Advertisement

Is using a toothpick good or bad for my teeth?

Using a toothpick is not an ideal way to remove something stuck between your teeth. Toothpicks can cause abrasion and damage to your teeth at the base, where they meet the gums. This can lead to gum disease and other dental problems.

Instead of a toothpick, use dental floss. If you don't have any dental floss available, try using an interdental cleaner. Interdental cleaners, which you can buy at any drugstore, resemble a three-sided toothpick but are designed to fit better into the spaces between your teeth. Another alternative is a tiny brush (proxy brush) that fits between your teeth. Toothpicks, interdental cleaners, and proxy brushes work best for people who have large spaces between their teeth.
The American Dental Association recommends cleaning between the teeth at least once a day using an interdental cleaner such as floss. Because a toothpick is not considered an interdental cleaner, it is not recommended for cleaning teeth.

Continue Learning about Oral Health

Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth
Best and Worst Foods for Your TeethBest and Worst Foods for Your TeethBest and Worst Foods for Your TeethBest and Worst Foods for Your Teeth
Eat your way to a healthy smile with these smart diet tips. You brush twice a day, you floss daily (okay, almost daily), you see your dentist twice a ...
Start Slideshow
7 Bad Habits That Wreck Your Teeth
7 Bad Habits That Wreck Your Teeth7 Bad Habits That Wreck Your Teeth7 Bad Habits That Wreck Your Teeth7 Bad Habits That Wreck Your Teeth
From sipping sugary sodas to chewing on pen caps, some common habits are terrible for your teeth. Want a healthy, white smile? Things you may be doing...
Start Slideshow
7 Worst Foods for Tooth Enamel Loss
7 Worst Foods for Tooth Enamel Loss7 Worst Foods for Tooth Enamel Loss7 Worst Foods for Tooth Enamel Loss7 Worst Foods for Tooth Enamel Loss
Find out the worst foods for tooth enamel loss and acid erosion in teeth ok Guess what? Sugar isn't the biggest culprit when it comes to a fizzy drink...
Start Slideshow
8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Avoid the Dentist
8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Avoid the Dentist8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Avoid the Dentist8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Avoid the Dentist8 Reasons You Shouldn’t Avoid the Dentist
Modern dental care is all about prevention and comfort. We all know somebody who looks forward to going to the dentist. You know, the kind of person w...
Start Slideshow

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.