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Say goodbye to bacteria and plaque with these powerful, dentist-approved water flossers.

Kathleen Felton
August 06, 2018

If you want super-clean, healthy gums, consider a water flosser. Unlike dental floss, these handy gadgets literally repel food and bacteria from the crevices of your teeth using water pressure. "They're handheld devices that use a small motor to send pressurized water out of a tip," explains Jon Marashi, DDS, a cosmetic dentist based in Los Angeles. "The tip is placed near the gum line in the mouth, and the water pressure removes plaque buildup along the gum line and in between teeth."

It's a smart purchase for anyone, but because water flossing technology is able to reach deeper into the crevices between teeth (and even below the gum line), these products are particularly useful for those who have braces, implants, crowns, or other dental work that makes traditional flossing difficult, as well as those with gingivitis.

"Let's face it, nobody likes to floss, although it is still the preferred method for removing plaque from under the gums and in between the teeth," says Laurence Grayhills, DDS, from the Academy of General Dentistry. Whether you're looking for an alternative to flossing or have dexterity issues, he says, "water flossers are another option for plaque removal."

Dr. Marashi tells Health that he recommends these products to his patients. "It's easier than traditional flossing and can get access to hard-to-reach areas with greater ease," he says.

One important caveat: Dr. Marashi stresses that water flossers should be a supplement to regular floss, not a replacement. "In combination, my patients have much healthier gums as a result," he says.

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