One thing we often forget is how many options there are to clean between your teeth, where your toothbrush cannot reach. This is a place where bacteria can thrive and cause damage to the teeth and gums if left undisturbed. In a busy world of home life, school and/or work life and social life including sports and entertainment, it can be easy to skip the “extra” yet necessary step of flossing.
Being an active mom of 3 girls while working full time and stressing the importance of getting every thing clean between the teeth keeps me more than busy to say the least. One thing I am thankful for is the development of multiple flossing or interdental cleaning products. For my soon to be teen that doesn’t like mint, we now have strawberry, coconut and other mild flavors of floss. For the toddler who has a growing mouth and small opening there is floss on a handle/floss piks. No need to wrap the string around my fingers and try to fit in her tiny mouth while trying not to be bitten. For the teen who is constantly grooming on the go, a water pik to use in the shower so that a good portion of her mess gets rinsed down the drain. And the option of putting a little mouth rinse in it is a nice way to achieve the two for one benefit of removing debris between the teeth while getting an antiseptic effect to reduce the bacteria count overall.
This tool is also a nice option for patients with dexterity issues. There are so many different challenges for patients depending on their health and abilities that we see even more options including proxy brushes and soft piks which look like small pipe cleaners. They’re handy for travel and to reach spots under bridges or braces that may not otherwise be cleaned and for the larger spaces between teeth where the gums may have receded. Some of these tools come with longer handles, like on a toothbrush, giving more coverage for those back teeth that can be tricky to reach. With all these options readily available at most stores, the amount of excuses not to take care of the places your brush misses are limited. Finding what works best for you and incorporating it into your routine can make dental care easy and limit the amount of trips to the dental office in the future.