How to Use Dental Softpicks

If you have food particles and plaque between your gums, a product called a softpick is a convenient, easy and safe way to get rid of food particles and plaque—especially when you do not have access to a toothbrush or floss. Select a softpick with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval. It is most hygienic to dispose of the softpick after one use rather than reusing it.

The way a softpick works is small bristles made from wood or rubber massage and remove the dental gunk. Because the bristles are flexible, they hug the tooth and gum surfaces for effective cleaning. They can be used to clean teeth and gums, as well as braces, dentures, dental implants and crowns (also known as the “interdental area”). We all have plaque, but using picks, along with good brushing after meals and related care helps keep the plaque from hardening into tartar.

With a pick made of wood, be sure to moisten it before using. Massage the space gently, including the gums so that you remove food and plaque. For wood or rubber picks, use tissue or water to clean the pick after using it in each space before moving on to the next crevice. By taking care to wipe and clean, you will keep plaque and particles from hanging on to the pick, in a way that moves the plaque from one spot to the next.

Never push the pick if you feel pain or any tightness between the teeth.  

Keeping your gums healthy is important to your overall health, and softpicks are especially good if you don’t enjoy (or get around to) flossing regularly. There’s a reason the word “soft” is used for this relatively new tool, because it is a soft enough to not cause any pain or discomfort, while still doing an important job for your overall dental hygiene.

We can show you how to effectively use softpicks on your next visit.

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