Pros: Easy to use, removes plaque and food between your teeth.
Cons: Shouldn't use them if your teeth are close together.
I have had Stim-U-Dent Plaque Removers longer than many of you have been born. I say have had because although I have them in my hand, I dont use them anymore. They are sold by the 100s with 4 packs of 25 Plaque Removers in each pack. They come in the original flavor or in a mint flavor. I have the original.
What are they?
Made by Johnson & Johnson, these little wood sticks are intended to remove plaque from between the teeth. They are less than 2 inches in length and a bit wider than your average toothpick. They are shaped in a way intended to clean between your teeth and stimulate (thus the name) your gums. One end is flat and the other gets thinner to almost a point.
Each set of 25 is packaged in a small cardboard container that looks and opens like a matchbox except it has cardboard flaps on each side. The package is very easy to open and close and is really very convenient. I dont use them anymore but well get to that in a moment. The one downside to the paper package is the possibility of them getting wet especially if you keep a pack on your bathroom sink for example.
The picks are in the package stuck together. If you look at them they look like an accordion. They easily pull apart but you want to make sure to just take one. I just pulled one apart and got two by accident. They break easily, like a toothpick, which is neither a negative nor a positive. However, like a lollipop or toothpick, keeping them inside your mouth (My dad stopped smoking by having a toothpick in his mouth at all times.) all the time is not a good idea. I was always afraid my dad would swallow his toothpick when he fell asleep!
In order to use them you have to wet them thoroughly in your mouth to soften the wood. You then insert the pointed side so that the pick looks like a canoe and gently use the pick to go in and out between your teeth to clean the area. You should not force these picks into tight spaces between your teeth.
Why I dont use them anymore:
Once upon a time a dentist recommended these to me and I have bought them over the years and obviously still have a pack. In more recent times, however, I was told not to use them for two reasons.
1. My teeth are very close together and the dentist was afraid I was doing more harm than good so I carry around dental floss (The kind that glides.) to get out plaque or something stuck between my teeth. The sticks do feel good, I think. I liked the feel of them rubbing against my gums. That sensation was replaced with the second recommendation of my dentist.
2. A rubber tip device. This is a metal stick, basically, with a rubber tip on the top like you would find on the bottom of a toothbrush. I have about 5 of these and have replaced my Stim-U-Dents with my rubber tips. They dont break and I find them gentler on my gums than the Stim-U-Dents. Between the tips and my floss I think I'm covered.
Jos Final Thoughts:
I have no problem recommending these and will. I think for those of you who dont have my issues, you will find them easy to use, pleasant feeling and they do work to get out plaque and other stuff you might have stuck between your teeth. I cant use them and if you are like me, Id recommend trying a rubber tip. They are indestructible and if somehow the rubber tip comes off or is really old, it can be replaced.
Feel free to leave a comment or a question.