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Traditional Floss vs. Floss Picks

July2FlossFlossing isn’t particularly fun or easy, but it’s necessary for a healthy mouth. At my dental office in Mill Creek, we encourage our patients to floss at least once a day, everyday. But what should you use? Is traditional floss better than a floss pick? Does one clean better than the other?

Traditional Floss

Traditional floss has been tested and proven to help remove food particles, bacteria, and plaque in between teeth, so we already know that it’s effective. But is it the best choice? The short answer, is yes. And no. Let us explain.

Many times, flossing depends on the individual. Traditional floss can be more difficult to control, especially if someone has limited use of their hands or fingers. It can also be a bit more complicated to reach all the way into the back to clean the molars with traditional floss.

Floss Picks

Floss picks are typically either Y or F shaped pieces of plastic with a small piece of floss threaded through the opening. One of main reasons to choose floss picks over traditional floss is their ease of use. It’s easier to reach the back of the mouth with floss picks and they can be more comfortable. But again, it comes down to personal situations and what works best for you.

Sometimes, people whose teeth are tighter together have difficulty wedging a floss pick in between teeth. In this situation, traditional floss is recommended. Additionally, if using a floss pick, you may need more than one each time you floss due to the small size of the actual piece of floss.

When it comes to effectiveness, there are mixed opinions on whether traditional floss and floss picks are equally efficient. Some studies show that both clean between your teeth really well. Other research suggests floss picks are less effective since their shape can limit their ability to reach below the gum line and all the way around each tooth.

No matter which form of floss you choose, make sure you’re doing it. Flossing can help prevent gum disease and keep your mouth healthy. While proper flossing and brushing go a long way in getting and keeping a healthy mouth, don’t neglect regular appointments at  my Mill Creek dental office. They’re just as important to your smile.

Serving patients from Mill Creek, Bothell, and Everett.

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