Floss Picks vs Floss vs WaterPik – What is Best?

If you’d like to keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape, flossing is essential. Even though it often gets overlooked, it should be a vital part of your oral routine. When you floss on a regular basis, you remove plaque on your teeth, which can lead to gum disease. Flossing is key if you’d like to prevent issues like bleeding gums, receding gums, and tooth loss.

It’s also important if you’d like to prevent cavities and keep your breath fresh. You may be surprised to learn that flossing can also reduce your risk of heart disease. One of the most common flossing-related questions we get asked here at McNeely Family Dentistry is which type of floss is the best: floss picks, floss, or waterpik. Keep reading to find out.

Floss Picks

Floss picks are tiny, convenient sticks that are easy to maneuver in your mouth. Since they come in various flavors and colors, they’re a good option for children. If you tend to forgo flossing because you consider it a hassle, you may floss more frequently with floss picks. Our Raleigh Family Dentist friends at Tryon Family Dentistry have expressed that many patients are asking about floss picks in late 2020 and early 2021.

While using floss picks is better than not flossing at all, their small size and constant rinsing make it a challenge to maintain high standards of oral hygiene. In addition, they’re made of plastic, which means they’re not the best option for the environment.


Traditional floss allows for 360 maneuvering. It’s a great way to get rid of bacteria, plaque, and food particles that live between the teeth. While traditional floss may not be as “trendy” as other flossing methods, it’s a tried and true method that dentists and patients have used for years. It’s also less expensive than lost picks and the Waterpik. Our Midlothian, VA dentist friends have raved about the Waterpik but it does come at a cost.

If you have restricted mobility due to your age or a particular condition, traditional floss may be difficult to use. It can lead to a flossing job that’s incomplete and eventually leads to cavities and other problems.


Also known as an oral irrigator or water flosser, a Waterpik is a special device that directs a surge of water to the teeth to wash away food particles. Waterpik is a registered brand name but often used to describe any device that jets water to the teeth for cleaning purposes.

Since a Waterpik jets food particles between your teeth, it’s a fast and easy flossing method. It can also efficiently flush out bacteria from deep pockets that arise when gums separate from your teeth. A Waterpik is usually easier to use than floss or floss sticks if you have braces or gum diseases. It may also be more convenient if you have difficulty flossing around crowns, bridges, and implants.

When it comes to the disadvantages of Waterpiks, the main one is that it doesn’t thoroughly clean plaque. It rinses plaque rather than hugs the tooth and scrapes it away. Waterpiks can also be pricey and messy to use. Our Charlotte, NC orthodontist friends at Chad Johnson Orthodontics love to suggest the WaterPik to those getting braces.

Stick to Traditional Floss

If possible, we suggest that you use traditional floss. However, if you’re unable to, floss sticks and Waterpiks are better than nothing. Whatever method you choose, be sure to remove the plaque from in between your teeth at least once a day. Whether you go to a pediatric dentist or a family dental office, you will find that all of them encourage you to brush and floss.

Schedule an Appointment at McNeely Family Dentistry

If you have further questions about flossing or would like to schedule an appointment at our Harrisburg, NC dental office, don’t hesitate to contact our office at 704-496-9001. We look forward to hearing from you and providing you with the prompt, quality service you deserve.

McNeely Family Dentistry