Module 4: The ritual of picking

  • How to clean the 50% that brushing does not remove?
  • This ritual is theoretically 1.8 million years old
  • How this ritual is your main diagnostic for dental and overall health
Why is this more important than brushing?

As we age, we may experience a reduction in gum height, which is known as recession. This can cause the gap between teeth to become larger, creating a food trap when we eat. Normal brushing may not be able to remove the food trapped in these gaps, and a special instrument is required.

The best option for regular use is a specially designed triangular interdental toothpick made from birchwood. Birchwood has natural fibers that act like brushes, and the birch sap (xylitol) can reduce bacterial growth in a natural way.

The wood makes it a more eco-friendly product than the plastic interdental brushes available on the market. However, if some gaps between teeth are very large (as with tilted teeth or implants), using an interdental brush in addition to the toothpick is recommended.

Please be careful not to use the round cocktail picks that do not fit in the tri-angular shape between your teeth. Floss has also been proven inferior to dental woodsticks and can even damage the gum when not used correctly.

Let’s see how tooth picking is done correctly in the following 4 mins video from Dr. Stuart Orton-Jones

Why is a toothpick an important diagnostic tool?

Interdental toothpicks are an important diagnostic tool for detecting bleeding indicating gum problems. Bleeding gums are often one of the first signs of gum disease, and they can be an early warning sign of other health issues.

By using an interdental toothpick to clean between teeth, you can effectively detect any bleeding that may occur during cleaning. 

With correct once daily use of an interdental toothpick you can heal the early stage of gum disease in 10 days! I would recommend to take vitamin C  (3 times daily 1000-2000 mg) and vitamin D (once daily 5000 IE) supplements during those 10 days.

When bleeding still occurs after 10 days you might have more serious inflammations which require further attention from a dental professional.

The use of a toothpick has been traced back to marks on the teeth of a pre-historic Hominid found in Georgia. So this instrument has a 1.8 million year history!

 In the next modules you will learn how gum issues might have other origins