Flossing Before Brushing or After Brushing? When is the best time?

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There are two types of people in the world. Those who floss before brushing and those who floss after. The question remains: who is doing it right?

A lot of people are asking this same question. Dentists get it more times than they can remember. Surprisingly, the exact order of our oral hygiene is not yet settled.

People find arguments for both sides.

Flossing first paves the way for the brush to do a better job. At the same time, brushing first can help the floss string be more precise.

It almost feels like the chicken and egg dilemma.

Some people even argue that the order doesn’t matter as long as you do both.

The truth is, it does.

Flossing before brushing is the most beneficial oral hygiene sequence. 

I will share the reasoning behind the two sides along with the professional take on the topic. By the end of the article, you will understand the effects of each process on your teeth and why you should floss before brushing.

Flossing or Brushing: What do dentists put first? 

Professionals can’t agree on this topic. It turns out that the division also exists amongst dentists. 

Some dentists argue that flossing should come first because it helps in stirring up the plaque and tiny particles that the toothbrushes can’t brush away. By clearing the way, the brush can reach more places between the teeth. 

Additionally, flossing before brushing allows the cleaning agents of your toothpaste – make sure to use good natural brands – to reach the interdental areas where tiny food particles can get wedged. As a result, flossing before brushing gives you a bright, clean and fresh feel.

floss first or after brushing?

On the other hand, there is a group of dentists who recommend brushing first.

Their reasoning is that flossing should be a follow up to brushing. Brushing removes the bulk of the particles on teeth, while flossing removes the interdental plaque. For them, flossing complements brushing and thus should come after. 

Dentists provide little empirical evidence behind any of the two theories. They in general, rely on their personal knowledge to recommend one or the other methods. They are often happy if you both brush and floss. The order doesn’t matter much to them.

brush first before flossing?

So Do You Floss Before or After Brushing?

Since dentists have different opinions on the matter, people follow different sequences of oral care. Most people don’t even ask the question.

I am part of those people. I have flossed my teeth before brushing since I can remember. My father taught me that it was how it’s done. I rarely questioned if I am doing it the right way.

Until one day.

Ashley, my youngest kid, asked me before brushing her teeth at night: “can I floss my teeth before brushing them?” 

I looked at her for a second and asked myself “can she?”

I knew I didn’t have a satisfying answer to her “why not”, so I just told her that she can do it however she wants. Right after, I started researching the topic. 

To my surprise, there was no direct answer. 

In general, our oral hygiene routine is based on the dentist’s recommendation but also what we learned from our parents. I learned to floss first without knowing why, and I was teaching my kids the same. 

So as I researched, I started understanding the different effects of the two procedures.

Flossing or brushing first, what’s the difference?

Flossing is a plaque control method, but so is brushing. The only difference is that when you floss you are targeting the plaque that your toothbrushes can’t reach. 

It works like screws. In order for you to remove screws of different sizes, you need different screwdrivers. Floss and brushes are the different tools to get to remove plaque in different dental areas.

oral care is not 1 size fits all

Besides the different functions that each has, people prefer flossing before brushing for different reasons, among them: 

  • It gives a clean sensation before brushing
  • It feels more satisfying and efficient to remove the residuals with the floss 
  • Brushing last leaves a fresh and clean feeling

People who brush before they floss have their own set of arguments. 

I had this conversation with my friends. I was surprised to realize that most of them do it differently. They brush then floss. 

To them, brushing is the main cleaning action. The floss comes to polish the operation. Brushing removes the majority of food debris and build-up plaque. Then, the flossing can take care of the remains.

Additionally, flossing after allows you to spot the areas that the brush can’t reach. How can you know that if you do it first? 

It kind of made sense. 

It bugged me that it made sense, so I had to settle this question once and for all. That’s where I started looking for scientific research that tackled this question. 

