Different Ways of Flossing and Their Pros and Cons
Flossing is one of the most important things you can do to change the health of your smile for the better as it allows you to clean in between your teeth. There are numerous products you can use to do this interdental cleaning, such as water flossers, string floss, interdental brushes and dental picks. Let’s take a look into the different ways of flossing and the pros and cons of each.
1. String floss
The most common tool to floss with is string floss. It’s a tried and true way of cleaning those hard to reach spaces between your teeth.
String floss comes in both waxed and non-waxed formulas. Waxed string floss is often easier to use because it is made to glide effortlessly between teeth. You can purchase unflavored and flavoured string floss.
The team at Venus Dental Care in Brampton loves string floss for its effectiveness and convenience. You’ll find our favourites: Oral-B or Glide floss in your goodie-bags at the end of your dental appointments.
Advantages of string floss:
- It effectively removes plaque.
- String floss comes in small containers that can be taken anywhere.
- It’s the cheapest option and easily available at grocery stores or online.
- String flossing is quick and easy.
- The thin floss string perfectly slides into tight spaces between teeth.
- Flavoured floss can give a refreshing feeling.
Disadvantages of string floss:
- It can be challenging to reach the back area of your mouth.
- If misused, you could hurt your gum tissue.
- It can be difficult to use when you have braces, dental bridges, etc.
- It’s not reusable.
2. Interdental brush
An interdental brush, also known as proxy brush, is a small, cone shaped brush that’s designed to fit between your teeth. It comes in different sizes so you can select one that works best for the space between your teeth. At your dental appointment, our team can help determine which size is most suitable for your teeth, and provide samples for you to test out before you purchase.
Advantages of an interdental brush:
- It’s easily available from grocery stores or online.
- It’s effective at removing plaque from in between teeth.
- Easier to use than string floss if joint problems or limited mobility.
Disadvantages of an interdental brush:
- It’s hard to maneuver the brush in tight spaces and areas of crowding.
- It’s slightly more expensive than string floss.
3. Water flossing
A water flosser is a cleaning device that shoots a thin, pressurized stream of water. You fill the machine tank with water, choose the pressure setting, and then aim the mouthpiece for your teeth. When aimed between your teeth or at the gum line, it can remove food particles and plaque on, or between your teeth.
Water flossing cannot curve between the tooth like string floss or as a brush would do. Instead, it shoots high-pressured water between the teeth to clean. If you have a reluctance to floss because you’ve had issues in the past of it getting stuck or being painful, water flossing is a relatively beneficial alternative.
Advantages of water flossing:
- Water flossers are easy to use, especially for those with braces, or other types of dental work (like bridges).
- It’s also a great choice for those with arthritis or limited mobility.
- The massaging action can improve gum health and reach areas where traditional floss can’t.
Disadvantages of water flossing:
- A water flosser can be expensive.
- It takes up storage space on your bathroom counter.
- It needs electricity and water.
- It’s difficult to use outside of your home.
4. Dental/floss picks
A dental floss pick is a plastic tool with a u-shaped end that holds a piece of dental floss.
These are often used to dislodge food from between the teeth, but some people choose to floss with floss picks.
Because they do not have bristles on them, you’re only relying on a slight scraping motion to get rid of bacteria, which might not be enough to be deemed proper flossing.
Advantages of dental picks:
- Can be taken anywhere and used conveniently.
- Easy to use if you have limited mobility, or difficulty reaching the back of your mouth
Disadvantages of dental picks:
- May not be as effective in cleaning thoroughly
- Can distribute bacteria if you are using the same piece for all your teeth
No matter which method you choose, the most important thing is that you floss daily. We believe different ways of flossing can work best for different situations. For instance, string floss is great for on-the-go, whereas a water flosser before bedtime can ensure you clean out any food debris before you end your day. If you have any questions, or would like to test free samples of different types of floss, call our team at 905-451-5999 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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