We know that flossing is essential to our dental hygiene, but it’s not always easy to incorporate it into our daily routine. Skipping or flossing infrequently can lead to painful experiences with bleeding gums and soreness. However, floss is crucial in teeth care. Floss helps loosen food caught between our teeth. Flossing stimulates our gums, which helps prevent gingivitis, and it helps prevent plaque buildup on the teeth. Remember that plaque buildup can lead to tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. Overall, flossing removes debris, reducing the chance of tooth decay and gum disease in the mouth. But what kind of floss are we supposed to use? There are so many choices! What are our floss options? We did some digging to learn about all the different kinds of floss to help you determine what is best for you. Take a look:
This floss is coated with wax to help floss slide into difficult spaces between your teeth. There is also flavored waxed floss, like mint, for added freshness. Waxed floss is not more or less effective than unwaxed floss. It is a matter of preference. However, it may be more resistant to breakfast than unwaxed floss.
Flattened floss, also known as dental tape, is wider and flat piece of nylon. This is designed to increase surface area coverage on the tooth. It can be easier to slide in between the teeth.
This is a much thinner floss. If you haven’t flossed in a while, flattened floss may be a better choice. There are may different thicknesses of floss; find what feels best to you.
Superfloss and floss threaders
This floss has a stiff end piece for threading in and out of orthodontic appliances, a spongy piece to help clean around those appliances and between the teeth, and standard unwaxed floss for basic flossing. This floss is ideal for people with braces or other dental appliances.
These tools are designed as supplementary/helping materials for children and caregivers. Some also prefer holding the tool instead of the actual floss in your hands. Be sure to check that the floss is tight and taut on the tool, or else it will not be as effective.
The American Dental Association recommends flossing once a day, either before or after brushing. If you choose to floss before you brush, the fluoride from your toothpaste has a better chance of reaching the teeth. There are also irrigation devices and tufted brush options to help keep your teeth clean. Talk to your dentist, and experiment to find what works best for you. Happy flossing!