What Are the 9 Best Alternatives to Dental Floss?
Using original dental floss is not the only way to make sure you clean in between your teeth. There are now several, some more user-friendly, flossing alternatives to suit every individual’s personal needs.
There are many different kinds of floss for people. Some like the regular dental floss that has existed for a very long time, while others may want to try out an alternative. Whatever type of floss you prefer, it is always important that you take care of flossing your teeth and cleaning them thoroughly to avoid plaque build-up or teeth getting damaged.
However, many of us find regular flossing tedious, inconvenient, messy, or even gross. Trying to take floss that is tightly wrapped around your finger and thread it in and out of your teeth, while slobber is getting all over your fingers, is not an overall pleasant experience. Not to mention it causes you to neglect those hard-to-reach places in the back of your mouth, or behind a retainer. If any of this applies to you then an alternative flossing regimen might be just what you need!
So if you haven’t been flossing regularly or if you simply want to try something different, then here are the top 9 best flossing alternatives.
1. Mouth Wash
Mouth wash has come a long way in how it operates. Many of us simply use mouth wash to help with bad breath. However, mouth wash is designed to kill bacteria in your mouth that is produced by plaque buildup. Usually, mouth wash is used after brushing your teeth to eliminate bacteria that was left behind, this is the same as flossing.
Mouth wash is liquid so it is able to flow between your teeth and kill bacteria and help eliminate build-up that can’t be reached by a toothbrush. Mouth wash doesn’t have all the capabilities that flossing does, but it can be a huge help to your gum health. If you find yourself skipping the floss, using mouthwash may be a great addition and help to your oral care routine.
2. Interdental Brushes
If you find regular dental floss to be a bit inconvenient or you struggle with threading it into your mouth, then these interdental brushes are another alternative that may fit your needs. These brushes are often made of plastic and they have stiff or soft bristles on them that allow you to use the brush to effectively clean in between teeth or around braces. You can find many different kinds of brushes, including angled ones or wide ones with extra soft bristles. Interdental brushes have bristles that allow maximum clean with minimum irritation. They are extremely cost-effective as well.
3. Non-Disposable Floss Picks
Floss picks are y-shaped tools with floss in between them that have a handle. The handle is great because it gives you the ability to reach in the back of your mouth and floss those hard-to-reach places.
Floss picks can be disposable or non-disposable. The ones that you don’t dispose of are usually better quality and more durable than the disposable ones. You usually either thread new pieces of floss through the Y-shaped area, or you buy replacement heads. However, it can be worth it to buy these floss picks, because the non-disposable kind usually has longer handles which gives you better access to your whole mouth.
4. Disposable Floss Picks
Disposable floss picks are similar to nondisposable floss picks, but the hand is usually much smaller and it is disposable. These are perfect for when you are traveling or need to go somewhere.
You can stick them in your purse or bag and throw them away when you are done. This means you do not have to keep track of anything extra. They are cost-effective and easy to use. You just use the handle to angle to floss in between your teeth. Then apply pressure and it will loosen and remove and food particles. This option is convenient and efficient.
5. Floss Threaders
The dentists at The Dental Studio of South Tulsa recommend this amazing product for people who wear crowns on their teeth because they are made with a tip that easily fits in between the bridge of your teeth and reaches deep to remove plaque stuck on the gum line. It can also be used to free pieces of food between your teeth when have to wear braces.
Alternatively, using traditional floss alone to clean those hard-to-reach spots is nearly impossible. The tip is flexible and the threaders come in a variety of colors as well as flavors. I used floss threaders myself when I had braces. It is the smoothest on your gums, and the thread itself is a flossing agent along with the floss you use to thread through it.
Toothpicks are certainly is a convenient way to floss because they can easily be carried on your person so you can take them with you wherever you go. They are made of stainless steel which ensures they will not rust. This is extremely beneficial because it means they are long-lasting and less waste. The picks come with a special tip that can clean difficult areas that are hard to reach without any problems. These are most commonly used in dentist offices, but you can find them to purchase personally. They come in little containers that make them easily portable.
7. Electric Flossers
Although this type of floss is costly, it features changeable tips that have different flossing strings for you to use depending on the cleaning job you need to do. It reaches deep between teeth and gums and helps remove food particles as well as plaque trapped within the teeth. There are various types of electric flossers out there, and they also come with a variety of accessories like the holder, water spray, and charger.
A popular electric flosser type is water flossing. Water flossing is one of the simplest dental floss alternatives out there it usually comes with a long neck that allows you to reach your back teeth easily. Many brands come with two speeds, including low and high speed, allowing you to adjust the strength of the spray. It also has a special tip that is designed to clean your teeth and gums thoroughly, thereby removing plaque build-up and leaving you with cleaner, whiter teeth.
This type of floss is really good for people who have braces, teeth crowns, and bridges because it features a ‘water pic tip’ that can easily glide along the teeth to remove food particles without damaging teeth or gum tissue. It is also an excellent choice because it helps you remove plaque from teeth and food trapped between teeth. It can reach teeth that regular floss cannot, and it also ensures your teeth are thoroughly clean and fresh. This alternative can really help you achieve cleaner teeth as well as fresh breath in your mouth for people who have braces or an overbite because these floss options are designed to fit into the gaps.
8. Dental Tape
Dental tape is the most similar alternative to dental floss. Like dental floss, you tear a piece off of the strand and wrap it around your fingers to floss in and out of the gaps of your teeth. However, dental tape is thicker than floss, so it allows more surface area to be cleaned. This can mean fewer passes through each tooth gap. It is also bigger and easier to work with so it is great for kids to use! A lot of dental tapes is satin textured so it is very durable and doesn’t tear as easily in between teeth.
9. Electric Toothbrush
Electric toothbrushes are definitely worth investing in. If you find that you tend to forget to floss, or maybe don’t floss as efficiently as you should, an electric toothbrush can make a major difference in your teeth and gum health. Many electric toothbrushes have bristles that rotate around your teeth as the toothbrush motor is pulsing to really get in between teeth and brush out all that plaque and tartar build-up that can accumulate around your teeth.
An electric toothbrush can be a pricey tool, but definitely worth it. Especially if you are inconsistent with flossing, this tool will help ensure plaque build-up doesn’t occur, even on those days, you forget to floss. It is not a complete replacement for flossing, but it is a step in the right direction.
Whether you are flossing on the go or have difficulties flossing due to braces, retainers, or dental work, alternative flossing may be for you! There are plenty of options available, and many are very affordable. So, if you are looking to purchase a dental floss alternative, these products will surely make your teeth cleaning routine an enjoyable one!