Even dentists will admit it: flossing isn’t the easiest activity in the world, and it’s definitely not the easiest part of maintaining a good oral hygiene routine. In recent years, some alternatives to traditional dental floss have arisen. Among these are floss picks, which are usually “Y” or “F” shaped plastic wands that hold a piece of floss in between them that is easier to maneuver. But are they an acceptable alternative to traditional dental floss? Read on to find out the benefits and drawbacks of floss picks.
The Facts About Floss Picks
More Manual Dexterity — The main complaint people have with using regular dental floss is that it can be difficult to maneuver between your teeth, and can be especially difficult for those trying to reach the back teeth. Floss picks’ main appeal is that it offers more maneuverability than traditional dental floss for some patients. By holding the floss for you, and having an easy to use handle, floss picks certainly can be an easier dental hygiene option for many patients who have trouble flossing with more traditional methods.
Less Thorough Cleaning Potential — In general, floss picks are believed to be less adept at properly cleaning teeth. For one, many dental professionals believe that due to the “fixed” nature of floss picks, these tools don’t adequately reach the angles necessary to perform a thorough flossing experience. For example, in many cases, floss picks are unable to reach below the gumline sufficiently to remove the plaque that forms there.
American Dental Association Approval — At this time, the American Dental Association (also known as the “ADA”) has approved only one interdental cleaning device, and it’s not the floss pick. This doesn’t necessarily mean that floss picks are ineffective means of promoting dental health. They’re certainly better than not flossing at all. However, this does mean that the American Dental Association has not found sufficient evidence that the product is effective for use. Nevertheless, there are many toothpastes and toothbrushes on the market that don’t carry this seal of approval either. Regardless, in most cases picking an ADA approved product is a better choice for the sake of your dental health.
Though we won’t make the decision for you, in most ways, it appears that evidence points to traditional means of flossing being more effective than floss picks. However, you should consult your dentist if you have any concerns.