String Flossing vs. Water Flossing

Brunette woman who chooses to floss every day wears a black and white striped shirt and smiles with closed eyes

Conventional dental wisdom recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing cleans between your teeth to remove food particles and plaque from areas where your toothbrush bristles have a hard time reaching. If not removed, this debris can lead to bad breath, tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. But is there a flossing method that is better between string floss and water floss? Read on to learn some pros and cons of each.

Traditional String Floss


  • Standard dental floss is an effective tool for cleaning the tight spaces between teeth because it allows you to scrape the sides of each tooth and reach under the gumline.
  • String floss is inexpensive and readily available at every grocery store and pharmacy.
  • This is a quick and easy method that can be done anywhere.
  • Cons

  • Many people find floss difficult to use, especially when cleaning the back teeth.
  • There are many types of floss on the market, some easier to use than others, so you may need to try a few different brands to find the one that works for you.
  • Water Flosser


  • An oral irrigator, also known as a water flosser, water jet, or by the brand name Waterpik, has a stream of pressurized water that easily reaches between teeth and deep below gums to remove food particles and plaque.
  • This tool is especially helpful for patients with braces, permanent retainers, or bridgework.
  • The massaging action of water flossing helps reduce bleeding and gum inflammation to promote healthy gums.
  • Cons

  • Water flossers are more expensive than a container of string floss.
  • This unit requires occasional maintenance to keep it clean, electricity, and access to water.
  • It is bigger and less portable.
  • Used together, string flossing and oral irrigation are a powerful combination to remove debris from between teeth and below the gumline. Contact us to learn more!