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Is Waterpik or flossing best? 

For shoppers looking for a way to improve their oral hygiene beyond brushing, using Waterpik water flossers or traditional floss is the perfect solution. Each helps to reach down and clean hard-to-reach crevices between teeth and leave breath feeling fresher when accompanied by regular toothbrushing. Both come with unique advantages and disadvantages that make choosing which one to buy more difficult.

Waterpik water flossers offer a fresher feeling and a more comfortable experience for sensitive gums while traditional floss can be more effective at removing plaque and will cost significantly less.


Waterpik pros

Waterpik is the largest and most recognizable brand of water flossers on the market. As a result, Waterpik provides a wide variety of high-quality water flossing products. Waterpik flossers shoot a string of water to help break up bits of food stuck between teeth. 

One of the major advantages a Waterpik has over traditional floss is how it interacts with gums. For users with more sensitive gums, a Waterpik will be the best way to prevent irritation or bleeding when trying to clean between teeth. Additionally, sonic Waterpik products can kill bacteria and help promote healthier gums. The different Waterpik heads available can also help users focus on specific areas that are harder to clean. 

The Waterpik may be much easier to use than traditional floss as well, especially for the hard-to-reach molars in the back of the mouth. Another advantage of a Waterpik is its longevity. Unlike floss which will have to be replaced every few months, a Waterpik will last for several years after purchase. For buyers that have kids with braces, a Waterpik will be the most effective way to loosen food particles. Floss will not be able to get in between the braces making it impossible for the kids to use.

Waterpik cons

While a Waterpik may be better at breaking up food particles, the device has a much more difficult time removing plaque. Without the ability to maneuver and pull up a physical string, Waterpik water flossers lack the same power and versatility that regular floss can provide.

Furthermore, Waterpik products are far more expensive than traditional floss. With the average price range for a Waterpik between $50-$80, buying a Waterpik will cost significantly more than a regular pack of floss. 

Best Waterpik products

Waterpik Cordless Advanced Water Flosser

There are several high-quality Waterpik products such as the Waterpik Cordless Advanced Water Flosser. The Cordless Advanced Water Flosser comes with its water reservoir attached and has a rechargeable battery making it easier to travel with.

Waterpik Water Flosser Nano Plus

The Waterpik Water Flosser Nano Plus serves as a more affordable model that still offers the same teeth cleaning ability. This model comes with five different pressure settings and a separate water reservoir. The size is still small enough to be portable. 


Flossing pros

The biggest advantage that flossing has over a Waterpik is its ability to remove plaque at a higher level. Because of the maneuverability and physical scraping of floss, it can more easily disrupt and remove plaque from the mouth. At the same time, some users find floss much easier to use and less complicated.

Another major advantage of floss is its price point. Unlike a Waterpik which will cost at least $50 to buy, most floss costs less than $5 a pack. Furthermore, for everyday flossers, it will still cost less to buy packs of floss than a Waterpik for multiple years. 

While minor, another advantage to flossing over a Waterpik is the ability to choose different flavors and waxes. Some coatings come with special cleaning properties that add to the power of flossing. Additionally, some fun flavors make it easier to promote flossing in kids who otherwise would not want to. 

Flossing cons

While flossing does present a cheaper option with better plaque removing abilities, it also has several disadvantages. One of the biggest ones is its lack of bacteria-killing abilities. While flossing with floss does have the ability to dislodge debris that can harbor bacteria, it cannot actually kill any bacteria as the Waterpik does.

Additionally, because it is a physical string, users with braces will not be able to maneuver it behind to reach their teeth. Furthermore, the floss will need to be replaced and the eventual cost of floss over several years will outweigh the cost of a Waterpik. 

Best flossing products

Glide Oral-B Pro-Health Deep Clean Floss

One of the best flossing products on the market today is the Glide Oral-B Pro-Health Deep Clean Floss. Glide floss from Oral-B has a unique texture that both prevents shredding between teeth that are close together and helps grab plaque as it is pulled out. 

DenTek Triple Clean Advanced Clean Floss Picks

DenTek Triple Clean Advanced Clean Floss Picks serve as a more unique version of regular floss with each string of floss being attached to a small stick that makes it easier to reach the teeth in the back. The floss picks also come with a mouthwash flavor that will leave teeth feeling fresher after use. 

Should you get a Waterpik or floss?

Choosing between a Waterpik and floss presents several different factors. For users that value bacteria-killing power over loosening and removing plaque, Waterpik products serve as the better option. This is especially true for users looking to buy Waterpik products for life. For buyers with kids who have braces, using a Waterpik really serves as the only option available due to the inaccessibility of the teeth by means of regular floss.  

However, in terms of both price and effectiveness, traditional floss serves are a comparable alternative. Especially when considering its more effective ability at loosening and removing plaque, floss can be a cheaper option with better cleaning power. 

The bottom line is, unless the buyer has particularly sensitive gums that could get irritated or users with braces, flossing is the superior option. With its powerful plaque removing abilities and significantly lower price, it can’t be beat.


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Tom Price writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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