No single type of floss is best for every mouth, which is why there are so many different varieties of dental floss in today’s market. In fact, there is no reason why you can’t utilize the benefits of several different types of dental floss products while meeting your daily floss requirements. As with any product, finding the right dental floss for your oral care needs might take some trial and error.
No matter what product you choose, the most important thing is to remember to floss every day.
Why You Should Be Flossing Regularly
Many people overlook the benefits of flossing and fail to realize the impact it has on your oral health. Tooth decay is a serious oral health concern that is caused by a buildup of plaque. When dental plaque accumulates, it produces an acid that attacks your tooth enamel, leaving you with tooth decay. Dental plaque also irritates the gums to the extent that they bleed easily and become red and tender, often leading to gingivitis.
Tooth brushing alone is not adequate for the removal of the plaque hiding between your teeth. Brushing removes plaque from the surfaces, but only dental floss can effectively clean the hard-to-reach areas between the teeth for a complete clean.
Types of Dental Floss
The American Dental Association recommends that you floss your teeth every day. There are many products available that are designed to make flossing easier. The best type of dental floss is the one that you use every day.
This type of floss has a thin wax coating. It is the most common type of floss used because of its ability to slide between teeth gently. Waxed floss can be slightly more difficult to get between teeth that are incredibly close together, but it is also less likely to break in those tight spots.
The preferred type of floss for patients whose teeth are close or tightly aligned. Unwaxed floss is not as strong as waxed floss, so it can break or fray more easily.
A strand of dental tape is flat and broader than a piece of traditional dental floss. Dental tape comes in both waxed and unwaxed varieties and is suited for cleaning between teeth that are not close together.
This type of floss is more similar to yarn than to string and has a stiff portion on each end for better hand control while using it. Super floss is a patient favorite for those with braces, bridges or dental implants.
These handy tools can be purchased either with floss already loaded into them or empty so you can place your favorite type of floss into its “Y” shape. Floss holders make using floss easier for those who have limited mobility or for younger patients just learning the fundamentals of flossing.
Water picking is also known as water flossing and is different from traditional dental floss. Water picking utilizes a special machine that directs a stream of water into the mouth and gums. Rather than scraping the teeth to remove plaque, water flossing uses the pressure of the water to gently massage the gums and push left-behind food away from the teeth.
Look for The ADA Seal
Flossing is an essential component of your daily oral hygiene practices and is vital for maintaining excellent oral health. Regardless of the style of dental floss you choose, be sure to look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. The ADA is a professional association of dentists in the United States that is committed to oral health and ethical dental practices. Ask Dr. de Jongh what type of floss is best for your teeth at your next dental exam.