Due to the difficult technique and time required to floss, People usually ask what can I use instead of floss? Other interdental cleaners, including string floss, are safe and effective alternatives to string floss.
Flossing your teeth is one of the few things individuals can do to help prevent serious, long-term oral health problems, along with brushing, consuming fluoridated water, washing with mouthwash, eating healthy, and seeing the dentist on a regular basis.
What to do if I don’t have floss?
It’s better to do something than nothing if you can constantly dislodge plaque between your teeth and stimulate your gums.
If you’re afraid of floss, specific alternatives have been demonstrated in clinical or lab research submitted to the A.D.A. to “demonstrate safety and effectiveness.
Some persons cannot (or refuse to) utilize standard string floss. Maybe it’s difficult to grasp, their teeth are too close together, or there are so many obstacles to overcome that the effort doesn’t seem worth it.
So, what can be used instead of floss? Thankfully, there are some tried-and-true flossing options available that work well.
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7 Safe alternative tools to floss
Here are some types of tools to try, some of these tools work better than the traditional way of flossing.
1. Oral irrigators are a great tool for flossing
To eliminate plaque, these electronic devices discharge a thin flow of water (water flossers) or a thin flow of air interrupted by bursts of tiny water droplets (air flossers) between teeth. Wirecutter recommends the Waterpik Aquarius.
Waterpik is one of the best flossers out there. They have various models you can choose from. Though the prices ($79 – $169) are quite high, you will get value for your money.
If you are low on a budget, you can buy the brands listed below. They are marvelous designs and do a great job as well
- Turewell water flossing irrigator
- Endless Ibilities flossing irrigator
- Nicwell 4 mode dental flossing irrigator
A 2019 Cochrane Review of 35 randomized controlled studies discovered that while oral irrigation has been demonstrated to lessen gingivitis symptoms (bleeding gums) in the short term, there is no evidence that it reduces total plaque.
2. Interdental brushes
These tiny, rough interdental brushes designed to clean between teeth may be simpler to handle and manage than floss. In the short term, such instruments can reduce gingivitis symptoms and plaque, according to the Cochrane Analysis. At the same time,
“A 2015 review of over 400 research published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology revealed “moderate” evidence that interdental brushes minimize plaque and gingivitis symptoms.”
According to the A.D.A (Mouth healthy), individuals with closely spaced teeth may have difficulty using them, and people with electronic implants should prevent interdental brushes with exposed metal wires.
Some toothpicks (often made of wood, rubber, or plastic) may be easier to grip than a strand of floss. Toothpicks from your local restaurant are unlikely to be A.D.A. approved, but you may get wooden “plaque removers” bearing the A.D.A. Seal of Acceptance.
According to the Cochrane Review, hardwood “cleaning sticks” can help decrease gingivitis but not plaque, and synthetic “cleaning sticks” can significantly minimize plaque but not gingivitis discomfort.
4. Floss picks
A floss pick is a disposable instrument that consists of a toothpick on one end, and a length of floss kept taut on the other. When it comes to eliminating plaque, “A 2007 research published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry discovered that floss picks are “at least as good as” regular dental floss.”
5. Tape floss
The A.D.A. believes that your flossing technique and regularity are more significant than the material of your floss – nylon, plastic, waxed, or unwaxed. Some people prefer broad, flat, tape-style floss (rather than a strand of fibers braided together) because it is more pleasant and simpler to glide between closely spaced teeth.
According to the A.D.A., several things cannot be substituted with flossing. Charcoal, for example, erodes tooth enamel, and tongue scrapers are ineffective.
According to the British Dental Journal, oil pulling does not enhance dental health, and dangerous side effects such as upset stomach have been documented.
6. Pre-Threaded Floss:
For a few people, the most challenging part of flossing is getting the floss into their mouth and sliding it between their teeth.
Fortunately, a pre-threaded flosser is a simple solution to this problem.
These are available in packets and can be used with one hand. Use pre-threaded floss to reach deeper into your mouth and, like regular floss, discard it after each use.
Soft-Picks, a dentistry community favorite, is a cross between an interdental brush and a dental pick. Soft-Picks are tiny; disposable plastic picks with a soft head and flexible bristles that fit gently between teeth while causing minimum gum tissue injury.
Can we use thread instead of floss?
Sewing thread is not sterile and should not be used in the mouth.
Sewing thread can break, become lodged between teeth, and be rough on the gums. Floss cleans trapped food particles by gliding alongside the teeth and between the teeth and gums. Clean floss should be used on a regular basis and discarded after usage. Using used floss is ineffective and might reintroduce bacteria into your mouth.
Why Does Flossing Matter?
You wouldn’t wash only half your face or scrape filth off half a dirty dish, yet that’s precisely what you are doing to your teeth when you don’t floss.
Brushing can only clean plaque and debris from your teeth’s exposed surfaces.
Flossing is essential for scraping germs from between your teeth. Plaque loves to collect in those dark crevices, and therefore only flossing can reach into those tiny places and remove plaque, germs, sugar, and acids.
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Is it necessary to floss if you use an electric toothbrush?
Regardless of the type of toothbrush you use or how effective your brushing technique is, it will never be able to substitute flossing. “According to a 2014 Cochrane Review, using the best Electric toothbrushes is more efficient than manual brushes to eliminate plaque and gingivitis symptoms.”
However, even the most excellent toothbrushes can only clean the top, front, and rear surfaces of the teeth, and you’re leaving the side surfaces of your teeth exposed unless you use an interdental cleaning.
“Flossing in between our teeth is one of the most effective ways to avoid cavities, bleeding, gum disease, and infection,” Dr. Sahota stated.
Floss daily, no matter how you do it!
It doesn’t matter if you use floss or a floss substitute or if your toothbrush is blue, red, or purple. Clean plaque between your teeth regularly to avoid difficulties, including cavities, gum irritation, and gingivitis.