Unlike a toothbrush or toothpaste that may be recommended or prescribed by your dentist, your dental floss choice is all up to you. Most dentists agree that there isn’t really a difference in effectiveness between all the different flosses out there. So if they all do the same thing, why are there so many different options?
Well, when it comes to floss, it is all about personal preference.
If you ask your dentist what the most important aspect of your floss is, he or she will almost definitely say daily use. You need to be using your floss every day after you brush, but because you and your next-door neighbor Jim have different mouths and tastes, his favorite floss will probably differ from yours.
Although most flosses are tasteless or minty, there are a lot of options out there. If you hate mint and prefer bubblegum, cinnamon, or even bacon, get a floss that is your favorite flavor. You’ll be more likely to use it.
Multifilament floss is your traditional woven string. However, in the past few years, new monofilmaent options have appeared. More like a ribbon, this floss is stronger and doesn’t rip or tear. Because the material doesn’t need to be waxed for that smooth movement, many monofilament flosses have the word “glide” in the name.
Size and Texture
Do you have teeth that are tight together or another circumstance—like braces—that makes it hard to floss? No fear! There are flosses that are made especially for varying teeth positions.
- Waxed floss is coated with wax to make it easier to slide through.
- Spongy floss is available for those who have dental hardware like braces or bridges.
- Dental tape is thicker and ribbon-like to cover more area for people with larger gaps between their teeth.
If you don’t like the mess of tearing off the floss string every time you floss, or you worry that floss isn’t getting all the nooks and crannies of your teeth (because it isn’t), there are other options to help make your flossing more enjoyable and effective.
Try premeasured flossers or disposable, single-use flossers if the mess is your main concern. Supplement your flossing with dental picks to get in the crevices. And if holding the floss is hard for you, whether it’s due to age or size, there are even floss holders available.