Often, people assume that flossing should be after just because brushing appears to be the primary part of oral hygiene. When going to the dentist, people usually, already brush their teeth. Their dentists want them to add flossing to their routine. As a result, flossing might appear secondary, and thus last in the process.

What Does Science Say?

My friends’ subjective opinions weren’t enough for me. Nor was my parents’. I started looking for empirical evidence that backed up either of the stances. 

Guess what? I found one.

A study made by the Journal of Periodontology performed an experiment to test the two methods and conclude which one has the best results. The study’s purpose was to know the effects of toothbrushing and flossing order on fluoride retention and plaque reduction.

25 dental students participated in the study. For a week, the participants brushed their teeth before flossing them. For another week, they did the opposite. In each of the phases, their dental plaque and fluoride concentration were carefully measured.

The research concluded that the amount of plaque was much lower when participants flossed their teeth then brushed. Moreover, the concentration of fluoride was significantly higher in the flossing first group.

Team floss-brush wins.

“Brushing” might come before “flossing” in the dictionary, but it doesn’t in your oral hygiene.

floss first before brushing

Flossing the right way 

Flossing is a crucial part of your dental hygiene. Dr. Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation states that “Brushing alone only cleans three of the five surfaces of our teeth, so cleaning between them before we pick up our toothbrush is hugely beneficial. “

It’s important to understand that flossing is not just an extra step to polish our teeth. It’s a crucial part of our dental hygiene that we should leave out at any price. 

More important than flossing itself is flossing the right way

Make sure to learn how to use your favorite flossing tool before causing any damage. 

In terms of frequency, the majority of dentists and oral health coaches recommend brushing your teeth twice a day and floss at least once.

i forgot to floss

Waterpik Flossing Before or After Brushing

There are many ways to floss. If you aren’t comfortable with the traditional nylon form dental floss. There are alternatives that you can try.

You can check out my article about flossing alternatives that work, here.

One of the most effective and most practical flossing alternatives is the waterpik. This is also referred to as the “dental water jets.” 

Using a stream of concentrated water, it removes the plaque “in-between” your teeth and the food debris below the gum line. So, should you use Waterpik before or after brushing? 

According to Dr. Joseph Nemeth, a periodontist, it just depends on the individual’s preference and routine. Some people prefer to brush first, then use the Waterpik flosser. For people who get lazy, experts advise to Waterpik floss then brush.

it is flossing first

Flossing comes first. Scientific research has established that the right order of efficient oral hygiene is to floss then brush. 

If you’ve been doing it the other way around, it’s time to switch and teach your kids the right habits.

That said, not many people can or want to floss.

Research from American Academy of Periodontology shows that more than 36% of Americans prefer to perform tedious tasks like washing dirty dishes or cleaning a toilet, rather than floss their teeth every day.

People hate flossing for some reason.

If you prefer to do your taxes than floss, you aren’t alone.

Here’s the good news.

There are alternatives to flossing you can try to make life easier. If you dread the long threaded floss that is difficult to tie around your finger and get in and out of your teeth, you are in the right place.

I’m going to share the best alternatives to flossing you can adopt to maintain healthy teeth, followed by information about flossing you didn’t know about.

toothpaste, toothbrush, floss and oral health kit bag

5 Flossing Alternatives that Work

1. Floss Picks

1 set of 3 floss picks

Who is it for?

Floss picks are excellent floss alternative if you are looking for something:

  1. Easy to carry
  2. Easy to use
  3. Find it difficult to use threaded floss

It’s the most practical as the floss threads are ready to go, it’s packed conveniently and you can use it without getting your fingers slimy from saliva.

You can find floss picks in every retail store as people have caught on and move away from threaded floss.

Who is it bad for?

If you have super tight teeth, it can be harder to use because most people don’t know how to use it properly. Rather than jamming it between your teeth, you need to use a sawing motion to move it back and forth between your teeth. This way, the floss will ease in.

