The Best Floss—and All The Other Ways to Clean Between Your Teeth - SolidRumor.com

The Best Floss—and All The Other Ways to Clean Between Your Teeth

 The Best Floss—and All The Other Ways to Clean Between Your Teeth

If you’re wondering about the best floss or the best Waterpik, you’re already way ahead of the curve. Because even though brushing without flossing is the oral-care equivalent of sweeping a bunch of dirt and dust under the rug when you’re cleaning your house, it can be hard to make a habit. 

But it’s important! You know how your dentist always nags you about flossing more? We called up a dentist to do just that: “Flossing is an essential way to decrease periodontal disease and cavity formation,” says Dr. Inna Chern, of New York General Dentistry in NYC. “When plaque builds up on the teeth, it harbors bacteria, which cause inflammation and cavity formation. The more plaque you can remove from the teeth, the better your oral health will be.” Sounds bad! And you can’t have great teeth if you don’t have healthy gums. 

But not all cleaning methods are actually call for dental floss—there are other ways of removing plaque and lunchtime leftovers from between your teeth. Dr. Chern gave GQ the low-down on which methods she endorses, and which she recommends avoiding. 

See also: The Best Electric Toothbrushes Under $100

1. Dental Floss

Let’s start with the most obvious flossing method—literally floss itself. It’s Chern’s preferred method for removing plaque and debris, among the other “flossing” techniques. “I am a huge proponent of flossing daily to maintain gum health as the number one pre-brush oral hygiene habit,” she says. “My only cautionary advice about flossing is to be gentle in between the teeth. Aggressive flossing can damage the delicate gum tissue near the necks of the teeth.” 

You can opt for a standard, thin floss if your teeth are tightly set and you need something that glides seamlessly between them, but the best floss is a personal question. Tom’s is a nice classic mint if the usual formula works for you. If you ever experience discomfort while flossing, consider checking out Cocofloss—it’s somehow just softer than other brands. 

Tom’s of Maine waxed flat floss (32 yards, 6 pack)

Cocofloss mint foss (32 yards)

$9

Cocofloss

For a real flex, upstart brand By Humankind will sell you a re-usable container that you fill with floss made from 100% biodegradable silk. Very baller and good for the environment!  

By Humankind floss (44 yards)

$15

By Humankind

2. Dental Tape

If you have natural spacing in between your teeth, or if you have gum issues, Chern recommends dental tape. It has more surface area to pick up plaque around the teeth, she says, and its texture will often help lift plaque in lieu of the taut spacing that benefits “regular” dental floss. 

Oral-B floss tape (25 m, 6 pack)

3. A Water Flosser 

They shoot a tiny, high-powered stream of water in between your teeth to flush out debris—usually you’ll hear these referred to as a “Waterpik,” which is the dominant brand. Chern uses hers when she’s in a rush, and she recommends it for people who have a hard time with floss—if it’s annoying, or painful, or they’re working around dental hardware like braces or a bridge. 

“The only drawback of these devices is that they are a bit messy. I recommend my patients use them in the shower,” she says. Because of this, she says the best Waterpik is one of their cordless models. 

Waterplk cordless rechargeable waterflosser

See also: The Best Toothpastes for Removing Stains, Fixing Bad Breath, and Not Getting Gingivitis

4. Interproximal Flossers

Interproximal flossers are like tiny brushes that slide between the teeth that can clean and reinforce gum tissue if used carefully. “They require someone to have a lot of space under their contact point, usually due to spacing or periodontal disease,” says Chern. “[In that instance] they can be used in lieu of flossing, as they have more surface area to clean.” But if you don’t have the right spacing, don’t force it, because they can tear up your gums. 

BBTO interdental brushes (100 count)

One Flosser to Avoid: Floss Picks

You know those little forked toothpick-like sticks with a string of floss dangling in the middle of the wide end? They’re Chern’s least favorite flossing method, because of their rigidity and lack of flexibility for the multi-dimensional task that is teeth cleaning. “The picks’ handle does not allow easy access to hard-to-reach areas, and often the floss is too taut on the handle,” she says. “The tautness of the floss can often lead to aggressive pressure on the delicate gum tissue below the area, where two adjoining teeth meet. using them is certainly better than using nothing at all, but I tend to favor the Waterpik over the floss picks.”

Two Products Often Mistaken for Floss

While the above five “flossing” methods are reliable for most people, there are a couple debris-clearing and gum-strengthening techniques that do not count as flossing.

Gum stimulators: This metal tool uses a rubber tip to help click out debris from the teeth, but only at the base. It’s really targeting the gums, and helps reinforce them regularly in order to build up strength and resilience. “It merely increases the vascular flow to the gums—it does not replace flossing,” says Chern. “Some believe it can strengthen gum tissue if used daily.”

GUM gum stimulators with 6 replacement rubber heads

Toothpicks: It sure feels good to flick away those little remnants of food after a restaurant dinner—whenever you can’t readily floss. But don’t mistake this for actual flossing. “Toothpicks are a temporary way to remove food caught between the teeth if you are in a bind, but they certainly are not a good way to maintain oral hygiene,” Chern says. They can’t fully strip away the plaque and debris caught in the crevices and nooks of the teeth and gums. So, use them carefully, if you like, but never in lieu of actual flossing.

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