Floss vs. Toothpicks

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October 8th, 2019

Are toothpicks a good alternative to floss?

We have all been there—out to eat with friends, grilling at a neighbor’s barbeque, or worst of all, on a date— when a piece of food gets stuck in our teeth! It can be embarrassing and extremely uncomfortable. Depending where you are when this happens, the chances of having easy access to dental floss may be low. Luckily, there are toothpicks to help in these exact circumstances.

Still, most dentists don’t recommend using toothpicks except as a last resort. Why? Because toothpicks are not gentle enough to be used on your gums. When not used carefully, toothpicks can pierce or get lodged in your gum tissue, sometimes resulting in damage or infection.

Of course, the best method to remove buildup between your teeth is flossing. If you're looking for a quick toothpick alternative, floss picks or soft picks (made of rubber) are safer for gums, and they can be just as portable and convenient.

Dental floss is made to clean between your teeth. While you still need to be gentle and careful, it's safe to use between your teeth, around any dental work and along your gum line. It cleans out food and helps prevent plaque and bacteria from building up. You should floss every day to keep your smile healthy. If you have trouble using traditional floss, speak with your dentist to find a method that’s right for you.

Happy flossing!

This information in this post is for general educational purposes only and does not warrant or represent any information as related to health as specifically appropriate for you. It is not intended to be medical advice or replace the relationship that you have with your health care providers. You should always seek medical advice on any diagnosis or treatment from a qualified health care provider. The information is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied.