Alternative Options to Flossing | Alpen Dental


5 Alternatives to Traditional Flossing

young woman flossing teeth

If you were to ask anyone what leads to healthy teeth, you would overwhelmingly get proper, regular brushing as a response. It’s a great answer, and one that needs to be part of everyone’s oral care plan — but it’s not a complete one.

While brushing is a valuable part of keeping your teeth clean, an equally important part is flossing. Your toothbrush is able to scrub the outer and inner surfaces of your teeth, but dental floss, by removing plaque and debris trapped between teeth, takes care of all that your brush can’t reach. So if flossing isn’t a part of your daily routine, you’re not getting your teeth as clean as they need to be.

However, for many people, traditional flossing can be problematic for a number of reasons. You may be wearing traditional braces or use other dental appliances. The dexterity required to use it could be limited by physical or health issues. If using standard floss is tricky for you, don’t just put it off — here are some very effective alternatives you can start using today:

  1. Floss Picks:

     Available anywhere you shop for oral care products, these disposable or refillable picks have handles that make it much easier to reach between all your teeth. They’re especially handy for getting between hard-to-reach molars, helping to ensure all of your teeth are properly cleaned.

  2. Water Flossers:

     In lieu of a line of floss, these use a pressurized jet of water strong enough to clear plaque and debris from between your teeth. Some models can attach to your faucet while others use a refillable tank. These have a long handle, making it very easy to use for those with limited mobility, and are especially handy in working around the complexities of traditional braces.

  3. Interdental Brushes:

     A little longer than a toothpick, these use a thin wire with bristles on a short handle to reach between your teeth. They’re essentially a tiny toothbrush just for flossing, allowing you to scrub and clear the areas a traditional toothbrush can’t reach. And like a traditional toothbrush, you can rinse them clean and reuse them until they become worn or bent.

  4. Dental Picks:

     Similar to interdental brushes, picks often have much longer handles, which can make them easier to use for some. Picks may have bristles or a thin, flexible rubber tip — either design can provide a thorough level of cleaning.

  5. Regular Visits to Your Dentist:

     If your particular situation makes any of the above difficult, don’t feel like you’re putting yourself at higher risk for dental problems. Simply schedule regular cleanings with your dentist’s office — you’ll receive a very thorough cleaning that will keep plaque from building up and you’ll give your dentist a chance to examine your teeth each time.

When Should You Use Flossing Devices?

When it’s time to brush your teeth, start off with your chosen method of flossing. The popular theory is that this will free all of the buildup from between the teeth, allowing your brush to get rid of it entirely right after. It’s also suggested that you swish some water in your mouth just after flossing to help remove these particles.

Alongside proper, regular brushing at least twice a day, using fluoridated mouthwash and limiting sugar intake, flossing can and should round-out your tooth care routine. You’ll be setting yourself up for a lifetime of healthy teeth, a great smile and consistently positive reports from your dentist. If you would like to learn more about proper dental care or would like to schedule an appointment in Blackfalds or Rimbey, contact Alpen Dental today!