As much of a hassle as you can convince yourself that string flossing is, there is no way to beat around the bush when it comes to water flossing…

You could just eat only with your hands, but you use a fork. You could walk everywhere, but you drive. Why get the same job done in a harder, less efficient way?

The real question is that if you floss, why aren’t you water flossing? And if you aren’t flossing, then you should definitely start- flossing can prevent early gum disease, decay between teeth, and numerous other oral health issues.

As much of a hassle as you can convince yourself that string flossing is, there is no way to beat around the bush when it comes to water flossing. It’s easy, it’s extremely effective, and quick. Let’s take a quick look at water flossing vs string flossing and the benefits and contrasts between the two methods.

Clinical studies show that water flossing is 51% more effective at preventing gingivitis than string flossing, twice as effective at reducing bleeding, and 29% more effective at removing plaque. All that, plus the benefit of keeping the circulation of your fingers. Water flossing is clearly king, but string flossing does get the job done as well. It takes more time and skill to clean and prevent injury to the gums, but any kind of flossing is better than none. Whether you are looking to start water flossing or string flossing, consider the following:

✅ Cost: $50-$100 is what you should expect for a water flosser. String floss can be pennies on the dollar, and even the floss picks are inexpensive. Do remember that string flossing will be a repeated cost, whilst water flossing will be a one time thing.

✅ Storage: A water flosser usually sits on your counter, but there are some handheld units with smaller bases. Expect much higher costs for these handheld flossers. Do you have room for a countertop flosser, or are you okay with moving it around? String floss can be thrown in a drawer or on a shelf without really taking up much room at all.

✅ Ease of Use: Water flossers might have a learning curve if you’re used to string or haven’t flossed at all. String floss also takes some skill and getting used to- there is a lot of manipulation of the string and your fingers going on. Many water flossers have a rotational head that allows much easier use.

With all the benefits of water flossing, most people still do use string floss. It’s more familiar, it’s cheap on a by-purchase basis, and it might seem more sanitary. Water flossers might be a brand new thing to you, but once you get over the “$50 once is cheaper than $6 ten times” factor, it’s worth it to try out.

Sanitation and Traveling… Two More Things to Consider When Thinking About Your Flossing Habits


String floss or picks means you get a new piece or pick each time. Water flossers have interchangeable tips, which means hands will only be touching their respective tips and mouths. Depending on the material, these tips can be sanitized or replaced easily.


If you travel a lot, string floss might be a better choice, unless you want to spend much more on a portable water flosser. These take up more space in a bag, but if you also use it at home, it could be worth the cost. You can also buy string floss wherever you end up, but it obviously doesn’t make sense to buy a water flosser for a two night hotel stay.

Water flossing is more effective at preventing oral issues, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t good arguments for using string floss instead. If it’s what you’re used to and it’s keeping your mouth healthy- keep it going, but consider moving up to a water flosser as well.

Reviews on Amazon and elsewhere praise water flossers vs string floss for their ease of use, effectiveness in preventing gum and teeth issues, adaptation for braces and dental work, and numerous other factors that really put these units on the top. String floss gives you the choice of waxed or unwaxed, flavored or unflavored, reel or picks- there are options, but none of those will get you close to what a water flosser can do.

If you aren’t convinced, estimate how much you spend (or would spend) on string floss in a year- a water flosser that costs $50 would average to about $4 a month. Whether the numbers or the results convince you, don’t be afraid of switching. Your teeth (and your dentist) will thank you!