Dental Tips Blog

Jul
3

Are Toothpicks OK to Use?

Posted in Gum Disease

You’ve most likely been nagged by your dental hygienist to floss your teeth every single day; but what if you’re not able to? Is cleaning in between our teeth with anything better than not cleaning those areas at all?

Simply put, yes. You do want to clean between your teeth every day with at least some type of oral care device. Some are obviously better than others, be it that they’re more efficient or gentler on your delicate gum tissues. Toothpicks are not the best at removing plaque, especially deep between areas that develop decay or periodontal disease (gum disease), but they are efficient in removing food debris in areas with large spaces or gaps. If left alone, those areas of food accumulation could make you highly susceptible to develop severe gum infections.

Other alternatives to traditional flossing can be more effective than toothpicks though. For instance, water flossers are very easy to use and are thought to be even better than flossing. The steady stream of water gently rinses plaque and food from between the teeth or under the gums, thereby cleaning areas that otherwise never would be reached, even by the best flosser.

Angled floss picks (as opposed to the straight ones with a hook on the end) are easier to get between the teeth, cleaning between molars and other areas that it may be impossible to reach with your fingers. Many of these floss picks also have a mini-tufted toothpick on the end to remove larger debris from areas of your choosing.

The important thing is to remember that brushing cannot under any circumstances clean between your teeth. It’s up to you to make sure those areas stay as clean as possible, preventing decay, gum disease and tooth loss.

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….