Some people like to use a good toothpick or other fancy pick-like device to get in between their teeth. If you ask our Bellevue dentist, however, there’s really no substitute for floss. We recommend that you always get your daily flossing in, and never try to use a toothpick in its place.
While toothpicks are good for extracting an irritating chunk of food after a meal, they’re just not built to do the job of a piece of floss. Floss is capable of getting all the way between your teeth, handily drawing away the layer of plaque from where your brush and your pick cannot reach. The length of the floss also lets you cycle in a fresh bit of thread, to assure that you’re never cleaning your teeth with something that is itself stained with bacteria. Trying to force a pick to go where your floss is meant to go only puts you at risk of spearing your gums or leaving irritating splinters behind.
So only take a toothpick for what it’s worth, and never let anything try to take the place of your floss!