Flossing is one of the most important parts of your daily oral hygiene routine. To keep your mouth really clean and free of bacteria and plaque, you need to clean all five of the exposed sides of each tooth but the brush only gets about three and a half. The floss is meant to help you with the sides of your teeth that touch each other and therefore get in the way of the brush cleaning between them. However, some people just aren’t ‘flossers’ even if they do the rest of the routine like clockwork. Many people, even if they do floss, simply hate the feeling of sticking fingers into their mouths at awkward angles, others never really got the hang of the technique. Whether you do or don’t floss, hate it or just don’t want to, it’s still important to clean those touching sides of your teeth so we encourage you to consider one of the following alternatives instead.
1) Inter-Dental Tooth Brushes
The first alternative is simply to keep brushing, but with a different tool. Interdental brushes are typically slender with a slender, L-shaped tip. After the bend is a section of radial bristles. You direct the inter-dental brush into the same places you’re supposed to floss, between the teeth and around the gums, and give the area a little scrub. You might be surprised how much gunk frees up. The inter-dental brush is a great tool but it’s also only as effective as the number of teeth it can fit between. If there are any spaces too small for the brush, you’ll need another solution.
2) Water Picks
Water picks are the most popular alternative to flossing, in part because they’re as fun to play with as they are useful. The purpose of the water pick is to shoot a tiny jet of high-pressure water around and between your teeth and over your gums. This water can free up plaque that can then be rinsed away. The pick is on a long stem with a handle so once again, you can treat the spaces between your teeth without having to stick your hands in there holding a tiny piece of floss.
Welcome back to the second half of our two-part series on flossing alternatives! Last time we talked about inter-dental brushes and water picks along with the pros and cons of each. Today we’ll pick up with flossers.
3) Flosser Sticks
Flosser sticks are particularly popular when teaching children to floss but are quite useful for all ages. The simplest of all the flossing solutions, the stick simply does the job of holding the floss tight and fitting into your mouth. Most flosser sticks consist of a crescent-shaped piece of plastic with a length of floss strung tightly between. The crescent is attached to a long plastic handle that ends in a toothpick tip. This allows you to do all your standard flossing maneuvers while holding the handle. The only downside is that the one little length of floss gets full pretty fast so you’ll use several of them per floss or rinse the stick every two or three spaces.
4) Trips to the Dentist
The final solution is for everyone, but especially those that refuse to floss on regular basis. What the dental hygienist does with those tiny sharp tools is basically extreme flossing. They often have to deal with years of built up plaque between, behind, and at the base of your teeth and those tools scrape it off. If you either absolutely won’t or can’t floss or use any flossing alternatives, make sure to schedule a few extra cleanings each year to minimize the damage. That said, we recommend trying a few different solutions before completely giving up on flossing.
The reason there are so many alternatives to standard flossing is because this tooth cleaning routine is incredibly important. If you don’t want lurking cavities or to be wearing dentures by the time you retire, your best bet is to find the flossing solution that works for you and stick with it every day. For more great dental health tips and tricks, contact us today!