As dental professionals, we may get a little bit more excited about dental hygiene products that our patients, but the truth is that everyone should pay close attention when choosing which dental products to buy. Which toothbrush or toothpaste is best for you depends on your unique dental condition, but did you know that the same is true of floss? There are 5 main types of floss and each have their own advantages and disadvantages.
This is probably the product that comes to mind first if you think of dental floss. Dentists and hygienists tend to like waxed floss for its durability. It consists of nylon string coated in a wax that helps prevent the strands from shredding or breaking during use. The downside of this type of floss is the coating makes it hard to fit into tight spaces between particular snug teeth.
Un-waxed is made of dozens of fine strands of nylon twisted into a single string. It’s lack of a wax coating makes it a little easier to get between teeth, but it’s more prone to fraying. Both waxed and un-waxed floss are good for people with relatively healthy teeth and gums, but people with limited dexterity may find it difficult to use.
Like regular floss, dental tape comes in waxed and un-waxed varieties. This floss is wider and flatter than the string kind, which many people find makes it easier to use if their teeth are not tightly spaced. The brand Glide by Oral-B is a dental tape that many patients are familiar with.
Super floss is like regular floss on both ends but has a thicker, fluffy section in the middle. This extra thick floss is meant for those with large gaps between their teeth or dental appliances such as bridges or braces. The ends of super floss are usually stiff to help with threading it between teeth or under bridgework.
Floss holders are Y-shaped or E-shaped tools that have a small segment of floss string between two prongs at one end. This type of floss is much easier to use for those with limited dexterity. However, we don’t like that the small, taut section of floss can’t wrap around a tooth while flossing. And unlike the other types of floss, you can’t use a fresh section of floss between each set of teeth, which could transfer bacteria from one part of your mouth to another where it wasn’t present before.
If this seems like an overwhelming amount of choice, always feel free to ask us about what floss we recommend for you at your next visit to our dental practice. We’re always happy to give you advice on how to best care for your teeth at home on a daily basis.