wrap about 15 inches of floss around the middle fingers of each hand, leaving nearly 12 inches between your hands, from the floss between your thumbs and index fingers, and leave about two inches in the middle to work gently.
  • Tilt the floss down between your teeth using side-to-side motion.
  • Clean the surface of the tooth with an up-down motion, do not do it side-to-side, until the surface is clean when all bacterial plaque has disappeared, then floss over to the next tooth and repeat the process.
  • It is possible that your gums may bleed when you start flossing, but after a week this problem should disappear. (For sensitive gums, the water flossing method explained below is definitely the most recommended).

Why water flossing is so effective?

The water flossers or water pickers did not appear yesterday, however their technology evolved and mature and the interesting thing is that they are totally available today. The number of homes that have one of these oral health devices has grown enormously in recent years. Most of its current users are no longer people with dental bracers.

Their impact is radically changing the opportunities of health for all of us. A study by the University of Nebraska showed that the water flossing method was 93% more effective in reducing bleeding gums and even 51% of other symptoms of gingivitis, compared to traditional flossing. Even in removing plaque its effectiveness is double that of the common method, according to an investigation by the University of Amsterdam. Yes, double!

The main benefits of a water flosser are:

  1. The water flossing is the simplest operation that you can do on your teeth, simply a tour with the jet of water all over your mouth. You’ve probably experienced it before in your dentist’s office and remember the feeling of cleanliness and even relaxation.
  2. Indeed, the liquid in the water picker provides a gentle massage action on the gums that is beneficial for their condition. This technique then helps to relief bleeding gums.
  3. It also manages to access difficult places where dental floss does not reach, even more so if you have braces. This explains its greater effectiveness in removing plaque and therefore serves to remedy the problem of bad breath or halitosis.

In a paper from the renowned Compendium of Education in Dentistry, a careful review of the scientific knowledge is made and it is proposed that dentists should recommend water flossers to their patients to “improve their oral health”.

There is a wide range of pricing options and features that are easy to buy, install and use at home. After analyzing them we have selected the three best water flossers according to our knowledge and experience.

Best water flossers analysis

Our top (water) pick: Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius Water Flosser

benefits of a water flosser

It’s a water flosser designed for everyone. This is the top choice for people with sensitive gums or gingivitis. It is manufactured by waterpik which is the world leader in water flossing products.

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Pros:

– It includes on/off control in the handle.

– It is an ADA approved device.

– The water reservoir is covered and allows a wash of 90 seconds.

– According to manufacturer’s tests it removes 99% more plaque than traditional methods.

– So improvements are expected in about 2 weeks.

Cons:

– It’s a little noisy.

User opinions:

On Amazon it has more than 7000 5-star ratings!

 

“One of the best 5 investments in my whole life”
 
“After using it for five days in a row, my gums improved radically.”
 
“I have braces and I totally love this water flosser.”

Budget pick: Ovonni Water Flosser

Do you think having a water flosser is expensive and can be beyond your budget? Well, that’s a very popular myth. The maker Ovonni shows that it is a false myth and offers a very good quality product that is affordable. It is also a very adaptable option. It comes with 10 different water jet pressure options and 8 different tips, so your whole family can share it.

cheap water flosser

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Pros:

– Several options of water pressure settings and classic and customized tips.

– One of its tips is a toothbrush, and there are some special for braces.

– A large water tank of 600 ml.

Cons:

– A bit big

User opinions:

“My gums are healthy now that I’m using this everyday”.

 

“This one has a larger reservoir than some others, which is nice”.

 

The most portable: Panasonic EW1211A Dental Water Flosser.

Do you want to complement your home-installed water flosser with another that you can take to work or on the road? Then this Panasonic water flosser is your best choice. Equally powerful with its 1500 pulse-per-minute jet, its outstanding feature is that it is cordless! Its design is then very similar to what you already know from electric toothbrushes.

Panasonic portable cordless water flosser

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Pros:

– AC charging stand for simple storage.

– Two flossing nozzles are included.

– Battery charge for 15 minutes use.

Cons:

– A small capacity of 130 ml.

User opinions:

“Really great for the gums”

 

A well engineered and powerful water flosser”

Anne

I'm happy to give you the best advice to get an exceptional oral health. From my professional practice I know that good habits and the right tools are all you need.
Anne