I’m Addicted to “Picking” My Teeth
Note from Smiles Dental: This article was written by guest blogger and Smiles Dental mom, Monique Tindall. She hopes that by sharing her personal dental stories, other parents will understand the importance of dental health for their kids. Her articles take a look at the humorous side of teeth-brushing and dentist visits. Thanks for reading! I hate flossing. There, I’ve said it. I don’t like winding the floss around my fingers and struggling to get it between my tight molars. Sometimes the floss shreds between my teeth, creating more work, and I become frustrated. Does anyone else feel the same way? I know it is important to floss every day, and yet, I’ve struggled to actually do it. So when new tools come out to help make flossing easier, I am willing to give them a try. Recently, I discovered “interdental cleaners” and dental picks. Now I have a new addiction. The American Dental Association recommends flossing or using an interdental cleaner, such as a dental pick, every day. A dental pick is a small, hand-held tool with a thin, pointed metal tip — similar to what your hygienist uses to clean your teeth professionally. I have been using one for a while now, and I love it. I alternate between the pick and the dental flossers to make sure I am taking good care of my teeth and gums. I have noticed I get more food out from between my teeth with the pick when compared to the flossers and traditional floss. That clean feeling like I just left the dentist is the core of my addiction. My mom has used a rubber-tipped stimulator for years to help massage gums and remove food particles and plaque from between her teeth. There are many tips online about how to use a gum stimulator. Other interdental cleaners include small, soft, cylindrical cleaners that you can use between your teeth, soft picks that are similar to a toothpick but are designed not to splinter or harm gums. A Waterpik is an electric flosser that uses water to clean gums and between teeth. I have used all of these products and find merit in each one. You have to find the right combination that will encourage you to take great care of your teeth and gums. In the past, when the dentist or hygienist would ask how often I flossed, I was always honest: about three times per week. Now I use an interdental cleaner or floss pretty much daily or twice per day. The nice thing about most of these products is you can keep them in your car, purse or lunch bag. Plus, you can clean between your teeth while sitting in traffic, reading an article or watching a movie. Thus, my addiction to picking. It is easy, and I don’t have to camp in front of the mirror to focus on my oral health. You can use a dental pick or any of the other products on the market at home, but you should chat with your dentist to learn which tool is right for you and the proper way to use it. Maybe you will find a new addiction that will be great for your oral health and smile.