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People who have difficulty handling dental floss may prefer to use another kind of interdental cleaner. These aids include special brushes, picks or sticks. If you use interdental cleaners, ask your dentist about how to use them properly, to avoid injuring your gums.
Cleaning between the teeth once a day with floss or interdental cleaners removes plaque from between the teeth, areas where the toothbrush can't reach. It is essential in preventing periodontal (gum) disease.
Alternatives to dental floss are:
- Dental pick
- Water irrigation
- Interdental brushes
- Power Flossers (mechanical flossers)
There are alternatives to floss; however, depending on the amount of space between your teeth floss may be the best answer.
Other interproximal cleaning devices include:
- the Proxabrush which is a small nylon brush attached to a plastic handle for cleaning between teeth with larger spaces between them
- Soft Picks-plastic disposable brushes for cleaning between teeth with smaller interproximal spaces
- rubber tips.
There are other devices and methods but it is best to consult with your dentist who can advise you on the best method for you.
When it comes to taking care of your teeth, flossing is critically important. Most dentists recommend flossing at least once a day, and more frequently if you find that food is trapped in between your teeth. For people who cannot use floss due to large gaps between the teeth, braces, or other challenges, an interdental cleaner may be a good alternative. These devices, which look like tiny toothpicks or brushes, can work better than floss for people with missing teeth and those who have had gum surgery.
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.