Choosing the Right Kind of Dental Floss

ShoppingTips & Advice

  • Author Dr. Zachary Kingsberg
  • Published May 11, 2022
  • Word count 525

At a glance, it might seem like all dental floss is the same. However, when you visit your local store for oral hygiene products, you’re likely to find a ton of different options to choose from. It can be hard to know which one is right for you. The following post covers the various dental floss types that your dentist might recommend based on your situation.

Unwaxed Floss

Unwaxed floss is a very common kind of dental floss made of a nylon material comprised of several strands twisted together. It’s much thinner than other types of floss, meaning it can fit more easily in smaller gaps between your teeth; it’s also unflavored, so you don’t have to worry about any chemicals on the floss. The downside is that unwaxed floss is more likely to shred or break, so you need to be especially careful when using it.

Waxed Floss

Waxed floss is made the same way as unwaxed floss except it’s covered in a layer of wax. This adds extra strength to the floss, making it less likely to shred or break at the long time. The wax also makes it easier to move the floss between your teeth. However, the additional wax layer makes this type of floss slightly thicker than unwaxed floss, meaning it won’t fit into smaller gaps quite as easily. The choice between unwaxed and waxed floss usually comes down to what’s easier to use with your particular mouth.

Dental Tape

Dental tape is much thicker and flatter than regular dental floss, to the point that it resembles actual tape. It’s usually not suitable for anyone who has teeth that are close together; it’s mainly meant for those with larger gaps that call for thicker floss. It comes in unwaxed and waxed versions depending on your preferences and needs.

Polytetrafluorethylene Floss (PTFE)

Compared to the material usually used to make dental floss, polytetrafluorethylene is quite strong and is less likely to become damaged. It’s also a very smooth material and can very easily slide into the gaps between your teeth. However, the creation of PTFE floss involves perfluorooctanoic acid, which is a carcinogen that can damage your immune system. It is therefore not recommended to use this type of floss for an extended period of time.

Super Floss

Super floss comes with a stiff end threader that makes it easier to maneuver under dental bridges and through braces. It’s extremely useful for people who have any kind of dental fixture they need to work around during their oral hygiene routine. That said, this type of floss may not be suitable for those with especially small gaps between the teeth, as it can be difficult to fit the threader through.

Flossing is essential for preventing gum disease and cavities between the teeth, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve chosen the right tool for the job. Talk to your dentist at your next checkup. Once they’re done examining and cleaning your teeth, they can give you tips on what kinds of oral hygiene products are best for you.

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