When you come in for your annual cleaning, we will likely use a dental pick to help clean between your teeth. This tool, just like floss, is used to remove bacteria, food particles, and other debris from between your teeth. This may make you wonder if you should get a dental pick to use at home instead of flossing. While that might seem like a good idea, there are several reasons why only professionals should use a dental pick.
The Dangers of At-Home Dental Pick Use
When we clean your teeth with a dental pick, we are able to very clearly see your teeth. We can carefully control where the pick goes, and we know how much pressure to apply. At home, you may not be able to guide the pick as clearly, even using a mirror and bright lights. There's also the risk of using too much force. You can actually hurt your teeth, gums, and other parts of your mouth if you try to force the pick forward. If it were to go skidding off your teeth, for example, it could puncture your gums or cheek. Dental picks are pointed and can be fairly sharp, so it's possible to truly hurt yourself if you're not careful. If you scrape the pick across your teeth, you can also damage the enamel. This can also occur if you try to push the pick in between two teeth that are very close to each other.
Why Floss Is a Better Option
For your regular, daily at-home cleaning, floss is a much better option. It's much more difficult to hurt yourself with it, and you don't have to be as careful when using it to clean between your teeth. It's also easier to use to clean your back teeth since it can be difficult to guide the pick back into the darker parts of your mouth. So, stick to flossing, and we'll handle cleaning your teeth with a pick when you're in for your six-month checkups. Need to schedule one of those? Give us a call today.
WHAT OUR PATIENTS ARE SAYING:
As a patient, three things stand out to me about Cooley Smiles - the great quality dental work, the cleanliness of the facility and thorough follow up. These are major differentiators that I look for in dental providers and to-date, I've always been satisfied with my experience. Thanks for the great patient care, Cooley Smiles team!