Floss picks or floss holders are disposable oral hygiene tools generally made of plastic that hold a short piece of dental floss and on the other side, they end with a toothpick. The main scope of these oral hygiene devices is to help you to remove dental plaque, bacteria and food particles trapped between your teeth (interdental cleaner) especially molars in the back of the mouth.
There are a wide range of materials floss holders are made of such as: plastic, bamboo and nylon and a lot of them are reusable, biodegradable, recyclable and natural 100%.
The main reason why floss picks are so popular is because they are effective and more easy to use. Children may find more fun using floss handlers thanks to different colors, shapes and flavors they are offered on the market.
More and more adults are switching to floss picks because they find difficult to wrap up the long dental string around their fingers and manage them to clean second and third molars.
You can buy floss picks at discounted price (or with printable coupons) online visiting Amazon, Walgreen, Walmart, Boots and even here on Dottox. If you prefer there also is the local store near you. However, in the last case, the price may be more expensive due to the limited sold quantity.
Types of dental picks
The instrument is composed of two prongs extending from a thin plastic body of high-impact polystyrene material.
1 – Y-shaped floss pick
2 – battery-powered pick (electric)
Recently replaced by air or water flossers like Waterpik
Floss picks vs regular flossing. Which is the most effective ?
Do floss picks work as well as regular floss ? This is the most frequently asked question to dentists and in online forums dedicated to oral hygiene. In some articles or reviews, you can read floss picks are less effective than regular one. The reasons that support this opinion is that with the dental string holder is more difficult to remove food particles and plaque 1-2mm below the gum line.
Here is the result of a study done to compare the effectiveness of floss picks vs regular flossing. The study has been published on the Journal of Periodontology Online and you can find it following this link http://www.joponline.org/doi/abs/10.1902/jop.2004.75.4.551
As you can read, the study result reveals that both group of testers reported similarly reduced plaque scores. No significant difference between the two was found. Here at Dottox we think that the common sense is always the best advisor. So, if used regularly and correctly floss picks and regular ones will help you to remove more plaque avoiding gum disease and tooth cavities.
6 Best floss picks brands and manufacturers
With the help of web search engines, you can discover that the are several floss picks brands. By visiting online stores such as Amazon you can also see which brands is more appreciated and reviewed by customers. The rate goes from 1 to 5 stars if the product is excellent).
Many U.S. floss picks brands registered their patented products by the US Food & Drug Administration, to guarantee their customers high quality and security.
For customers who want to go 100% natural: there are dedicated picks that are: free of artificial preservatives, colors, sweeteners, flavors, fragrances, and other additives. In addition, some manufacturers guarantee their oral hygiene devices do not contain any animal ingredients and haven’t been tested using animal.
Here is the list of the most known brands
#1 – Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Dental Floss Picks
According to the statistic calculated by Statista based on the U.S. Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey 76.48 million Americans used Oral-B Glide in 2017 https://www.statista.com/statistics/275471/us-households-brands-used-for-dental-floss–flossers–picks/
Oral-B is a brand of oral hygiene products in business since the invention of the Hutson toothbrush in 1950. Each year, this brand spends a lot of money in research and technology to put into their products.
Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Dental Floss Picks is a new product that represent a step further compared to the previous versions called “Oral-B Glide 3D White Dental Floss Picks, Radiant Mint” not yet discontinued.
About Oral-B Glide Pro-Health
- Unique, patented floss is smooth, strong and shred resistant;
- Effectively removes tough plaque between back teeth;
- Patented tension control design;
- 459 reviews by Amazon customers, 87% 5 stars;
#2 – Plackers Micro Mint Dental Flossers
Plackers Micro Mint Dental Flossers is produced by San Diego based Placontrol Inc. founded in 1972. This dental care company offers a line of dental flossers for various individual needs. Their products also include dental brushes and accessories for adults and children. Last but not least. Plackers invented the first dental flosser patented in the 80s.
About Plackers Micro Mint Dental Flossers
- As claimed by Placontrol, Plackers’ Micro Mint Dental Flossers provide you with the world’s strongest dental floss (called Super Tuffloss) engineered to never shred, break, or even stretch;
- Super Tuffloss easily slides between tight teeth to remove unwanted and unsightly food debris;
- In the back part of each pick handler Is located a protected tartar pick that helps you to remove plaque and food debris from back teeth. The toothpick is protected within the handle and folds away after use;
- Minty flavor leaves your mouth and gums feeling clean and refreshed after you glide the flosser picks between your teeth;
- Made in U.S.A;
- 422 reviews, 74% 5 stars on Amazon.com.
#3 – Dentek Complete Clean Floss Picks with Advanced Fluoride Coating
DenTek Oral Care, Inc. has its headquarters in Maryville, Tennessee, United States and has been founded in 1984. DenTek products include: interdental brushes, disposable picks, tongue cleaners and dental guards.