Same if you try to take it out. Don’t yank it out. Use a sawing motion while pulling up and the floss comes out easily.

Floss picks are the best option. It’s suited to everyone. It’s also the best option for children as it is easy to use.

What to be careful about

Floss cleft.

It comes from when you repeatedly use floss in the wrong way and create a groove.

  1. Don’t force the floss between tight teeth and stab your gums.
  2. Don’t pull the floss around the bottom line of your teeth. You are not cutting your teeth with floss. Floss isn’t meant to go up into the gums or wrap your teeth. It is meant to go up moderately and clean the narrow space between the teeth it makes contact with.

If your gums start to bleed, it’s a result of your gums being unhealthy and too sensitive, or you are being too rough with the floss.

2. Rubber Soft Picks

a set of soft rubber picks and how to use it in between teeth

Who is it  for?

These bristled brushes are the “new” toothpicks. It’s soft so that you don’t damage your gums and bends to maneuver into harder to reach areas.

If you wear braces, flossing is difficult. With these rubber picks, you can get in and around your braces much easier and safer than using a floss or toothpick.

If you don’t wear braces, sometimes it’s hard to find a place to wash your hands after you’ve used a floss pick or thread. This rubber bristle pick is a less messy alternative. Especially if you are traveling and it’s hard to get in and out of your seat.

Who is it bad for?

It’s not thin like a floss thread so you can’t clean the area between your teeth where they touch. If you had a meaty sandwich and get that awful feeling of something stuck right between two teeth, this rubber pick won’t work.

If you need to floss, don’t use a soft pick.

If the gap between your gum line and teeth is very small, it can feel rough and excessive to push this through.

Since you have to push these picks through the space between your gum and bottom line of your teeth, if you have gum issues of any kind, it can cause flare-ups.

What to be careful about 

Aside from the main risk of gum inflammation, soft picks are gentle and easy to use.

There’s a tiny risk that if you try to squeeze it between tight teeth, a rubber piece could break off and you’ll either swallow it, or it gets stuck.

The main user is somebody who wears braces, so the pick will be safe to clean the space between the brace and the front of the teeth.

Soft picks don’t fall under FDA regulation so it is easy for anyone to make it and sell it. Be wary of the material used as you don’t want cheap, lower grade plastics and rubber in your mouth. It’s very important that even though it’s not FDA regulated, it’s made in a facility that has FDA certification and follows Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

3. Water Flosser Pick

Who is it for?

Water flosser is a great alternative for everyday use. Dentists call it an oral pulsating irrigator because it fires a stream of water in your teeth.

Your teeth and gums might feel less clean if you’re used to the regular waxed string floss. Although the water flosser can aid in bacterial reduction even below the gumline, it has a hard time removing visible film and plaque on your teeth.

man using bottle, this is not a water flosser

Water flossers gently remove food particles stuck between teeth. This is great if you wear braces or if you have sensitive gums. 

Who is it bad for?

It’s not great if you have tartar buildup and harden plaque. If you have extremely tight teeth and need to get in between, it isn’t as effective as good ol’ floss.

Also not good for travelers. You can’t carry a machine with you on the train, plane or bus.

Floss picks win hands down here.

What to be careful about 

A gentle water stream won’t substitute for regular floss. Use this alternative if regular floss makes your gums tender or you bleed.

Regular floss was designed to scrape off the bacteria from your teeth. Water flossers can only rinse off bacteria. 

Don’t be too complacent because dentists use water flossers. Dentists use it to remove the debris they scrape off using steel tartar scrapers and other plaque remover tools.

floss = healthy teeth

4. Proxy Brushes

set of red and blue proxy brushes

Who is it for? 

If you have braces or dentures, this is for you. It’s so easy you don’t have to be mindful of flossing techniques.

It effectively cleans between the necks of the teeth that’s why it’s called proxy, short for inter-proximal. It means that it’s effective at brushing between teeth which is ideal if you have wide gaps between your teeth.

