Alternatives to Flossing
by Janet We all know how important it is to floss as well as brush our teeth. In fact, if you aren’t flossing as well as brushing, you could be missing up to 40% of the tooth surfaces! Just think about that tiny space where your teeth touch each other. There is no way the toothbrush bristles can reach in there! Do you hate flossing? Find your teeth too tight and shred the floss? Maybe your teeth have lots of spacing and flossing isn’t the best at removing the food debris there? While flossing is the gold standard in removing plaque and bacteria between the teeth, I would like to talk about some flossing alternatives this month on our blog.
1. Probably the next best thing to traditional flossing is the Waterpik Water Flosser. Many of those who have had braces are already familiar with this tool, and love it! The waterpik uses pressurized water to remove plaque from the gumline and in between the teeth. The nice thing about this product is you control the temperature of the water as well as the pressure. Many people report using a waterpik is soothing and actually feels good on their gums.
2. Next up is the Phillips SonicareAirfloss Pro. This one uses a very small amount of water or antimicrobial mouth rinse (I always recommend an alcohol free product), and pressurized air to clean between the teeth.
3. A great option for those who have larger gaps between the teeth is a proxybrush interdental cleaner. The brush almost looks like a bottle brush and is made of very short nylon bristles. It is wider than regular floss and because the bristles wrap around the head of the brush, it will clean both adjacent teeth at the same time. This brush is treated like your regular toothbrush for care, you can rinse well, air dry and use again.
While none of these options are quite as effective as traditional string floss when used properly, you can see that there are a few alternatives to help clean those areas your toothbrush just can’t reach. If you are someone who either can’t or won’t floss, please consider one of these alternatives. We would be happy to give you our recommendations depending on your teeth and your individual needs at your next hygiene appointment!