Maintaining oral hygiene is essential to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. In addition to brushing, flossing is a common way to clean your teeth. However, there are two different floss options on the market: regular floss and water floss. Both types of floss have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it is necessary to discuss them in detail when comparing their effectiveness in removing plaque.
Advantages and disadvantages of regular floss
Regular floss is a traditional type of floss consisting of a thin thread that is used to remove food debris and plaque between the teeth. Its advantages include low price, ease of carrying and use. Regular floss can be effective in removing food debris and plaque, especially in areas where the teeth are closely aligned. However, for some people, there may be some difficulties with using regular floss, such as the possibility of bleeding or injury to the gums due to improper use. Also, using regular floss requires a certain amount of skill and time, so it may take some practice to master the proper way to use it.
Advantages and disadvantages of water floss
Water floss is a device that uses a high-pressure stream of water to clean teeth. Its advantages include ease of use, the ability to clean to areas that regular floss can’t reach, and being gentler on the gums. Water floss can remove plaque and food debris by spraying a high-pressure stream of water, without the need to pull thin lines between the teeth like regular floss. This makes water floss suitable for people who find it difficult to use regular floss, such as those who have orthodontics or dental implants. However, water floss is relatively costly and requires regular nozzle changes. In addition, it may not be as effective at removing plaque as regular floss, especially in areas where the teeth are closely aligned.
There are some studies comparing the effectiveness of water floss and regular floss in removing plaque. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry
The study conducted a randomized controlled clinical trial to compare the plaque removal effects of Siillk water floss and regular floss. Subjects meeting inclusion criteria were recruited from dental clinics. Before and after the intervention, the type of floss used was randomly assigned to each side of the mouth; Use regular floss on one side and water flosser on the other side. Use regular floss or water floss as specified by the investigator, and specify the corresponding time.
Paired T-tests are used to compare the situation between two groups
Baseline mean plaque scores for regular floss and water floss were 1.10(±0.38) and 0.94(±0.38), respectively. The average plaque fraction of normal floss and water floss was 0.12(±0.13) and 0.12(±0.15), respectively. After using their respective interdental AIDS, there was no statistically significant difference in plaque scores between the groups (p = 0.58). There were statistically significant differences in plaque scores between the two groups before and after the use of interdental AIDS. The plaque fraction in the normal floss group and the water floss group was reduced by 89.09% and 87.23%, respectively.
The results showed that single-use water flosser was just as effective as regular floss in removing plaque. For subjects who lack manual flexibility, caregivers can recommend water floss for better plaque control, as well as for subjects with fixed dentures or undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Silness and Loe plaque index were used in this study. This indicator is valid, reliable and easy to learn. It has been suggested as an acceptable indicator for testing the efficacy of oral hygiene products in removing plaque.
In this study, there were statistically significant differences in plaque scores between the groups at baseline, although the scores were nearly similar, suggesting that clinical significance was not significant. This may be due to the uneven distribution of the left and right sides in the group, despite the use of random allocation. Depending on who is right or left handed, the intensity of oral hygiene maintenance may vary.
Multiple studies conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of water floss compared to other interdental AIDS have found that water floss is more effective. In one study, four methods of oral hygiene were compared. They found that water floss combined with sound waves worked better than sound waves alone. Another study comparing water floss with air floss showed that after four weeks of use, water floss was better than air floss at reducing plaque and bleeding gums. A third study showed that water floss was better than regular floss at reducing plaque after a single use. A summary of three randomized controlled trials found that manual brushing with water flossing was better than manual brushing with regular flossing or brushing alone. A systematic review found that people who used a toothbrush plus oral rinsing had better oral health overall, compared to brushing alone. In the same systematic review, it was also observed that the group that used oral douching after one month had better gum, bleeding, and plaque scores compared to the group that flossed. In this study, both AIDS were used by dentists rather than subjects. This may lead to the effective removal of plaque by both methods. In the previous study, patients used it for four weeks, so a difference could be observed. Patients may not be able to use regular floss effectively. However, the results should be extrapolated with caution. Plaque removal ability is assessed by a trained dentist after a single use. Since the majority of patients reported to the center include only female subjects, the dental clinic is all female. Results may vary when subjects use it on their own and over a long period of time. Future studies could evaluate the effectiveness of long-term use of water floss in patients with periodontitis, the acceptability and adherence of subjects, and the cost-effectiveness of water floss.