It’s also safe to use if you have bridges and dental implants and effective than floss in cleaning the biofilm on the teeth that causes bacterial buildup.

Less biofilm means less plaque build-up, gum disease, and tooth decay.  

Who is it bad for?

proxy brushes can be harsh for sensitive gums

Interdental brushes are made specifically if you have wide gaps between your teeth, braces and dentures. It’s the same as soft picks above. You need to consider “interdental shape and size”.

Won’t work well if your teeth are close together.

If you have delicate dental implants, it’s safer than floss as you want to use a gentler product.

What to be careful about 

These brushes need to be cleaned properly before and after use because it’s prone to bacterial infestation and can irritate the gums. It’s made of thin wire that can cut your gums if you’re too aggressive.

That’s the reason why proxy brushes have bendable brush tips and different brush sizes.

It’s more expensive than regular floss. You don’t get 50 yards of string from a pack of these interdental brushes. Because you have to be mindful of how you squeeze it between your gums or braces, it takes more time to use than regular floss.

Stop using it if your gums bleed and you still find it difficult to use a proxy brush after using it for some time.

It helps to find a comfortable size for you. It comes in various lengths. There are also different grips you can choose from.

Find the best size and best grip for you and you’ll be able to use this thing like a pro.  

5. Toothpicks

wood toothpicks inside japanese pottery

Who is it good for?

Toothpicks do one thing and it does it great. Picks the food stuck in your teeth.

It’s an ideal quick fix when you don’t have a place to floss. Toothpicks can also scrape food particles stuck on the teeth.

Be careful not to scrape too much as this can scratch your teeth’s enamel. This is true when using hard wooden toothpicks.

don't floss with toothpicks in public

Using toothpicks in public is generally frowned upon anywhere in the world. But adults can be discreet, or just use the bathroom if it’s close.

If you must use a toothpick, try a soft pick.

It’s not a complete alternative to flossing, but when you are in a pinch, it’s easy to find and use. 

Who is it bad for?

It’s not advisable to use toothpicks for regular use. You’ll end up with minor to a major case of receding teeth and scratched enamel.

Because the picks are not ultra sharp or thin, you can’t get it between your teeth. You don’t want to jam it between your teeth, that’s just asking for trouble.

Avoid using wooden toothpicks on a regular basis as much as possible. Soft picks are readily available from any retail store and are less expensive than damaging your teeth and having to pay for a dentist’s visit.

What to be careful about 

Bamboo toothpicks are better than wood toothpicks. It won’t replace floss, but if you hate to floss, using picks is better than nothing to clean your gum line.

The wooden ones will break or crack and the little splinters can stab your gums. I’ve also had many instances where I used it too hard and it broke. A tiny splinter got stuck between my teeth and it was impossible to take out without floss.

Why is flossing important?

Dental health is a possible cause of poor heart health.

There are rare cases of oral bacterial infection going into some parts of the heart and causing a heart attack.  

Flossing habit is hard to develop but tiny good habits build up into indestructible moats.

this is why people hate flossing

I know, I know.

It’s inconvenient. It’s time-consuming.

But use any of the 5 alternatives above and the bonus is fresh breath, great looking pearly whites and a complete and healthy set of chompers.

Regular flossing removes plaque before it builds up and starts being noticeable.

For good measure, here are 5 more reasons to start.

  • It makes your teeth look brighter
  • It can reach the most narrow areas that toothbrushes can’t reach
  • It keeps your teeth healthy
  • It’s an excellent way to practice good oral hygiene
  • It tightens your gum tissues

Yes but I still hate flossing.

I hear you.

Develop the habit through a micro-habit. 

Associate brushing with flossing and start by picking up your floss and trying just one tooth. You are only committing to picking up the floss and using it on one tooth.

Or buy a bag of floss picks and since you have committed $2, you’ll want to use up the bag.

