Flossing Alternatives

One thing I always stress as an NYC cosmetic dentist is the importance of flossing. Now I know I sound like a broken record here, because you hear it often from dentists like me — floss, floss, floss. scian nebulizer.. But it is really important, and the truth is, most people really don’t floss. (According to this study by Crest, Oral B, and the ADA, 49 percent admit to flossing less than daily, and I personally feel that number is much higher. Of COURSE if asked, people will “say” they floss. But personally, I’d be surprised if 20 percent of people actually flossed daily.)

So I (and my colleagues) talk about flossing over and over because it’s really the only way to remove plaque from in between your teeth. (When you brush, you’re really only cleaning about 60 percent of your teeth — flossing cleans the rest.)

Now, I will state here in the beginning that I DO “get it” — flossing can be a pain in the butt. Sticking a string between your teeth is not easy, it’s not really fun, and it’s time consuming. I totally understand. That’s why I am going to devote this blog to look at some different/alternative flossing products. I’m going to generally refrain from ranking them (save but one), because in the end, I think ALL of them are preferable to not doing anything dental file. I will also state that for brevity’s sake, I may end up posting links to some specific manufacturer’s products here to show you some examples, but these should not be considered an endorsement of one company over another. It’s just if I discuss an “electric flosser” or an irrigator, I want to be able to show you what one looks like. Again, no endorsement of a particular brand is implied, regardless of whose model I link to.

The first floss alternative I’ll discuss is the plain old toothpick. Yes, a toothpick is useful for cleaning in between your teeth. While it doesn’t do the best job, it is definitely better than nothing, and is easy to use. I won’t link to a picture because I’m sure you know what a toothpick looks like.

The second one is what I would call “flossers.” These are small pieces of plastic that look somewhat like the letter Y, with a piece of floss strung between them. Essentially, these can be a little easier to use than string floss, and are so small, they can fit in a pocket, purse, desk drawer, etc. They are also pretty common, and (somewhat) acceptable to use in public (it’s almost like using a toothpick.)

We can take these flossers to the next level and give them a big handle dental implant machine. This can still fit in a purse, but since it’s about the size of a toothbrush, it is probably better left in the bathroom vanity drawer. Still, many find these easier to use then regular floss. Do they do as good a job as regular floss? Well, they aren’t going to get right under the gum around the back of the tooth, so probably not. But still, it’s better than nothing.

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