Last updated: August 10, 2021

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As the name suggests, with a toothpick you get a small poke that is pointed and is also used for dental care, among other things. The toothpick can be bought in many different shapes and types. The toothpick as we know it today is no longer made of wood and is used for many different occasions.

As a rule, you use dental floss when you want to clean the spaces between your teeth. But if you're out and about and don't have any floss to hand, many people use a toothpick. In restaurants, too, a wooden toothpick is often used to remove coarse food debris from the teeth.




The most important facts

  • The toothpick is considered a simple tool that is used to free our teeth from food residues. To make it easy to get into the spaces between teeth, either one end or both ends are sharpened. The traditional toothpick is thin and about six to seven centimetres long. It is usually made of wood. Modern toothpicks, also called interdental sticks, are made of plastic or metal.
  • In earlier times, however, toothpicks were also made from grass and straws, or from various metals, such as the whiskers of walruses or the feathers of chicken and duck birds. The most common material, however, has always been wood. In the second half of the 19th century, the industrial production process was added; until then, toothpicks had been carved from wood shavings.
  • Toothpicks not only ensure oral hygiene after meals and possibly save us from embarrassing moments, they are also great everyday helpers for our household. So it's definitely worth having a few of them on hand at all times.

The Best Toothpicks: Our Picks

To make your purchase decision a little easier, we have listed six types of toothpicks for you to compare.

Buying and evaluation criteria for toothpicks

Here we list the most important buying and evaluation criteria for toothpicks:

To make your purchase decision easier, we have summarised the most important features for toothpicks in detail.

Wood type

There are various types of wood, but most of them are made from the Chinese toothpick tree, a cultivar of the Japanese bonsai, millions of which are grown in tiny plantations. They then only have to be debarked and sharpened for the trade. Toothpicks made of bamboo are also widespread, and of course they are also available in birch wood.

Bamboo is considered a sustainable wood species and is a very versatile wood. The advantage of bamboo toothpicks is that they are very hard and less prone to breaking or splintering. That is why bamboo is also used to make barbecue skewers, for example.

Size

The size of the toothpicks can vary. If you buy a normal wooden toothpick, they are usually six to eight centimetres long. The medical toothpicks that are used for dental care are always made in different lengths. There are no general standards for how long a toothpick should be.

For use in the catering trade, toothpicks are often made somewhat larger, in lengths between 20 and 30 centimetres, so that they can then be used for baking and cooking. The longer toothpicks can also be used, for example, to gauge the firmness inside a cake.

Manufacture

Toothpicks are now produced using tried and tested processes, so that several thousand toothpicks can be produced every minute. Toothpicks are made of wood, plastic or other materials in various companies. A large production country is, among others, Portugal, where toothpicks are still made by hand.

Medical toothpicks

Medical toothpicks are characterised by their versatile shapes. They are often called crossbows, which have two different sides. One side is usually equipped with a dental floss or small brush to clean the interdental spaces. There are also toothpicks that are enriched with fluoride or flavour. The fluorides give a feeling of freshness and strengthen the tooth.

Normal toothpicks

Normal toothpicks are usually made of wood or plastic and are usually packed in a dispenser or container. This also includes the toothpicks with flags or flags. A normal toothpick is usually one that is made of wood and has two pointed ends.

In gastronomy, toothpicks made of silver or metal are often used to mark certain dishes. These types of toothpicks can be cleaned and used several times.

Conclusion

The toothpicks are very versatile, which is their great advantage. Whether you want to use them in a wooden form for your party snacks or as a hygiene item to clean your interdental spaces, they are useful for every occasion.

For a good and hygienic interdental cleaning, we recommend the plastic sticks, which are recommended by dentists. For on the go, there is a wide range of toothpicks that come in small dispensers and fit in any handbag. We hope that you have found the right product for you through our suggestions.

(Cover picture: Hanjörg Scherzer / Pixabay)

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