A 2015 survey conducted by the American Academy of Periodontology revealed that 27 percent of people in the U.S. lie to their dentists about the frequency of their flossing. The survey also revealed that 36 percent of Americans would rather wash a sink full of dirty dishes (18%) or clean the toilet (14%) than floss every day.

Yes, some people would really rather clean their toilets rather than floss.

Why the reluctance to floss?

People may not be fans of flossing for many reasons, including not wanting to reach their fingers into their mouths and not wanting to have bleeding gums, which sometimes happens after vigorous brushing or flossing. But the reluctance to floss may stem from the fact that it’s pretty easy to forgo or forget about this step in your oral health routine. Why take the extra step when you’re running late in the morning or about to fall asleep on your feet at night?

What’s more, flossing involves pulling out a length of floss, wrapping it between two of your fingers, placing it between your two teeth, and then moving it up, down, and around to remove bits of food or plaque. It seems like too much work for seemingly nothing, right? Wrong.

If you fail to floss regularly, dental plaque builds up on the crevices of your teeth. Dental plaque contains over 1,000 bacteria that can irritate the gum tissue resulting in inflamed gums, which can breed even more bacteria and cause gingivitis.

If you’re among those who don’t like flossing, don’t worry. There are several alternatives to flossing that you might be more amenable to doing to ensure great oral health.

1. Dental pick

A stick made from plastic or wood, a dental pick is a dental floss alternative that you can wedge between your teeth to remove plaque. Of course, not any piece of thin plastic or wooden stick will do. It must have the American Dental Association (ADA)’s Seal of Approval. You must also rinse the pick to remove plaque or bacteria before moving on to cleaning the next tooth.

2. Interdental brushes

Like thin, tiny toothbrushes, interdental brushes are specifically designed to reach the gaps between your teeth. They have tiny bristled heads that come in different sizes to suit the different widths of gaps between the teeth.

3. Oral irrigators

The name might sound funny but these tools are an alternative to floss that have the ADA’s Seal of Approval. The method of using oral irrigators is called water flossing and it does exactly that. A handheld oral irrigator clears away plaque by producing a steady stream of water aimed between the teeth.

4. Pre-threaded flossers

As mentioned earlier, some find it difficult or uncomfortable to use their fingers to hold a string of floss and reach inside their mouth. A pre-threaded flosser or floss holder is the answer. It’s like a shaving stick, but instead of a blade, it’s a string of floss that’s suspended on the business end, making it easier for you to reach the gaps between your teeth.

Of course, if you have more serious concerns or reasons for not wanting to floss, it’s best to consult your family dentist. Rod W. Gore DDS provides cosmetic dentistry and other dental services for families in Scottsdale.

Get in touch with Rod W. Gore DDS an exceptional dentist in Scottsdale today, to obtain a healthier, more GOREgeous smile.