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Dental Sticks vs Dental Floss

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shutterstock_95560018For the average working parent, a day may look like this:

  • Ensure everyone’s dressed
  • Make lunches
  • School drop off
  • 6 hours in the office (based on the national average)
  • School pickup
  • Homework
  • Housework
  • Sports lessons
  • Swimming lessons
  • Washing
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Bedtime.

It can make you exhausted just thinking about it.

Even for those without kids, the days aren’t much easier. Most people need to:

  • Work
  • Cook
  • Clean
  • Pay bills, etc.

So no matter what your personal circumstances are, the odds are that you’re busy.

So how exactly do you find the time to floss?

Dentists strongly recommend flossing on a daily basis, and if you haven’t been following their advice then be prepared for a reprimanding next time you visit your dentist. Each tooth has five surfaces that generate bacteria and plaque, and without flossing two of those surfaces go uncleaned. Floss is the only way to reach every surface of your teeth, ensuring your smile stays bright and healthy.

Another (often unrecognised) reason for flossing is that flossing helps beat the signs of ageing by preserving your teeth’s supporting bones. If you don’t floss, you carry a significantly higher risk of developing gum disease which can attack not just gums and teeth but bones as well.

Flossing vs dental sticks

shutterstock_129335495Many people question whether they can use dental sticks in placement of regular floss to save time. The answer is yes, if you must.

Both dental floss and floss sticks present their benefits.

The pros of floss sticks include:

  • Ease of use means faster flossing.
  • Simple design to make flossing easier for those with dexterity issues.
  • Ability to engage the gingival tissues to disrupt bacteria and plaque formation under the gums.
  • Slim design to fit with the natural triangular shape of the interdental space.
  • Generally slides comfortably between teeth.
  • Can be impregnated with fluoride to further prevent tartar buildup.

The pros of regular flossing include:

  • Slimmer design to freely flow between teeth, no matter how ‘tight’ teeth are.
  • Reduced risk of floss getting ‘stuck’.
  • Variety of different flavours.
  • The only way to effectively reach the interproximal papilla area of your gums.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Can be kept in the car and used when stuck in a traffic jam, so ease of convenience.
  • Removes stains.
  • Protects supporting bone.
  • Keeps breath fresh.

shutterstock_96232265As a general rule, nothing cleans teeth better than good ol’ fashion dental floss. You may be met with dozens of flossing tools, devices and products in the supermarket, but in the case of flossing simplicity is the key.

But any flossing is good flossing, regardless of the product you choose. Be it in regular form or stick form, flossing is flossing. And taking this extra step in your teeth-cleaning routine will clean your teeth much better than just a regular toothbrush. So for this reason, yes you can use floss sticks if it will make your life easier. While they may not be as efficient as regular floss, if they keep you interested in flossing then they’ll pass the test of any dental practitioner.

Bottom line is, if you have little hands and great dexterity, opt for dental floss. This will give your teeth and gums the deepest clean. If your hands are bigger and you find regular flossing awkward and challenging, dental sticks could be the easier option. Just find what’s right for you, and ensure your flossing is done every day, preferably morning and night.

If you’re still unsure, talk to your family dentist. Your dentist knows your teeth better than anyone, and can help you find the right flossing product as well as help you develop a good teeth-cleaning routine.

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