Fingernail, Toothpick, Floss and Other Means to Clean Teeth

I am one of the uncountable persons blessed with crooked teeth. The misaligned teeth with spacing wide enough to accommodate food debris. Particles often cling in between. So far the hardest thing that clung were guava seeds.

Food debris on teeth does three things. A nuisance. It look really ugly when visible to others. It is so embarrassing when a person you are talking at told you that you have stain on teeth. Dental caries. Bacteria feeding on it will produce substance that causes decay, holes and bad breath eventually. Annoyance. It manifest uncomfortable sensation and sometimes pain. True for fibrous and hard foods. Some of the worst experiences were tooth breakage due to hard foods and extreme pain cause by stuck particles.

We are removing food debris by means of:

Toothbrush. Brushing teeth is recommended thrice a day or every after meal. Or, fourth times a day, most of us brush teeth first thing in the morning. It washes away saliva together with the remaining foods.

Mouthwash. According to advertisements, it kill germs which cannot be destroyed by tooth brushing. It is a disinfectant, so beneficial microorganisms are also killed.

Fingernail. The immediate response and unhygienic practice. Covering mouth with right hand and forcing the debris out with the left fingernail. Not very effective based from experience specially when the nail is trimmed short.

Toothpick. A short and thin piece of wood with double pointed end. Often used in canteens and karinderyas. Establishments never provide place for brushing teeth. Customers prick teeth spaces immediately after a meal. Toothpick is not available in fast food chains and class restaurants.

Twigs and grass stalks. A toothpick alternative. Available during picnics, mountain and river adventures.

Floss. A sanitized string in a dispenser. Get an adequate length. Hold both ends with left and right hand and run in between teeth spaces. I think it was introduced to compete with wooden toothpick. However, advertisements recommend using it every after meal to remove debris which cannot be removed by tooth brushing alone.

Floss Stick. Wooden toothpick is convenient but not strong and thin enough to be effective. The floss is more effective but not convenient. The floss stick provides the convenience of a toothpick and  effectiveness of a floss.

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