It’s no secret that flossing is good for you. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends that everyone floss at least once a day to remove plaque and keep teeth and gums healthy. However, despite its benefits, there are many people who hate to floss. In fact, 32% of Americans never floss. If you’re in the never floss or hate to floss camp, we have several flossing alternatives you might be interested in. Read on to learn more.
Water flossers, also known as oral irrigators, are devices that shoot a stream of water between your teeth to remove plaque and debris. They’re a great alternative to traditional floss for those who have braces or other dental appliances, as well as for those who simply don’t like the feeling of string floss.
Water flossers are available at most drugstores and are typically very affordable. Simply fill the reservoir with water, point the nozzle between your teeth, and turn it on. Easy peasy!
Interdental brushes are small brushes that look a bit like pipe cleaners. They’re designed to reach places that traditional string floss can’t, making them ideal for people with wide gaps between their teeth. Interdental brushes can be purchased online or at most drugstores. Be sure to ask your dentist or hygienist which size is right for you.
Dental picks are similar to interdental brushes, but they have a small piece of gauze or other fabric attached to the end instead of bristles. These picks can be used to remove plaque and debris from teeth without irritating the gums like string floss can. You can purchase dental picks online or at most drugstores—just be sure to choose ones with soft, rounded edges.
Waxed String Floss
If you really can’t stand the feeling of string floss, waxed string floss may be a good option for you. This type of floss is coated in a thin layer of wax, which makes it easier to slide between teeth without poking or scraping your gums in the process. Waxed string floss can be found at most drugstores—just be sure to choose one with a flavor you like!
Another option for flossing without water is dry brushing. Dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like—brushing your teeth without water or toothpaste. While dry brushing won’t remove all the plaque from your teeth, it will help remove food particles and bacteria that cause bad breath. To dry brush effectively, use circular motions with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Start at your gum line and work your way up to the chewing surfaces of your molars. Be sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the backs of your back teeth.
Mouthwash is another great option for people who want to keep their mouths clean but can’t or don’t want to use traditional floss. Mouthwash can help remove plaque and bacteria that cause bad breath. It’s important to choose a mouthwash that contains fluoride—this will help prevent cavities and tooth decay. To use mouthwash effectively, swish it around in your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out. Make sure you don’t swallow any mouthwash, as it can be harmful if ingested in large quantities.
There’s no denying that flossing is good for you—in fact, it’s the best thing you can do for your teeth next to brushing twice a day. However, we understand that not everyone enjoys flossing. If you’re looking for a flossing alternative, consider one of the options listed above. And if you never floss or rarely floss, we encourage you to schedule a visit with your dentist promptly. Gingivitis and gum disease are no joke, and they can lead to some serious health problems if left untreated. So take care of your teeth—they’ll thank you for it.
Triangle Dentistry, located in Raleigh, NC, provides a state-of-the-art facility that offers exceptional general dental and specialty services guided by empathy of a patient’s needs and desires. Services range from dental crowns to veneers and whitening procedures. For further information, questions, or to schedule an appointment, contact the office at (919) 847-6000