About DenTek Complete Clean
- DenTek Complete Clean picks are developed with strong handle that is also flexible. These features allow you to reach the back part of your mouth without to worry to break the flosser.
- DenTek Complete Clean string has been textured with a unique criss-cross thread to pik up more plaque while stimulating gums.
- The minty flavor leaves your fresh feeling in the oral cavity;
- 288 reviews, 74% 5 stars.
#4 – FAMILIFE 240 dental floss picks/threader with 4 travel case
About FAMILIFE 240 string pick with 4 travel case
- The threads are made of Polymer
- The thread holds up well and don’t snap.
- The ultra-thin floss tape slides smoothly between teeth.
- FAMILIFE Unflavored Dental Floss Picks also come with a handy travel case so you can use them while traveling
- 122 reviews, 78% 5 stars
#5 – Gum Professional Clean Flossers, Fresh Mint
Sunstar Americas, Inc. designs, manufactures, and distributes oral health care products to consumers and dental professionals worldwide. It provides toothbrushes, between teeth cleaning products, accessories, travel oral care products, and oral pain relief products.
Sunstar was formerly known as John O. Butler Company and changed its name to Sunstar Americas, Inc. in 1988. The company was founded in 1923 and is based in Chicago, Illinois with a location in Guelph, Canada.
About Gum Professional Clean Flossers, Fresh Mint
- Specially engineer maneuverability.
- Widened finger rest for greater comfort and control.
- Ribbed grip and wider handle for improved control.
- 903 reviews, 70% 5 stars.
#6 – Crest glide floss picks 30 each
Founded in 1955, Crest is a brand of toothpaste and other oral hygiene products made by American multinational Procter & Gamble and sold worldwide.
About Crest glide floss picks
- Allows you to floss well even molars in the back of your mouth;
- Patented tension-control design allows floss to surround the tooth surface for high cleaning power;
- Silky-smooth texture slides easily between dental elements;
- Effectively removes plaque below the gum line avoiding tartar to form;
- Gently stimulates gums and helps to prevent gingivitis and dangerous gum disease like periodontitis;
- 82 reviews leaved by customers, 87% 5 stars.
Dental floss picks for braces
Also called orthodontic picks, these one-hand tools come with a very thin structure that allows you to gentle insert the flosser under the metal arch wire and clean effectively teeth and gums. The opposite end of orthodontic picks handle has a small brush you can use to clean brackets and wires.
Alternative tools may be:
- Interdental or interproximal brush;
- string threader:
Threaders are indicated for dental braces, dental implants, fix retainers and bridge wearers.
How to use a floss pick ?
Even if the floss pick use is very easy, the first times you should practice in front a mirror so you can see what are you doing in order to avoid gum damages.
- Carefully press on the flosser handle to insert the string between your teeth. Do not apply too much pressure especially if you have tight teeth. The risk is to accidentally scratch the gingival tissue.
- Once in between the dental elements, move the string up and down keeping it adherent to the tooth surface. Be sure to go 1 or 2mm under the gum line so you can remove the plaque that causes gingivitis or gum inflammation.
- Repeat the same procedure for the adjacent tooth without the need to take the string out.
- When you have cleaned both surfaces, gently slide the floss out from between teeth, wash it with water and repeat the same steps for the next two teeth.
The whole procedure takes approximately 2 minutes per each dental arch; a bit more if you wear orthodontic braces.
How many picks should I use each time ?
When you go with regular flossing you should wind and unwind the floss around your fingers using a clean section of dental string for each tooth.
If you use just one pick to floss all your teeth there is the risk to spread the plaque removed from one part of the mouth to other areas. In order to avoid redistributing food particles and plaque just wash the tool before to clean the next tooth. In this way the same dental pick is reusable many times saving money and paying attention to the environment (Eco-friendly approach).
Can I reuse my floss picks ?
The short answer is: “YES IF …” but let’s see the details.
A dental string pick is used to remove plaque, bacteria, and food debris from between dental elements especially the back teeth called molars.
If you reuse the floss pick more than one time, you may reintroduce in your mouth the infected material removed in the previous time. That is already bad for your oral and overall health but it is not all. If you store the used picks in a dirty place, additional bacteria will attach to the string so you will introduce in your mouth old and new bacteria instead of to remove them.
If you want to reuse a floss pick, you should wash it with an antibacterial mouth rinse before and after the usage and store it in a clean place.
You shouldn’t use wooden toothpicks
The main reason why you should avoid wooden toothpicks to clean and remove food particles from your teeth is because it may easily break damaging your gums.
Flossing is important, use what works best for you !!!