Menlo Park Dentists Explain Water Floss Vs. Dental Floss Vs. Interdental Brushes

Menlo Park Dentists

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All Menlo Park dentists would agree that flossing is very important and it should be part of your daily routine. So what are the options that a patient has for flossing and which one is the best for me? Among Water Floss Vs. Dental Floss Vs. Interdental Brushes – which is the most effective way to do it. Let us take a look at these three main types of flossing. Choose and use one method that is best suited for your dental needs.

Menlo Park Dentists Explain Water Floss Vs. Dental Floss Vs. Interdental Brushes

According to our favorite Menlo Park dentist, flossing or interdental cleaning is the meticulous cleaning process between teeth. Nowadays, people can do it in three different ways. It includes traditional string floss, water flossing, and interdental brushes.

Each method has its pros and cons. The results also vary because it differs from how it cleans the spaces between your teeth. Patients also need several techniques because not all of us have the same teeth structure and equal length of spaces in between teeth.

Thus, choosing the right flossing tool will give you the most effective results while helping you build a good flossing habit. So, in the following sections, let us talk more about the different flossing methods. We will also identify the pros and cons of each tool.

Water Floss

Water flossers use a jet of water to remove plaque and debris in between and around the teeth through pressure. Dentists suggest it can remove up to 99% of plaque from treated areas. Water floss users love this method because of its comfort and versatility in using.

Water floss usually has a customizable tip for cleaning around oral inserts like braces and dental implants. Then, there’s a trigger that pushes the water up, sometimes combined with air. It removes plaque and bacteria from between the teeth and below the gumline by the stream.

This action creates a small-scale compression and decompression on the gums. It forces the bacteria out from deep underneath the gum line. So, this effect can penetrate deeper than the water reaches.

Pros Of Water Floss

  • Easy for reaching the back teeth because of the nozzles.
  • The water penetration stimulates better blood flow.
  • You can use different variable pressure settings to control the power of the water flow.
  • Quicker, convenient, and safer to use than regular flossing.
  • Perfect for people with braces and implants.
  • Suitable for patients with limited dexterity.
  • It is a good option for small gaps and crowded teeth where interdental brushes cannot reach.

Cons Of Water Floss

  • It’s expensive to buy and may require head replacement overtime.
  • The user needs to refill the reservoir.
  • Water floss is not ideal for traveling because of its larger size.

String Flossing

The second flossing method that Menlo Park dentists would recommend is the most traditional – string floss. It involves running a thread of floss between your teeth by your hand.

This basic type of flossing has been effective in removing debris between the teeth. But one common problem is that it can cut or irritate the gums. Plus, not all people are not good at flossing. So, they are having a hard time reaching all areas of the teeth.

String floss is from strands of woven fiber, wrapped together to add durability and look like a piece of string. Since it is thin, it can reach underneath the gum and into the gingival sulcus. It is where plaque usually builds up. Floss has many varieties, so it is suitable for different people with unique flossing needs.

Pros Of String Flossing

  • It is one of the cheapest and cost-effective flossing methods,
  • Travel friendly because of its compact style.
  • Convenient to use because you can buy it anywhere – from groceries, convenience stores to pharmacies.
  • One thread of string floss offers high effectiveness in removing bacteria.
  • The best option for patients with small gaps and crowded teeth.

Cons Of String Flossing

  • Using string gloss can feel very awkward, especially for the rear teeth.
  • Improper use of floss can cut the gums.
  • It takes minutes to use it properly.
  • You need to know the correct technique that would match your teeth to be effective.
  • It doesn’t work on teeth with larger gaps, dental bridges, and braces because of obstruction at the contact point.

Interdental Brushing

The last flossing technique on our list is the interdental brush. It is a smaller and more compact type of toothbrush that is primarily for cleaning between the teeth. You can use it to reach hard-to-reach areas that even a string floss can’t get.

The interdental brush has three major parts – the handle, wire core, and fiber bristles. The bristles on either side of the gap have a large surface area that contacts the teeth. This setup plays an essential role in removing plaque and food debris in between teeth. Some Menlo Park dentists would call it the ‘interproximal brush’ or ‘rubber pick.’

Pros Of Interdental Brushing

  • It is the most effective method of removing plaque in between teeth while reducing gum inflammation.
  • Travel-friendly, so you can bring it everywhere you go.
  • You can choose from a wide variety of sizes, depending on the gaps of your teeth.
  • Easy to find and available in different grocery stores and pharmacies.
  • Quick to use, even first-timers can use it.
  • Relatively cheap, and one brush can last a week.
  • Perfect for patients with large teeth gaps, wear braces, implants, and bridges.

Cons Of Interdental Brushing

  • You need to replace it sooner because it will wear off faster.
  • Proper washing of the brush is essential to avoid plaque build-up on the bristles.
  • Patients with crowded teeth can’t use it.

Why Do Dentists Suggest Interdental Cleaning?

Almost all dentists would tell you that interdental cleaning is essential to be part of your daily hygiene. Interdental cleaning doesn’t include your brushing routine.

Even the National Health Service (NHS) recommends regular interdental cleaning. It is because brushing is not enough. It cleans 60% of the tooth surface, so you need to clean the remaining 40% of your teeth through interdental cleaning.

But most people would prefer not doing interdental cleaning. Some don’t think of it as a priority and neglect the importance of regular flossing. Apart from brushing, dental cleaning removes plaque from an even greater amount of tooth surface. It cleans the sides of teeth, including the area under the gumline. You can prevent plaque and bacteria build-up.

Flossing prevents gum diseases, tooth decay, tooth loss, and bad breath. Additionally, interdental cleaning can have some surprising benefits due to the connection between gum disease and general health. So if you want to be healthier, make oral health a priority.


The most significant component in flossing success, regardless of the equipment you use, is how often you floss. It’s best to go with the strategy that seems most natural and effective to you. It’s the one you’re most likely to stick to in a lifetime.

Complete your oral health with regular visits to your Menlo Park dentist. Keep your smile healthy with Marisa Walker DDS. We provide comprehensive preventive and restorative dentistry in Menlo Park. Call us at 650-328-2072 or book your appointment online.

Marisa Walker DDS

150 Middlefield Road., Suite 101, Menlo Park CA 94025


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