Dental Tips Blog


Alternatives to Flossing

Posted in Gum Disease

Let’s face it: nobody likes flossing. Well, almost nobody. Most dental patients find flossing tedious, cumbersome and if not done regularly, uncomfortable. Unfortunately even meticulous toothbrushing does not clean between the teeth or under the gums in areas that often develop gum disease. If left alone, plaque can destroy the bone structure and gum connection in these areas, resulting in periodontal disease and tooth loss. For some people just the dexterity needed for flossing is impossible.

There are various alternatives to and methods of flossing that can help rid these areas of bacterial plaque.

Waterpik / Water flossers

Water flossing is the most efficient method of plaque removal in lieu of flossing. Water flossers can remove plaque biofilm deep between the teeth and gums and are extremely easy to use.

Floss Picks

Floss picks can be easier to handle and use, especially on younger dental patients. Straight floss picks are best used on children, while “Y” shaped floss picks work best for adults as they allow you to clean between the back teeth easier.

Rubber Tip Stimulators

Orange in appearance, rubber tip stimulators are often found on the opposite end of certain toothbrushes. The stimulator is useful for individuals with dental bridges, gum recession or bone loss to help stimulate blood flow to the area through superficial stimulation.


Men tend to be big fans of toothpicks. While toothpicks do not clean under the gums between the teeth, they are useful for removing debris between the teeth. Some types of toothpicks also have small bristles on the end, functioning as a mini-brush for extra plaque removal.


This Christmas tree shaped brush with the appearance of a pipe cleaner on the end of a long handle can be useful for cleaning areas between orthodontic brackets, under dental bridges or between teeth with large spaces.

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