Today we’re going to talk about why some people might not need to use floss. Let me start with cleaning between your teeth is super important. Bacteria thrives in those crevices and lots of people get cavities between their teeth. And gum disease often starts there because gums can easily get inflamed in those areas.
How to prevent all of this is to clean between your teeth properly.
I said clean between your teeth. I didn’t say floss. Because that’s what this blog is about to tell you more about the other ways you can clean in between your teeth. Technically there are three additional ways to clean in between your teeth other than traditional string floss.
Floss picks are not my favorite but better than nothing. There’s also interdental brushes. Super great for lots of people. Unfortunately it seems like lots of people don’t even know these exist. But they can be great once you find the right size for your teeth. Lastly there’s water flosser. Lots of people have heard about these. Another great way for some patients to clean in between their teeth.
How do you know which one will work best for you?
My best advice and truly take this advice please schedule an appointment at your dental office. Ask your dentist or your dental hygienist about their recommendation regarding your individual mouth. The reason that all these different options exist is not only for patient compliance. They weren’t just made to find something different other than traditional string floss. But they were made to benefit certain mouths for specific reasons.
Let me explain starting with floss picks.
Although lots of people might like to use these because they are quicker than traditional string floss. That’s not why they exist. They are here for patients who may have manual dexterity issues. Such as special needs populations, elderly patients and patients who truly can’t fit their fingers in their mouth. And they are also great for kids who are still learning how to do things, who can’t properly hold and use traditional string floss yet.
Are floss picks intended for cleaning between your teeth? No. regular floss is truly better. Because if you do it right, regular traditional string floss can get in there, into those little crevices below your gum line and properly remove plaque and food debris. But lots of people don’t or can’t use proper technique when flossing with traditional string floss. And lots of people just don’t floss at all.
In these cases if you like floss picks and that’s the only way you’re going to clean between your teeth. Then go for it. Something is better than nothing. I hope that makes sense. If you want to learn more about how to properly floss with traditional string floss which could be super beneficial to your dental health making sure you’re doing it. You can refer to this blog Uses of Dental Floss. That should help and never hesitate to ask your dental hygienist at your next dental cleaning. They would be happy to show you flossing techniques tips and tricks.
Next are interdental aids.
Sometimes called proxy brushes, sometimes called interproximal brushes, or proxy brushes. Whatever you want to call them. They look like little brushes that go between your teeth. There is lots of great dental research proving the efficacy of these. If you use them right, a huge part of using them right is finding the correct size for your teeth, they can really keep your teeth and gums healthy. I personally like to use these in addition to traditional string floss on my lower front teeth. Because I tend to get more plaque to build up there. So I really feel like it keeps those areas extra clean for me.
Lastly is a water flosser.
Again, always ask your dentist or dental hygienist if this is something that would be good for you or not. Anyone can use water flosser but some people may benefit from them more than others. Such as people with gingivitis, braces, or implants. Those are just some examples, but I personally use it and I don’t have any of those. I use it a couple times a week. But whenever I eat a big salad or something, I can physically see all the food debris rinse out from my mouth. It’s satisfying because water flossers provide such a great water lavage to flush away food bacteria debris.
Again, ask your dental provider about what they recommend for you to use for your individual mouth. Dentistry is not a one size fits all. A dental hygiene tool that works for you might not work for someone else. Everyone’s mouth is different and everyone’s body is different. I love traditional string floss and I believe anyone who can properly string floss should do it. But that’s not everyone. Some may benefit more from interdental brushes. Some may benefit more from water flossing.