Only four out of ten Americans say they floss their teeth at least once per day. And 20% of Americans claim they never floss at all. While flossing your teeth and gums is more time-consuming and can be more painful than brushing alone, it has a great number of benefits.
We encourage our patients to include flossing in their daily oral care routines, and wanted to present some newer ways to supplement traditional flossing.
These plastic toothpicks (also called flosser picks) are quickly replacing the wooden kind as a popular way to remove items from your teeth on the go. These small P shaped devices have a thin edge that serves as a toothpick on one end and a piece of dental floss pre-threaded through the other end. The plastic handle makes it easy to hold, and saves having to wind and unwind sections of floss around the fingers.
These disposable synthetic rubber toothpicks include tiny, soft bristles to gently remove plaque, dislodge food, and massage gums. They have a rounded handle to help you get to the sides and back of your mouth where it’s difficult to reach with a toothbrush. They are easy to use with orthodontics, implants, and bridges.
Oral irrigators use a pulsating stream of water to clean in between teeth and gums. They have multiple speed/power settings so it’s powerful enough to remove stuck food particles yet still gentle on the gums. The standard kind has a small reservoir in the base or built into the handle of the product which stores the water needed for cleaning. There are also some that attach right to your faucet to save you having to refill the reservoir.
Air flossers have a soft tip that you place against your teeth or gums that delivers micro-droplets of air and liquid to clean them. They are a little larger than a standard electric toothbrush and can travel easily. Some people like their slim design and that there are no hoses to work with, and that air flossers are generally less messy than oral irrigators.
Regular Flossing is What Counts
While these options are strong alternatives to flossing, here at Beavers Dentistry in Cary we believe that traditional flossing is still the best way to prevent tooth decay. However, if one of these newer options would motivate you to floss more often, than we encourage you to check them out.