Keep this up and don’t break the chain. Forward momentum should be able to help you complete a floss when it becomes a habit.

fresh-aid quality oral care you can use twice a day when you brush, floss and gargle mouthwash

Flossing Alternative for Kids

Flossing ain’t fun for adults.

How would a 5-year-old feel?

They absolutely hate it.

Flossing is challenging for children because they don’t like the floss threads wrapped around their finger, and having to stretch their mouth open.

If you trained your kids to floss, you deserve super parent level 100 status.

So many instructions. So many rules.

You overwhelm kids and because their gums are softer, it hurts and you know how kids overreact if something hurts a tiny bit.

Of the 5 alternatives to flossing, the best way to start them is to use floss picks. They have kids version that are smaller and the threads are thinner.

The downside is that the floss on these kids versions snap easily. It’s like the Oral B floss picks. They snap like a twig if you put any sort of pressure.

Coconut Oil Pulling

This is something I randomly came across, but it’s called coconut oil pulling as another way to “floss”.

It’s an easy, natural alternative floss replacement for kids.

coconut oil pulling for kids can be easier for them

You do it by swishing a single tablespoon of pure or virgin coconut oil in your mouth. If you can’t find coconut oil, you can also use Virgin Sesame Oil as an alternative. You’re supposed to get them to do it for 10 to 20 minutes.

Kids can’t even sit straight for 10-20 minutes. If you have tried this, leave a comment on how it worked.

Anyways, since it’s oil you are using to wash your mouth and oil is thicker than water, the idea is that it pulls out gunk from around the gums and teeth.

At least it’s natural, you have it at home already, and it’s a way to introduce them to mouthwash later on.

Which alternatives to flossing do you use? Do you think you can use the natural way or the products that I will introduce below?

Here are the best dental floss picks (2020)

this is not a floss with pick axe

Floss with pick or those little, plastic, disposable floss picks is convenient and easy to use for people on the go. They’re not designed the same way, they’re not all effective and choosing the right brand does have an impact.

Much like toothbrush, floss with pick has different sizes and designs that may work better for other people than others. Ther are floss picks that are made from non-toxic, gentle materials that are durable and with other functionality built into it. 

Fresh Aid oral care is one of those 3-in-1 flossing tools that have the floss end, the toothpick and a tongue scraper. If you’re a frequent traveler then this is a must-have if you want to maintain your oral care when not at home.

So here’s the best dental floss picks in the market right now.


Fresh Aid Oral Care 3-in-1 Best Floss Pick and Tongue Cleaner

best floss pick tongue scraper combo
best floss pick tongue scraper combo

What we like

✔️ The only floss pick with a functional tongue scraper
✔️ Durable material helps you reach back of the mouth without breaking
✔️ Affordable price

What we didn’t like

❌ Pick is not in a regular configuration that people are used to

This is one of the best dental floss picks that offer great value for the money. It’s bendable but it won’t break easily. It gives you more confidence to clean into the back of your mouth or clean between teeth without breaking.

Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Comfort Plus Dental Floss, Mint, (Pack of 2)

oral-b makes one of the best floss with pick

What we like

✔️ Innovative technology
✔️ Best for new floss pick user as it’s less painful to use
✔️ Oral-B is known for quality products

What we didn’t like

❌ Only 75 dental flosses in a 6 pack

Oral-B is the number 1 dentist recommended brand. This company is known for durable and innovative oral care products.

The glide is their flagship floss pick that puts comfort as a primary consideration. This handle is designed for easy grip. It has a couple of innovations called Scope Outlast Flavor Floss Picks and Textureslide technology, both of which were specifically added to make this floss pick have a lasting taste, easier to use and less painful. 

