Toothpicks are the most basic tool to clean your teeth with and, in most cases, the roughest of all. Many dentists are reluctant when it comes to using classic toothpicks (that is, pieces of wood), but contemporary solutions prove to be effective and interesting at the same time. In addition, toothpicks are preferable in some cases (especially when you travel a lot) and they can replace to some extent the use of interdental toothbrushes. Here’s a list with your options when dealing with professional toothpicks or dental sticks.
They are the most common of all, but few of them qualify at a professional level. They need to be perfectly smooth in order to be effective and the choice of wood is also relevant, with linden, bamboo, and birch occupying the top places.
Wooden toothpicks come in many shapes, but you need to consider two aspects alone:
- Thickness – choose between slim, medium, and thick, according to your interdental space;
- Fluoride – some professional wooden dental sticks contain fluoride, whereas others don’t.
They are basically the best you can get and they’re not expensive at all. In addition, they go smoother against the gums and they offer the questionable advantage of being reusable (which is not recommended by some practitioners). Check for the following features:
- Handle – they are useful if you need to clean areas between the back teeth.
- Texture surface – this may refer to a set of stripped lines, barely visible, found near the top of the toothpick. They are ideal for removing detritus from between teeth.
- Bristles – some professional toothpicks feature bristles at one end to take mobile cleaning to the next level.
- Bendable material – the best we’ve seen are made of special plastic that bends at one end, which is great for back teeth or for difficult-to-reach cleaning areas.
- Whitening – some plastic toothpicks are treated with a substance that whitens your teeth. In this case, you need to follow the instructions precisely to avoid overusing them.
Metal and bone toothpicks
They are not recommended, and they should be avoided, as they may cause various types of injuries.