Dental Floss Picks: Types, Safety & Reviews

Most people want to do things in the easiest possible way.

Because of this, dental floss picks (also known as flosser picks) are pretty popular as of recently. They are especially appealing to families with young children because floss picks are easier to use.

But what benefits do floss picks offer that dental floss may not? Are flosser picks actually any good?

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What Are Dental Floss Picks?

A floss pick is a small plastic handle with a U-shaped end that hold a piece of floss between the two ends of the U shape. The other end of this tool has a plastic pick for removing food debris from in between your teeth.

Floss Picks vs Dental Floss

There have been many studies and experiments testing the effectiveness of floss picks and dental floss. None of these tests have found a significant difference of effectiveness between the two.

Whether you use a floss pick or dental floss, you’re still putting floss between your teeth in the hopes that it scrapes away grime and dislodges debris.

Dental floss picks, however, are usually much easier to use, thanks to its design. They make it much easier to reach the teeth in the back of your mouth.

Floss Picks vs Water Flosser

Now when it comes to comparing floss picks with water picks, also known as oral irrigators, it’s like comparing apples and oranges.

Rather than using traditional floss, oral irrigators use a powerful stream of water that’s meant to remove plaque and debris. It’s one of the newest commercially available methods of oral hygiene — dentists have been using a similar tool during regular checkups for a long time.

A dental floss pick is basically a piece of floss strung between two pieces of plastic on the end of a small plastic handle. A water pick, on the other hand, is a device that shoots out a stream of water for cleaning in between teeth.

Floss Picks Types

Not all floss picks fit the description we laid out earlier.

Some dental floss picks are disposable, some have replaceable heads. Some picks have no-slip grips on the handle for ease-of-use, and some include a built-in tongue scraper. And yet even others are battery-powered, flossing your teeth and massaging your gums.

How To Use Dental Floss Picks

When using a dental flossing pick, treat it like you would a loose piece of floss. Insert the floss that’s on the end of the handle in between your teeth, making an up-and-down motion (not a sawing motion).

Make sure to curve the floss in a C shape around every tooth. And clean below the gum line without going too far down because you might damage your gums. You may have to switch to a second pick in the middle of a flossing session as debris and plaque build up on the piece of floss.

Use a floss pick the same way you would regular floss — gently and in an up-and-down motion.

Are Floss Picks Safe?

Some people question the validity and safety of floss picks, saying things like:

  • They can be harsh on gums
  • They can spread bacteria around your mouth
  • Because they haven’t been tested as much as floss, we don’t know if they’re safe
  • Buying floss picks contributes to waste, which harms the environment

But on the flip side, there are perfectly logical counter arguments that prove floss picks are actually okay to use:

  • If you use picks correctly, they won’t harm your gums (see the previous section)
  • They don’t spread bacteria any more than standard floss could
  • Dental floss picks are literally just a piece of floss placed on the end of a plastic handle
  • You can recycle floss picks when you’re finished with them

So clearly,

Let’s take a look the pros and cons of floss picks.

Pros

  • Easy to use, especially on those hard-to-reach teeth
  • Effective, possibly just as effective as standard dental floss
  • Easier on the jaw as you don’t have to open as wide when using a pick
  • Individually wrapped dental floss picks are convenient for use while on the go
  • Great for patients with strong gag reflex

Cons

  • Usually need more than one for each flossing session
  • Have not been proven as they are fairly new
Floss picks are just as safe as regular dental floss.

Dental Floss Picks Reviews

Among dental floss picks, some are higher quality than others. And if you’re going to be using a pick, it’s important to know about the best of the best dental floss picks.

Oral-B Complete Glide Dental Floss Picks Plus Scope Outlast


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Oral-B is a trusted name in the oral hygiene world, so you’ve got to at least consider their dental floss picks. Some users have complained of the picks breaking, but that’s probably because those users were applying too much pressure through the picks.

Plackers Micro Mint Dental Flossers


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These dental flossers are built with Super Tuffloss, the strongest dental floss in the world. It’s engineered to avoid shredding, breaking, or stretching. Although even with this toughness, the floss should slide easily in between your teeth.

DenTek Fresh Clean Floss Pick


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DenTek’s floss picks have “ultra thin” floss that’s meant to slip in and out of teeth crevices with ease. Plus, this thing comes with a built-in tongue cleaner to cut down on bad breath.

There are plenty of floss picks to choose from, so you’ll want to choose the one that fits your needs, preferences, and budget the best.

Summary

Some people may say dental floss picks are bad for your teeth or the environment. But, if used correctly, floss picks are just as safe as regular dental floss. And as far as eco-friendliness, all you have to do is recycle your floss picks.