DenTek Triple Clean Floss Picks Fresh Mint 150 Each

dentek triple clean floss with pick

What we like

✔️ 3-in-1 type floss pick
✔️ You can get 150 floss picks in 1 pack

What we didn’t like

❌ Tongue scraper is small

This is one of those floss with pick that is 3-in-1. It has a pick, a floss and a tongue cleaner. While the tongue cleaner is not as substantial or efficient because it’s so small, DenTek is cheap and you can 150 floss picks in 1 pack.

They also coat their floss threads and tongue scraper with a mint flavoring. It’s cheap, durable and designed with a textured pick to remove food particles better.  

GUM Comfort Slide Flossers, Fresh Mint, 90 Count

gum comfort slide floss with pick

What we like

✔️ Ribbed handle
✔️ Gentle pick is great to use for people with tight teeth
✔️ Floss thread is shred proof 

What we didn’t like

❌ Pick can be too soft

Gum’s company mission is to make it easy for people to take care of their teeth. This floss pick is a testament to this mission. The comfort slide’s focus is to make the floss pick handle durable and easy to grip so you can focus on cleaning between your teeth. No need to worry about breaking it in the process.

The pick is gentle but can be unsatisfying to use. Some people say that they feel like the softness of the pick doesn’t make it harder to remove stubborn food residue in the mouth. It feels very gentle on the gums and between the teeth and the ribbed handle feels great between the fingers.

PLACKERS Micro Mint Freshens Breath, Dental Flossers Mint 90 Each (Pack of 2)

plackers micro mint floss with pick

What we like

✔️ Fresh mint flavor freshens breath
✔️ Tough floss picker and no shred floss thread

What we didn’t like

❌ A little bit more expensive

Plackers pride itself for the Super Tuffloss design. The pick is tough and the floss thread is shred proof. The floss pick is a 2-in-1 with a protected pick that’s safe to keep in bags during travel. Plackers also boasts of a Twin-Line dual-action dental flossers that are mint-flavored and made to glide in between teeth.

People love the toughness of this floss pick. It doesn’t have as many features as other floss picks but their emphasis is on the toughness of the product. But it’s a little bit more expensive than the other brands as this one costs $8.95 for a 2 pack.

How to Floss with Different Types of Floss Picks

There are different types of floss picks. This article will explain how to floss with different types of floss picks.

How many ways can manufacturers re-make a floss pick? A few ways actually. And they create them specifically for different purposes. That’s why you need to know how to use each one for the specific purpose it is intended.

Here’s a list of different types of floss picks, what they are good for, and how to use them.

Charcoal floss picks

Use it like a regular floss pick and you’ll see and feel the difference. With the black color of this product, you’ll be able to see all the food debris being flossed out. It might sound gross for some but could be motivating for most people.

Charcoal floss pick removes plaque buildup better than regular floss. Since charcoal bonds with the plaque you can floss it out better. 

Floss picks with tongue cleaner

Floss picks with tongue cleaner is great for people with bad breath concerns. Remember that the tongue keeps in most bad breath causing bacteria.

Use the tongue cleaner to scrape your tongue after flossing. Rinse your mouth by gargling water or mouthwash. This will lessen tongue bacteria and bad breath.

Floss pick with removable interdental brushes and hook picks

Make sure to secure the interdental brush and hook pick inside the small compartments of your floss pick. Use the floss pick as usual. If you need to use the interdental brush and hook picks then just remove them from the floss pick compartment.

As you know interdental brush is easy and safe to use for people with braces. Use it in between the teeth and the metal wires of your braces. 

Platypus floss picks

There’s a fuzzy end on the side and there’s also a rounded side where the flosser is.  The small fuzzy end looks like an interdental brush which is great to clean braces. The flosser side is also used to clean teeth with braces.

The platypus flosser is designed to make it easy to clean the teeth of people with braces. But it can also be used by people with no braces because of the ease of use and the built-in interdental brush.

High-Quality floss with pick

kid with nice flossed teeth

Fresh Aid oral care’s floss pick is a unique 3-in-1. It’s innovative, tough and very usable. It’s one of the best floss alternatives for people who are frequent travelers.

