As much as many people dislike it, flossing remains important. The reason is that flossing gets between the teeth as well as between the teeth and gums, reaching areas that even the best toothbrush can’t. In fact, the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) recommends flossing once a day and has stated that “If you don’t floss, you are missing more than one-third of your tooth surface.”
Still, for many, flossing remains a pain. The floss can cut off the circulation in your fingertips. Plus, sticking your fingers in your mouth may help to spread disease. Fortunately, you don’t have to stick to old-fashioned dental floss. You have some options that, when done correctly, will clean your teeth just as well as traditional dental floss.
A water pick uses a stream of pressurized water to clean your teeth and is similar to the device that many dentists have in their offices. Some versions even allow you to control the pressure to your liking. Since water is a liquid, a water pick allows you to get into the smallest spaces, cleaning your gums and teeth effectively. This makes them a great option for people with braces.
There are a few potential downsides to water picks though. Most require electricity or at least have a rechargeable battery, and the battery life is not always great. Also, some units are a little bulky for convenience on trips. Finally, prices can be a bit expensive, but the initial layout could prevent you from ever needing to buy floss again.
Flossing sticks are disposable, single use instruments that make a great substitute for traditional dental floss. They look like an elongated bow, with a plastic handle and a piece of dental floss for the bow string. Flossing sticks provide great control and prevent you from needing to wrap floss around your fingers or having to place your fingers inside your mouth. Since they contain dental floss, they clean just as thoroughly as traditional floss. You can even find them in flavours like mint.
These little helpers don’t have much of a drawback. They can be a little pricier than dental floss, but the difference in cost is negligible.
Interdental brushes are one of the newest offerings on this list. They are round brushes available in a variety of sizes. The brushes are reusable and attach to a handle similar to a toothbrush handle. The size choices allow you to pick the brush that fits best between your teeth to get at all the surfaces. Again, with interdental brushes there is no need to place your fingers in your mouth and you have greater control than with traditional dental floss.
While interdental brushes are readily available online, you might not find them yet in every grocery store and pharmacy. The price per use is comparable to flossing sticks, making them only slightly more expensive than dental floss.
With several great flossing options, there’s really no longer any excuse to forgo flossing your teeth. So make the right choice for your dental health and be sure to floss at least once a day.