Which dental floss pick is best?
Ask any dentist and they’ll tell you that flossing is just as vital to the health of your teeth as brushing, but for some reason, many people still skip this step. If you haven’t been flossing because you find string floss awkward and unwieldy to use, then dental floss picks may be your path to better oral health.
Dental floss picks make it easier to slip the string between your teeth without having to cram your fingers into your mouth. They also incorporate a pick for dislodging large bits of food after eating or before starting the flossing process. Some picks, such as Oral-B Complete Glide Dental Floss Picks Plus Scope Outlast, even have a minty flavor to leave your breath smelling great and your mouth feeling fresh.
What to know before you buy a dental floss pick
Dental floss pick vs. string dental floss
Dental floss can be found in both pick options and regular string floss, each of which has some pros and cons. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of dental floss picks is their ease of use. Unlike with string floss, you don’t need to fumble around trying to wrap picks around your fingers, nor do you have to cram some of your fingers into your mouth to loop the string around your teeth. Another advantage to dental picks is the inclusion of said pick, which can be used to dislodge large bits of food stuck between the teeth or along the gumline.
Regular string floss is advantageous when it comes to removing bacteria. Because dental picks have a very short piece of string, you risk simply redistributing bacteria from one tooth to another. With string floss, you can use a new section of the string for each tooth. Some people may also find string floss to be easier to get between the molars far in the back of the mouth. There’s also the environmental concern of single-use picks that are made of plastic, though this can be mitigated by purchasing picks made from recycled materials.
Dental floss vs. water flossers
Just like with string floss, water flossers offer some benefits and drawbacks over dental floss picks. Water flossers are easy to use once you’re experienced with them, but they have a bit of a learning curve. You should expect the first few times using one to be messy and potentially not very effective.
Water flossers can get into very tight crevices between teeth that dental floss picks may get hung up on, and they’re also better for people who have braces. Additionally, water flossers are more eco-friendly than single-use plastic dental floss picks.
One of the most notable downsides of water flossers is their high upfront cost when compared with dental floss picks. Depending on the model, they may also be less effective at removing plaque from the surface of teeth than string floss.
What to look for in a quality dental floss pick
If you have closely spaced teeth and you notice that dental floss tends to get hung up when slipping between them, consider purchasing picks made with glide string. This string is flatter than traditional floss to more easily slip between teeth and under the gumline.
Some dental floss picks feature a twin-line design. As the name implies, these feature two strings rather than one, which makes them more effective at removing plaque and bacteria. It should be noted that it can make them more likely to get hung up during use.
A common problem with dental floss is that it gets shredded when rubbing against rough parts of teeth. If you find this happens often when flossing, it may be worth it to purchase dental floss picks labeled as shred-resistant.
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay and protects teeth against cavities. It also strengthens the enamel and makes them more resistant to acid. Fluoride-infused dental floss picks may help to improve the health of your teeth and make them more resistant to damage.
Mint-flavored dental floss picks can make your breath smell better and leave your mouth feeling fresher and cleaner.
The pick on dental floss picks can be very sharp. While this is useful when trying to remove bits of food between your teeth, it can be annoying when using the floss end. To reduce the risk of poking yourself when flossing or when reaching into the bag to grab a pick, some options are designed with fold-out picks.
Eco-conscious individuals can find dental floss picks made with all or partially recycled materials.
How much can you expect to spend on a dental floss pick
Dental floss picks range in price depending on brand, amount per package and other features. Generally, they’re inexpensive and cost $5-$20.
Dental floss pick FAQ
Is it better to floss before or after brushing?
A. Dentists recommend flossing before brushing your teeth to dislodge food, plaque and bacteria. Then, when you brush, all of these dislodged particles are removed from your mouth.
Should you floss under your gums?
A. Bacteria, food and plaque often build up under the gumline. To be as effective as possible, it’s important to floss not only between the teeth but just under the gumline, too.
What’s the best dental floss pick to buy?
Top dental floss pick
What you need to know: Combining a long-lasting mint flavor with a smooth easy-glide string, these dental floss picks are comfortable to use and leave your mouth feeling fresh.
What you’ll love: The shred-resistant string isn’t prone to snapping like with low-quality options. Also, it’s thin enough that you shouldn’t have any trouble slipping it between closely spaced teeth.
What you should consider: The picks bend easily, which can be problematic for some.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top dental floss pick for the money
What you need to know: Thanks to a twin-line design, these picks are more efficient at removing plaque and bits of food than many others.
What you’ll love: They’re made with TufFloss, which doesn’t stretch and rarely snaps. The picks are surprisingly affordable.
What you should consider: The string is prone to catching on rough parts of teeth, and that, combined with the dual-string design, can lead to snagging.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you find standard in-line dental floss picks awkward to use, you may find these picks, which have a string that runs perpendicular to the handle, a better choice.
What you’ll love: They have a multi-strand construction to resist breaking, and the pick features flexible bristles to scrub teeth as it removes bits of food.
What you should consider: The string is a bit thick and can get hung up when slipping between teeth.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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