Here’s When You Shouldn’t Use Floss Picks, According to Dentists.

As the makers of the Element floss holder, an eco-friendly and reusable floss pick…

We’d obviously like to think that everyone should use it.

After all, floss picks are a hygienic way to floss.


There are two reasons for why you shouldn’t use floss picks.

Dentists Greg Grillo and Erica Anand independently shared their opinions about this below.

And what you should do instead.

Take a look.

Written by Artem Cheprasov and answered by Greg Grillo, DDS and Erica Anand, DDS. Last updated: Jun. 2, 2022.

An image of a crossed out single use floss pick

Key Takeaways

Take a look at Dr. Grillo’s and Dr. Anand’s full answers below.

To summarize them…

There are two cases for when you shouldn’t use floss picks.


If you have trouble using floss picks or floss handles due to dexterity issues…

Then you shouldn’t stop flossing.

Good oral health is very important.

Instead, try using a water pick, as it may be easier for you to use.

An image showing water piks as an alternative to people with dexterity issues


Although it’s unlikely that a floss pick will spread bacteria

If you have cardiovascular disease in combination with poor oral health…

Then you might want to skip the disposable floss pick and use traditional finger floss instead.

An image showing floss as an alternative to people with cardiovascular disease

Of course, always consult with your personal dentist about the specifics of your case prior to starting or stopping flossing.

Dr. Greg Grillo’s Answer

Are there any medical situations where the use of a disposable flosser or a reusable flosser is not advisable?

A Headshot of Dr. Greg Grillo, DDS

“It’s a rare situation where someone shouldn’t floss their teeth with a disposable flosser or floss holder.

A floss holder provides a little more flexibility to change to a new piece of floss, so it could be a bit more economical.

Plaque causes inflammation in the gums as the immune system reacts to the bacterial toxins. Left undisturbed, inflammation increases and even spreads throughout the body, which may cause more health problems.

We need to clean in-between the teeth with something on a daily basis.

But if someone struggles with floss or flossing tools due to dexterity or poor hand coordination, a water flosser may be an easier alternative to use.”

Dr. Erica Anand’s Answer

Are there any scenarios when you should avoid using floss picks?

A Headshot of Dr Erica Anand DDS

“There is no concrete evidence that disposable flossers would cause much harm for medically compromised patients.

However, since we know that there is a direct link between periodontal disease and heart disease, if a patient has cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) disease, it may be best to skip disposable flossers and to use new sections of traditional string or tape floss instead.

The concern for these medically compromised patients would be to spread bacteria from one site into another pocket site, which could potentially get into the bloodstream.”