You’ve heard it before every time you go to the dentist: have you been flossing? The truth is, your dental team can usually tell if you’ve been flossing or not based on the condition of your teeth and gums. Not flossing can cause everything from bad breath and bleeding gums to gum disease and cavities in hard to reach places like between your teeth.
Thus, flossing is a crucial part of your oral health routine. You should ideally be flossing at least once per day, especially at the end of the day after you’re done eating for the night and before you head to sleep. Better still, flossing after every meal can go even further towards keeping your mouth safe and clean.
But did you know not all flossing products are created equally? In fact, some products used to floss the teeth quickly can even be potentially harmful to your oral health.
If you’ve ever spent any time in the oral care aisle at your local store, you’ve probably noticed floss picks before. These small appliances are usually shaped like a “p” and are made of plastic with a small bit of floss.
Designed to make it more ergonomically friendly to maneuver your dental floss or pick food from your teeth with a sharp end that acts as a toothpick. But these handy little devices aren’t all they’ve cracked up to be.
Dental picks are okay if you have a pesky piece of food lodged between the teeth, and are a quick fix that you should only use occasionally. Here’s why.
Dental picks are not meant to floss between every tooth in your mouth. Because they have less than one inch of floss, unless you use a new pick between each tooth, you can actually add new plaque and debris between your teeth as you move the pick from one spot to the next.
Furthermore, because dental picks are secured into place, you cannot maneuver them as easily between the teeth or wrap them around each tooth if need be.
Dental picks can also break while you use them. This can mean you now have a piece of floss caught between your teeth that you now have to figure out how to remove.
Finally, remember that toothpick end we mentioned? Well, if you’re not careful that sharp end can harm your gums, causing an increased risk of infection to the gums.
While using floss picks is the right idea, we definitely recommend you use traditional dental floss to floss between each tooth on a regular basis.
For more information, or to schedule a cleaning with Dr. Abelar, please contact the office today.