Flossing with floss picks: Helpful or waste of time?
How effective is flossing with floss picks?
If you find using traditional string floss a complete blunder .. you are not alone. In fact, most people find the act of using string floss so difficult that they completely skip flossing, unaware of how dangerous that could be me. You simply cannot do without flossing, so if you find the string a handful, why not explore other options? One of these, and possibly the easiest and most convenient, is flossing with floss picks.
Floss picks are a small piece of plastic, with a small handle and a bridge that holds a small piece of string floss between its beaks. So in other words, you are using traditional string floss, but with a much simpler way of handling.
So let’s get to the point: Is flossing with floss picks effective?
Well, considering you are using traditional string floss held by a plastic frame, the answer is definitely: YES.
No one could argue the benefit and efficiency of string floss, as well as its convenience and availability, but not everyone find it easy to use, and so came floss picks to the rescue, by providing a very simple way of using the good ole string.
Here are a few advantages of using floss picks:
Easy to use:
That goes without saying. It is much simpler to handle the small plastic frame with the tiny piece of string than to handle a few centimeters of string wrapped around your fingers. It also provides great accessibility and reaches the depths of the mouth with extreme ease. It also provides an advantage for people with limited dexterity such as the elderly and people with Parkinson’s, and of course children.
Available, cheap and Convenient:
Perhaps string floss is not the most efficient method of flossing, especially with the up rise of new trends of oral care such as air flossers and water flossers, but string floss still has the advantage of being readily available everywhere as well as being portable unlike those new devices. The same goes for floss picks, where you can very easily buy a pack at the local drug store or convenience store, and if you decide to spend a night away from home, simply slip it in your overnight bag. Finally, in comparison to other methods (with the exception of string floss) it is the cheapest means of flossing on the market today, so you wouldn’t expect it to take a big bite out of your budget.
Sold in packs:
Again unlike water flossers and air flossers, floss picks are sold in packs of 5 or 10 pieces, meaning that a single pack could last quite a while, without the need for a supply run every couple of days.
Comes in all shapes and sizes:
In this aspect it is very similar to another popular method of flossing, and that is interdental brushes. Floss picks come in a variety of shapes, with small and large handle, short and long frames, easy grip handles for children, and some are even electric powered, which means they don not only floss with extreme efficiency, but massage the gums in the process as well.
Much less harmful:
Most people use string floss all wrong, where they force it very heavily between the very tight contacts of the teeth, and they end up hurting and injuring the gums in the process. With floss picks, this danger can be avoided since the small and highly taut piece of string between the plastic horns finds its way easily and without force between the teeth, so you would not expect the string to come in contact with the gums so heavily and no damage will be done. Not only that, but when you hold that piece of string in your fingers, you are squeezing your skin as well as the circulation in your fingers, which may cause some tingling sensation and skin burns later on, and this does not happen with floss picks.
So as you can see, flossing with floss picks certainly holds a distinct advantage; however, it is not for everyone, and certainly not devoid of flaws.
Here are a few drawbacks of using floss picks:
Not as effective:
When comparing floss picks to other methods in terms of cleaning efficiency, you find it a bit wanting. Studies have shown that it is not as effective as traditional string floss, and certainly not as effective as water flossers and air flossers, and the numbers don’t lie.
Floss picks have a short lifespan. In fact, for an effective flossing session, you could end up using more than one floss pick from the pack, which would make floss picks on the long run not the most cost effective option. But fear not, the modern design of floss picks have made some of them reusable, meaning that if you do select the proper design and brand, you could save a few bucks.
Cannot be used with braces and heavy restorations:
This is kind of obvious, since a floss pick is a piece of string held between two plastic prongs, which means it is quite rigid. While traditional string floss is not a blessing when it comes to braces and bridges, but with a certain degree of skill, it could be used with acceptable efficiency. That is not true for floss picks, because you can bend string, but you definitely would find it impossible to bend plastic.
In short, there is no definite right or wrong when it comes to flossing; you just have to do it regularly. There is a wide variety of ways by which you can floss, and all you have to do is select the one that suits you the most, and if flossing with floss picks is what gets the job done for you, then by all means .. go for it.