Apparently, most of your patients have been annoyed enough by something stuck between their teeth to resort to using a variety of creative floss substitutes to dislodge it. According to a recent survey,* 61% admitted to using fingernails, 40% folded paper or cards, 21% cutlery (i.e., fork, knife, or spoon), 14% safety pins, and 7% strands of hair (eeuuww).
While no official information is available about the efficacy of any of these tools, the users don't seem to be particularly proud of this behavior. Nearly two-thirds of surveyed adults (63%) also admit they know better than to be using these objects in comparison to dental picks, floss or water flossing tools and two in five (42%) say they've felt pain as a result of removing something stuck in their teeth with an unusual item.
Have any of your patients (or YOU) admitted to using strange things as floss? Let us know.
*An Ipsos poll conducted June 27-28, 2017 on behalf of Waterpik, in consultation with the American Dental Association for the survey design.