For many of us, traditional flossing can be quite a challenge. Unpleasant, tedious, and downright tricky are common themes that we see here at Tampa Palms Dentistry. Combine this with nighttime sleepiness, work exhaustion, and hectic family schedules, and it comes to no surprise that traditional flossing can become a finicky activity that we either skip out on or dread doing before bedtime.
To help make flossing a little simpler, we’ve got 3 secret tools, that you can use to make this oral hygiene habit stick.
1. Using An Electric Flosser or Water Flosser
An electric or water flosser can take away the tediousness of flossing by removing the need to fiddle with string completely.
There are two types of electric flossers, ones that solely use water and ones that use air bursts in combination with water droplets.
- With electric water flossers, a stream of water will shoot out the top which can be aimed between the teeth.
- With electric air flossers, a burst of air will push out water droplets which will disrupt sticky plaque between your teeth.
With both of these types, the water will steadily loosen and rinse away any food particles, plaque, or debris between your teeth. They work by using a reservoir to hold water, combined with a motor or pump, that pushes the pressurized water through a nozzle. This nozzle is placed between your teeth, to remove the debris.
They can be purchased as battery-operated (cordless), countertop (plugs into a standard outlet), or as either a “shower” or “faucet” flosser, which simply denotes where they attach and pull water from.
All in all, these are a fantastic alternative to traditional flossing, as they are effective in fighting gingivitis and removing plaque.
2. Picking Up Disposable Floss Picks
Picking up a pack of disposable floss picks is a good alternative to regular dental flossing if you would otherwise not floss at all. We say this because they can redistribute bacteria around the mouth as you floss, and they may prevent you from learning proper flossing techniques as they cannot mimic the “c-shape” you need to get around the curve of your teeth and below the gum line.
With that said, these are great for individuals who are uncomfortable with winding traditional floss around the fingertips, or for those who have a hard time reaching those back molars.
The d-shape head of the floss pick makes it a lot easier to control how you place the dental floss between your teeth, making it more user-friendly for individuals with bigger hands or arthritis.
The bonus is that these often contain a “toothpick” end for removing larger pieces of food; and they are portable, making flossing accessible no matter where you are headed.
3. Using Interdental Brushes
An interdental brush is designed to specifically clean between the teeth, regardless of how wide or narrow the gap is. These types of brushes look similar to that of a mascara wand and come in different bristle and wire sizes. The bristle portion of the brush is held on by wire, and the wire is attached to the handle.
To use, you simply insert the brush between your teeth and gently move it back and forth to remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria.
Interdental brushes are fantastic for those with orthodontic braces, and those with limited hand motion or dexterity (or those who despite traditional flossing methods).
If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while or need to schedule a teeth cleaning appointment contact us or give us a call at (813) 333-1922.