But what if you have braces? Can you floss when you have braces?

Best Way to Floss with Braces – How to Use Floss Picks If You Have Braces

For people who get braces, a lot of habits change. One of them is flossing. So what is the best way to floss with braces? A good way to do it is batching the task so it takes less effort.

Braces seem to go in and out of fashion year after year. Regardless, corrective braces remain a necessity for some people. Not only do braces help with jaw proportions, they also help prevent gum disease, cavities, and tooth decay.

Braces need regular cleaning. Using a toothbrush is one part of the process, as long as you make sure to brush around the wires and pins. Although this can double up brushing time, this is a good way to batch oral care.

Flossing is still highly advised to remove plaque from braces. However, regular floss is sometimes challenging to use with braces as you can imagine. A quality dental Floss pick is necessary to make the task easier.

With braces, the most efficient tool is a water pick as it’s safer and produces better results.

But water picks are not accessible to everyone. Most people also don’t know how to use floss picks with braces. In this article, we will explore how you can floss your teeth with braces using regular flossers.

Best Way to Floss with Braces – Are waxed floss threads the best way to floss with braces?

chimp flossing teeth

Waxed thin floss threads should be the standard to use with braces. Regular floss gets snagged between wires and pins. If you only have access to unwaxed flosses, you will need to slow it down a few notches and be extra gentle to prevent the thread from getting caught in the braces.

Note: Be careful not to accidentally cut the thread as it will get stuck in your braces and will take you some time to remove it. Here is a step by step guide to how to floss when you wear braces:

Step 1: Make sure you have enough floss thread (try 18 inches for more control)
Step 2: Move the thread under the wire
Step 3: Pass it between your teeth
Step 4: Remove the floss again with passing out of the wire in mind
Step 5: Repeat for all teeth

This tool and process might not look ideal. If you think that this is too much of a hassle, keep reading, we have some solutions for you.

How to remove stuck floss thread from braces

green braces on crooked teeth

Having stuck floss in your braces is a nightmare. There are a few ways you can deal with the situation. Here’s a list of solutions to get rid of the flossing thread in order, from the easiest to the most elaborate solutions.

1. gargle water
2. pull the thread gently
3. brush your teeth
4. use a water flosser (if you have one)
5. visit your dentist

Some floss types will dissolve on their own inside your mouth in a few hours. If you find yourself in this situation, make sure to first check the type of floss you’re using. If you are using the type that dissolves then you don’t need to take any further action besides being patient.

Here’s how to use floss picks if you have braces

Water picks remain the best solution to use with braces. It’s the safest and fastest way to clean your braces and teeth.

Another efficient solution is floss picks like Fresh Aid Oral Care 3-in-1 floss pick with a tongue scraper. Since the set has both a floss toothpick and a tongue scraper, it makes it easier to batch both flossing and tongue scraping after brushing.

The small floss thread will easily pass through the wires. The soft pick is easy to use when removing food between teeth. Using toothpick floss makes many things easier if you have braces.

There are not many steps to use floss picks if you have braces. Here are the steps.

Step 1: Use the pick in between the contacts
Step 2: Work your way gently around your mouth
Step 3: Use the floss thread part as usual

Note: Some floss picks are thicker than others. Make sure that the plastic in the floss part will fit in between the wires so you don’t damage your braces.

Step 4: You can alternate using the pick and the floss part
Step 5: Work your way through each teeth
Step 6: Gargle water while doing this and end the session by gargling more water

As you can see, floss picks are easy to use even if you have braces. You need to be careful although there’s very little chance of floss thread to get caught in the wires.

The question remains what’s the best way to floss?

Floss Picks vs Floss – What’s the Easiest Way to Floss?

Is it even a contest when you pit floss picks vs floss? 

What’s a floss pick, again? As if you don’t know.

