Have you been avoiding flossing because it is something that you don't like doing? Wrapping dental floss around your finger may just be an annoyance that causes you to skip this important part of your oral health. Here are some alternative methods you can use instead of traditional dental floss.
An interdental brush is often used when wearing braces, but it can be used for regular flossing as well. It is a brush that has a very thin wire with bristles sticking out from it. It allows you to stick it between your teeth and use a sawing motion to scrub away the plaque. It is washable, so you can use it many times before it loses its effectiveness and needs to be thrown out.
While a toothpick is not going to completely replace flossing, it can get rid of plaque between meals when you are not at home. You can use a toothpick to remove plaque that is between the teeth and hiding in pockets beneath the gums. Avoid the temptation to just chew on those toothpicks found at restaurants3 and actually use them for their intended purpose.
Consider purchasing a water irrigator, often referred to as a water flosser. These devices use a powerful jet of water to force out debris and plaque that has collected between the teeth. The sensation also increases blood flow to the area, which helps your gums fight off diseases.
Water flossers allow you to control the flow of water, so you can adjust it if it is too powerful and causing you pain. You can also try varying the distance between the flosser and your gums to see if that improves how it feels.
Keep an eye out at your local drug store for floss picks as an alternative to traditional dental floss. These are sold in packs with many disposable floss picks, where the floss is pre-strung on a plastic pick that can be thrown away when you are done. It makes it easier to apply pressure to the floss to get it between your teeth, all without hurting your fingers. You can even apply pressure on the pick with your teeth to get the floss between teeth that are very tight.
If you need more ideas about non-traditional flossing methods, reach out to your local dental office. They'll let you know what they recommend for you to do.