Let’s face it – you know you should be flossing your teeth. You don’t need us to remind you just how important it is, as part of a solid everyday oral hygiene regime. Still, evidence would seem to suggest that it’s the kind of information that often falls on deaf ears. In fact, research has shown that somewhere in the region of half of all adults don’t floss nearly as much as they should.
What’s more, a surprising proportion has never flossed and don’t seem to have any intention of doing so, either!
But that’s not what we intend to focus on today. Instead, we’re reaching out to those who dotake an active interest in flossing their teeth and would like to get the job done properly. These days, the market is overloaded with thousands of weird and wonderful products – all of which claim to be perfectly capable of cleaning those hard-to-reach places. But just as is the case with all dental health and hygiene products, there are advantages and disadvantages in all instances.
So what we’ll be taking a look at today is standard dental floss, those disposable floss ‘picks’ that have become so popular and dentist recommended water flossers. The idea is that by the time you reach the end of the article, you should have a better idea as to which is for you.
Or at least, what you stand to gain from whichever one you choose.
So rather than being completely baffled and bewildered next time you head out to pick up your everyday dental hygiene products, simply bear in mind the following advantages and disadvantages:
1. Standard Dental Floss
First of all, the answer is yes – standard dental floss comes in thousands of different shapes, sizes and specifications. Nevertheless, it always follows the same basic principle – a string of some kind of material you thread between your teeth to get the job done. This is the oldest and remains the most popular type of dental floss in the world, which is hardly surprising given its primary advantages.
For example, the first advantage of sticking with traditional dental floss is its affordability. You don’t have to invest in the most expensive type just for the sake of it, as anything decent from a brand you can trust will get the job done. In addition, standard dental floss is great for wrapping around the teeth and carrying out a superior all-round clean. Easy to use and potentially long lasting, standard dental floss is also great for carrying around wherever you go.
On the downside, there will always be those who find standard dental floss something of a pain to get to grips with. Plus, it can be somewhat difficult to use if you do not have a mirror at your disposal at the time. Most of those who avoid using dental floss site the fact that it is inconvenient as their primary reason for doing so.
2. Disposable Floss Picks
Next up, we have those convenient little disposable dental floss picks, usually sold in packs of 20, 50 or 100+. A small plastic tool features a small strip of dental floss at one end, along with a sharp pick at the other and often a tongue scraper on top.
The primary advantage of these kinds of picks is that they are just about the easiest type of floss to use. They are designed to be used one handed and can be used without a mirror being required. They are therefore great for flossing on the go, when it might be difficult or impossible to use conventional floss or a water flosser. In addition, the toothpick can be great for getting rid of debris from between the teeth while the benefit of a tongue scraper is obvious.
On the downside, it can be borderline impossible to use these kinds of picks to floss the teeth thoroughly right at the back of the mouth. Which in turn means that you may find yourself missing key areas. As such, most of those who support the use of these picks use them in conjunction with standard dental floss as a convenient alternative.
3. Water Flossers
Last but not least, you’ve probably heard quite a lot about water flossers as of late. If your dentist hasn’t recommended them personally, there’s a good chance they will do in the near future. Which is hardly surprising, given the way in which a high-quality water flosserbrings to the table a unique array of benefits.
First and foremost, these devices have been proven as able to clean the mouth from front to back and top to bottom better than just about any alternative flossing tool. Water flossers are designed to not only provide outstanding cleaning, but to make it as easy as possible to get to the hardest areas of the mouth to reach. In addition, a water flosser can be incredibly easy to use with one hand, while at the same time cutting down the time it takes to floss to as little as 30-60 seconds. And for those who enjoy playing with gadgets, the appeal of an electronic water flosser is relatively obvious!
On the downside, many are put off by the fact that water flossers obviously cost more than standard floss to purchase in the first place. But at the same time, it’s worth remembering that they are designed to continue delivering the goods for many years. Though perfectly suitable for travel purposes – most devices are rechargeable – it isn’t possible to use a water flosser when out and about in a public place. Or for that matter, anywhere you don’t have access to a suitable place to spit. Other than this however, water flossers take everyday flossing to the next level in every way.
And there you have it – a brief summary of the pros and cons of the most popular flossing tools on the market!