You’ve seen a floss pick before in your local drugstore or grocery – those small, disposable, plastic toothpick looking things with a small thread of floss in them. They come in small packets or a small plastic container.

Floss picks are super convenient when you’re a frequent traveler. It’s the easiest way to floss when you’re a person on the go.   

When it comes to floss picks vs floss, individual preference does matter because there are instances where floss pick is advantageous to use and there are situations where using regular floss just makes sense.

When is a floss pick better to use than regular floss

So floss picks vs floss? Floss picks really shine when you want to floss and you’re not at home. It’s easy to just toss the packet in your travel bag, school bag or briefcase then use it once you need it.

It’s one of the ultimate alternatives to flossing!


Floss picks are convenient. Even if you’re at home, a floss pick is faster to use than regular floss.

It’s the same as when you’re traveling. Pick up the packet of biodegradable floss picks and you’re set.

Floss picks are more effective at removing food particles and plaques 

According to many articles online, floss picks are more effective at removing food particles and plaques than regular floss. Since it’s shaped like a toothpick, and effectively is a floss thread with a handle. This makes it easier to grip which makes it easier to move and remove food particles with either the toothpick part or the floss half.   

Floss picks make reaching the back of the mouth easier.

The floss handle makes it easier to reach inside the mouth. Again, this is intentional due to the design of the floss pick. The size will vary but you can buy them at any size that you require because it’s so cheap anyway.

When is a floss pick not better than regular floss

floss thread out of a floss dispenser

There are situations where floss pick is not the tool for the job. That’s why floss threads still exist. They’re still useful for specific people.

So when is a floss pick a bad choice vs regular floss?

You will use more than one floss pick

Most people need more than one piece of floss pick as opposed to regular floss where you only need one string. Since floss picks are cheap, the floss part and the toothpick part may or may not be the most durable.

This doesn’t apply to all floss picks as there are many brands that are aware of this problem and thus addressed or solved the breaking problem.

In general, floss picks break and you will need to use a couple of them to finish up 1 flossing session.

Harder to clean below the gum lines

Floss picks have small floss threads so the movement of the thread is limited which is attributed to its inability to clean the gumline thoroughly. 

But again, as stated before, there are floss picks that are bigger than others. While the bigger floss picks movement is still limited, it’s a little bit longer and you can curve the floss thread so you can move it much more than the small version. 

Harder to use for people with tighter teeth

This one could be the deal-breaker for a few people. Floss picks can be very hard to use for people who have tighter packed teeth.

While floss picks do have wax similar to regular floss, it’s still designed to be like a toothpick. So whatever cleaning power you gain from curving floss threads and using two hands with a regular floss you lose some of that when using a floss pick.

Do note that you can buy the best floss picks for tight teeth. They are out there and available.

There are products that are specifically designed to solve, or at least mitigate some of the tight teeth problems. These design decisions make it easier for people to use these floss picks even if they have tight teeth. 

Check out the article above for a list of the best floss picks.

High-Quality floss with pick

Fresh Aid oral care’s floss pick is a unique 3-in-1. It’s innovative, tough and very usable. It’s one of the best floss alternatives for people who are frequent travelers.

It’s got a tucked in pick which makes it safe to store in bags. It’s tough as nails so you don’t need to use multiple floss picks in one session. It has a tongue scraper to prevent bad breath on the go.

Floss picks vs floss –  What’s your choice?

Regardless of the choice, flossing alternatives are better than not flossing at all. If you want convenience then Fresh-Aid Oral health care 3-in-1 floss pick and tongue cleaner will have you flossing on the go.

floss picks vs floss - this floss beats regular floss

It doesn’t matter even if you’re in school, office, airport or hotel. The 3-in-1 Fresh-Aid floss, pick and tongue scraper will do a great job like you’re using a thread floss in your own home. 

Are you flying somewhere in a couple of days or so? Pick up a Fresh-Aid floss pick pack right now and up your oral hygiene game!

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