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What Is a Water Flosser and Should You Be Using One
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Gurin is basically the bane of your mouth’s existence. This sticky film can accumulate on your teeth and lead to issues like cavities and sore, puffy gums. Is a water flosser the best way to prevent grody plaque from building up between your teeth?

Blasting your teeth with an appliance that would fit right in at the dentist’s office seems like a good idea in theory, but you might be wondering if there’s any point in buying a water flosser when you can use regular ol’ string floss. We talked to oral health experts for the answer.

Just like string floss, a water flosser cleans between your teeth.

Removing little bits of gunk from your teeth is super important. When you allow food and drink particles to stew in your mouth, the resulting plaque releases acids that harm your enamel (the tough external portion of your teeth), according to the American Dental Association (ADA). These acids can eventually drill cavities into your teeth and cause gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease.

Brushing your teeth twice a day helps you scrub away plaque so that it can’t hurt your teeth or gums. So does flossing, which can make sure you reach the little nooks and crannies a toothbrush neglects.

You’re probably pretty familiar with string floss, of course, but water flossers are also an option. A Water flosser is a handheld device that shoots a stream of liquid at your teeth hard enough to clean between them, according to the ADA. You can call them powered interdental cleaners if you want to be posh about it. Some versions even allow you to use a mixture of water and mouthwash for an extra fresh experience.

A water flosser might be good for you depending on your teeth and preferences.

Using a Water flosser is like hosing down a deck while traditional flossing is like sweeping it, Vera Tang, D.D.S., clinical assistant professor of periodontology and implant dentistry at the NYU College of Dentistry, tells SELF. They both get the job done, albeit in slightly different ways. Use whichever one makes you less likely to pretend flossing is a concept you’ve never heard of before.

“Which is better? Whichever one you are more likely to use every day,” Edmond R. Hewlett, D.D.S., a professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry, tells SELF.

Though the subject of how often to floss is somewhat up for debate, experts generally still want you to do it at least once daily. Dental experts basically just want you to use something to clean between your teeth.

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