2 Alternatives to Traditional Dental Floss

Floss is in the news—but not in the way we hoped. A recent AP article slammed string, claiming the evidence to support flossing to prevent gum disease is “weak and unreliable.” Many dental professionals partially agree: they think flossing is an affordable and easy way to remove plaque, a major cause of both tooth decay and gum disease, if done properly and regularly.

If you’re not a fan of traditional flossing, try one of the alternative methods.

If you’re not a fan of traditional string, try one of these floss-alternatives.

And the research backs their theory: A 2006 study recruited 808 kids, ages 4-13, to test at-home flossing versus professional flossing. Over the course of 18 months, kids who were flossed professionally five days a week had a 40% decrease in cavity risk. Those who flossed at-home or received intermittent professional flossing experienced no change. The moral of the story? When flossing is done correctly, oral health excels. That’s partly because brushing alone can still leave food particles and plaque in hard-to-reach areas, like the spaces between teeth and under the gum line.

Use traditional floss the right way, or try one of these dental floss alternatives:

  • Air Flosser – An air flosser shoots rapid bursts of air and water to remove bacteria biofilm between your teeth. Using only a teaspoon of liquid, an air flosser gets its plaque-fighting power from microdroplets. Pro tip: The liquid you put in it doesn’t have to be water! You can also fill the flosser with your favorite mouthwash.

Even in the absence of solid evidence to support flossing, if you follow this simple practice each day, along with basic good habits—like daily brushing, using a fluoride toothpaste, eating a healthy diet and not smoking, and of course, getting regular dental check-ups—you are making strides toward preventing gum disease and tooth decay.

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6 Responses to “2 Alternatives to Traditional Dental Floss”

  1. Zequek Estrada
    11/14/2016 at 12:19 pm #

    Sometimes I can’t help but think that flossing is the number one thing that most people struggle doing. It’s a bit time consuming compared to brushing. However, I like the idea of using an air or water flosser. It would be nice to know which one is more recommended by dentists.

    • Caroline Jacobson →
      11/15/2016 at 2:42 pm #

      Most dentists will say both air and water flossers alike are great alternatives. Both are great options and one isn’t better than the other, it depends what your preference is and which product will get you to floss more often! Thanks for reading Zequek!

  2. Howard Beach Dental
    01/18/2017 at 11:49 am #

    Flossing has huge benefits and can prevent many issues that could develop in the future (tooth loss, gingivitis and more). It should be part of everyones daily routine. Hopefully with these other options out there, more people start flossing. Great article!

    • Caroline Jacobson →
      01/18/2017 at 1:38 pm #

      We agree! Flossing is an important part of oral and overall health! Thanks for reading!

  3. John J
    08/01/2017 at 2:40 pm #

    It’s crazy how much whiter my teeth have gotten since I started flossing twice a day, I really feel like its very underrated

    • Caroline Jacobson →
      08/01/2017 at 2:54 pm #

      Glad to hear, John! Flossing is great for our smiles!

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