How many nights per week do you floss your teeth? If it’s never, then you’re among the 32% of the population that neglects this crucial oral care process. Flossing is vital because it addresses the parts of the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. Fortunately for those who hate flossing with the traditional stringed method, alternatives are available that are more comfortable and convenient.
4 Alternatives to Using Dental Floss
For various reasons, about one-third of the population admits to never flossing their teeth. If you’re among those who would rather do just about anything rather than wind a string of floss through your teeth, other choices are available. From disposable flossers to water flossers, consider these effective methods for flossing your teeth.
1. Disposable Flossers
A type of floss that’s become popular in recent years are the packages of portable disposable flossers. These are typically comprised of small plastic objects about 2-3 inches in length that resemble a small, 2-pronged fork. Between the rungs on this fork is a strand of dental floss, and the user can comfortably hold the handle of the fork to guide the string between the teeth.
Main Advantage of Disposable Flossers
Disposable flossers offer the advantage of easier control, coordination, and convenience. Rather than manipulating a strand of floss with your two hands, you simply raise one hand to your teeth and slip the flosser into those tight spaces, enabling it to clean the spaces between your teeth. Flossers take a lot of the thinking out of the flossing process due to their easy to use approach and simplicity.
2. Interdental Brushes
Interdental brushes provide the benefits of flossing and may be more comfortable for some people. Unlike a toothbrush, an interdental brush is very small and has bristles on all sides. This makes it a great solution for entering into the small areas between the teeth and cleaning those hard to reach areas.
Main Advantage of Interdental Brushes
Interdental brushes offer a true alternative because the method for using them and cleaning your teeth is entirely different. Rather than controlling a string that glides between the teeth, interdental brushes rely on your brushing action and how well you access the areas that need it most.
By far the simplest form of oral care can also be highly effective. Toothpicks may fly under the radar when you think of oral care tools, but with a variety of flavors, materials, and even shapes, toothpicks can be just the thing for removing food and debris that is stuck between the teeth. Consider keeping a pack of toothpicks in your purse or desk for quick cleaning on the go.
Main Advantage of Toothpicks
Toothpicks are extremely simple and inexpensive, but they’re also the simplest way to clean your teeth. Note that using toothpicks still requires dexterity as you must literally poke and pick the food particles from between your teeth.
4. Water Flossers
If you don’t mind a significant upgrade over your standard box of floss, then a water flosser may be ideal for you. Water flossers range in price from less than $50 to over $100, but all of them operate on a similar principle – to shoot a powerful but narrow stream of water into the small spots between your teeth.
Main Advantage of Water Flossers
Water flossers are great for those who have trouble with the manual parts of the flossing experience. If picks, strings, and interdental brushes require more dexterity and hand movement than you can comfortably provide, try a water flosser and simply guide it to clean between your teeth without pain or frustration.
Which Type of Floss is Optimal for Your Oral Care Routine?
Even if the traditional method is not for you, it’s still worth it to clean those spaces between your teeth on a regular basis. If you’re not flossing at all, then plaque can accumulate in these spaces, causing unwanted dental problems down the line. Whether you prefer the convenience of a water flosser or the simplicity of a toothpick, these dental tools give you the opportunity to reap the benefits of flossing while never touching a strand of floss. When you’re ready for your next appointment, call Dr. Milsap today.