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Floss Picks vs Traditional Floss - Which Should You Use?

Floss Picks vs Traditional Floss – Which Should You Use?

Whether you like it or not (and many people don’t!) flossing is a very important part of your oral hygiene. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you floss at least once a day, especially after you eat. But what kind should you use? Floss picks or traditional string floss?

Here are the positives and negatives of both, and my recommendation on which you should be using.

Why Floss Everyday?

There are a great number of reasons why you should be flossing between your teeth every single day, including:

  • Flossing removes plaque, a sticky biofilm of bacteria, from between your teeth and from under your gum line. If it’s not regularly removed, this plaque can produce enamel-damaging acids, irritate your gums, harden into tartar, and lead to serious oral health issues like tooth sensitivity, bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.
  • Removing plaque buildup and food particles can also help prevent tooth discoloration and make your teeth look a lot better and brighter.
  • Decreasing food particles and bacteria from between your teeth through flossing can improve your overall health too.

Facts About Floss Picks

Now, about those floss picks.

Floss picks hold a single length of floss. They are a little more expensive than traditional string floss, but are easy to grip and may help you access hard-to-reach areas near your molars, especially if you have a small mouth and large hands. However, it’s best to use multiple picks per flossing session to avoid spreading around bacteria and food particles with one pick’s same section of string. Additionally, it can be difficult to fit some picks between teeth that are very close together. Floss picks are also not ideal for reaching tight spaces in the back of your mouth, particularly wisdom teeth.

The Scoop on String Floss

With string floss, you can determine the length to use. Pieces are generally more manageable. The string must be gripped between the two hands so as to get to the hard-to-reach places in the back of the mouth. Thus, children and seniors with limited dexterity may find this method of flossing difficult. But you have less risk of spreading dislodged particles around since you can use a fresh part of the strand between each set of teeth.

Which Floss Should You Use?

Depending on your needs, using either type of floss at least once a day will have positive benefits for your oral health and overall health. When used correctly, there isn’t much difference in their effectiveness of removing plaque and food particles from between teeth. It’s really a matter of personal preference and comes down to what you like better in terms of cost, comfort, and ease of use.


THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® offers affordable cosmetic and laser dentistry and gentle, compassionate general dental care in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently situated with extended hours to meet your needs. At THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®, we offer most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures, complete dental rebuilding and TMJ/ Headache management. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover affordable up-to-date dentistry and a team who truly cares at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®.