It’s no secret many people hate flossing with a passion. In fact, it’s so disliked in the United States that studies have been done to determine just how much we hate flossing. A national survey from the American Academy of Periodontology found that one-third of Americans would rather do unpleasant activities like cleaning house than simply floss their teeth. A surprising 14 percent of respondents said they would even rather clean a toilet than floss their teeth every day.
Not only do we seem to hate flossing, but we also lie about it – 27 percent of survey participants admitted to lying to their dentist about how often they floss. The problem with this, of course, is that we can tell when you’re lying, because not flossing leads to food particles getting stuck between teeth, which can even turn into gum disease if left long enough. It also leads to bad breath and yellower teeth, especially on the edges of the teeth where floss cleans.
There’s good news for floss haters, though! There are many alternative products on the market for people who hate flossing with a traditional piece of floss. But, not all of these alternatives are created equal.
This is probably one of the most popular flossing alternatives as it consists of a piece of floss pulled tight between two pieces of plastic with a handle. It works the same way as traditional floss but provides an easier way to hold it and access the more difficult-to-reach areas of the mouth.
Inter Proximal Brushes
These brushes consist of a thin-bristled head on a handle and are often easier to use than regular floss. They’re especially helpful for people with joint or mobility problems.
A relatively new addition to the arsenal of flossing tools on the market, this flossing alternative uses a mixture of water and air to clean between teeth.
Sometimes called water flossers, a water pick cleans between teeth using a steady stream of water.
Found on the countertops of your favorite restaurants, these tools are often used after a meal to remove food particles stuck between teeth. However, they should generally be avoided because they have the potential to easily damage gums. Instead, keep floss or your favorite floss alternative with you or in your car for after meals as a safer way to clean teeth.
The most important part of flossing is to do it at least once a day by whichever means is most comfortable for you. For more questions about flossing or to schedule an appointment, call Arcadia Dental Arts today at 602-957-9643.