Floss Alternatives for the Anti-Flosser

You just can’t seem to get the whole string-flossing thing because your hands are too big, you don’t have the time or you just don’t like doing it. Your dentist and hygienist keeps telling you that your gums need more attention or that you aren’t doing a great job of plaque removal in between your teeth.  Whatever the reason, you have got to find a way to keep those germs from causing infection and we have some pretty cool ways to go about it.

Get a Handle On It

Your hygienist says, “Two fingers are supposed to guide.  You need to wrap the floss around one side and then carefully move to a clean piece as you go. Don’t forget to use a sweeping motion for maximum effectiveness.” Sometimes even listening to the directions stresses a person out. Simply adding a handle to the floss saves quite a bit of frustration. Proxabrushes, Gumchucks, the Reach Access Flosser and other floss helpers are designed to make the process easy. These all work well because they let one hand do the work of two.

Pick Your Way Through It

This old school technique may seem a little “on the farm”, but toothpicks are really good at sweeping away food and soft plaque while massaging the gums.  You’re better off choosing rounded picks that won’t splinter or brands like Stimudent that are made for your teeth.  There are also quite a few plastic and rubber tipped products that promote good circulations and won’t cause injury if used aggressively.

Go for Power

Electric toothbrushes, battery operated flosses, such as the Hummingbird, Sonicare’s “Air Flosser” and even waterpiks can be used in conjunction with good brushing to blast out germs and food hiding under the gum line.  They do cost a little more but your mouth will appreciate the investment.

No matter what tool you use to clean in between, just remember that brushing alone will only remove about half of the plaque in your mouth.  The bacteria that live under the gums are usually more harmful so it’s important to keep their numbers limited.  Germs tend to enter the bloodstream from the mouth, so a great interdental habit will also help keep the rest of your body in tip-top shape too.