Toothpicks don't work

So, just now I had a piece of meat stuck between two molars.
I reach first of all for a plastic candy bar wrapper to try to slide it out (this is the kind of info you were hoping to get from the Dope today, right?)

But then I see in front of me the perfect thing: a (wooden) toothpick. I can be semi-civilized. Except, what the hell, it’s absolutely useless, being an order of magnitude too thick to even poke at the meat, let alone pull it out, or slide between the teeth.

So, what gives? The name implies someone, somewhere must have used one for picking something from teeth once. How?

BTW in case you’re worried, the candy bar wrapper got the meat out there in no time. Seriously I’d put “thick candy bar wrapper” above brushing or even floss in how quickly it gets the job done.

I usually have floss picks around and keep some in the car.
These are not the ones I prefer. The ones I use have a little plastic brushy thing on the end that works well for me.
I agree about wood tooth picks though. They are usually too big to do the job. Some places have the flat ones and they are better.

wooden toothpicks are best if infused with cinnamon!

During my smoking years, cigarette pack cellophane worked best for me.

The last time I tried to use a toothpick it fell apart into about three pieces as soon as I put any force on it. It was obviously made for testing cakes and not cleaning teeth.

Rotopoints. I never leave home without them.

The Doctor’s Brushpicks

They’re also very good for cleaning out your e-cig cartridge and battery.

No, toothpicks are bullshit. Everybody knows this, yet they continue to exist. Floss sticks are aces, but none of that Dentek nonsense, whose flimsy floss strings are easily shredded between your teeth. I swear by CVS brand floss sticks; those things are indestructible.

You should also try those toothpick brushes. They work pretty well too. Edit: Or I could have read the post directly above mine, re: Brushpicks.

Wooden toothpicks are OK for dislodging raspberry/blackberry seeds, I find. They’re also OK for making sure you haven’t got visible pieces of food stuck to your front teeth.

I always thought toothpicks were more for painfully stabbing yourself in the gums so you’d forget about the annoying thing stuck in your teeth.

Try StimuDents.

They are flat, wedge-shaped toothpicks that fit perfectly in the spaces between teeth. I got them from my dentist, and now I use them all the time. They also come in a thin version, for very tight spaces.

Wooden toothpicks are useful for poking in between teeth at the gum line, as far as they go, and then scraping away from the gum to drag whatever’s in there out to the face of the tooth. Poking something all the way through to the other side of the tooth is only one of several possible ways of doing it.

The little round brushes that you can poke all the way through are pretty much the best. They’re so scrubby and satisfying. In fact, when I first started using them, I so liked being able to scrub the gum between the teeth that it felt wrong if I missed one of those spaces – and then I started wanting to be able to get the spaces in between the spaces, or so it seemed. Like I wanted to scrub right through the middle of each tooth. Damnedest thing.

Stimudent sold at Walgreens and CVS and many other places work fine for me.

Yeah this is what I was after when starting this thread.

They’re even ubiquitous here in China, so I was starting to wonder if it was just me using them wrong.

But now I think toothpicks are common for 2 reasons:

  1. Toothpicks can be used for other things, like cocktail sticks or trying to look cool
  2. The name implies something useful, and not enough people stop to think whether they are fit for that purpose

I’m the only waterpick fan I guess.

Get off my lawn you punks

I use toothpicks a lot and understand the frustration. I prefer the little flat guys, but they’re hard to find around here. I like the flat ones because they split the best. When requiring a toothpick, I’ll grab 4-5 of them at a time, and split each one until I get a good, solid, and sharp tool to use. That’s the only way they’re useful… Gotta split 'em first. YMMV.

At my last cleaning, I told the dental hygienist that I enjoyed flossing and found it weirdly satisfying. I thought I was strange for liking it. She told me that this is pretty common; people get addicted to cleaning between their teeth, overdo it, and end up damaging their gums.

Just tried splitting some…and indeed some worked; not quite as good as a plastic wrapper, but usable.
So, amusingly, there was a bit of user-error involved.

Thanks everyone for the recommendations. Going to go see if my local wal-mart has any of them (note: my local wal-mart is actually a chinese supermarket simply bought by wal-mart and rebranded, so actually the odds aren’t good).

Eh, I find brushpicks even less useful than toothpicks.

Candy bar cello wrappers, yes. A folded post-it note (I was desperate), yes. Waxed no-shred floss, yes.

But the best ever…a Water-Pik. Tough to carry around to remove the detritus from your lunchtimes steak salad from your teeth, though.