With the holidays upon us, you’re probably indulging in a few more delicious treats than usual. Did you know that as November fades into December, there’s one holiday that gets overlooked? That’s National Flossing Day! So, while you’re standing in the check-out line with your cart full of holiday gifts, remember the importance of using dental floss daily, and getting that last bit of turkey stuck between your molars.
Flossing is the best way to remove plaque from the hard-to-brush areas between your teeth and under your gum line. Why is that so important? Because plaque is composed of bacteria. If left unchecked, it can lead to infection, tooth and bone loss; plaque has even been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
There are plenty of types and brands of dental floss on the market. And when it comes down to it, the best dental floss brands for you are the ones you’ll actually use. You’ll probably need to experiment with a couple of different brands to find your ideal floss. But to give you a head start, we’ve listed the most popular flossing products available and mentioned a popular brand from each category based upon online product reviews.
Unwaxed Dental Floss
- What It Is: Unwaxed dental floss is thin nylon yarn composed of 35 strands twisted together for strength.
- Ideal For: Medium- to widely-spaced teeth (it can be prone to shedding or breaking between closely-spaced teeth) or for those who want to avoid the flavors/chemicals in waxed floss
- Popular Brand: Reach® Unwaxed Dental Floss by Johnson & Johnson.
Waxed Dental Floss
- What It Is: Waxed dental floss is basic dental floss coated with a light layer of wax
- Ideal For: General flossing around medium- to widely-spaced teeth (waxed floss is less likely to break than unwaxed floss, but the coating can make it more difficult to use in tight spots).
- Popular Brand: drTung’s® Smart Floss, which stretches and thins to reach into tight spaces, but expands for thorough cleaning where needed.
- What It Is: Dental tape is broader and flatter than standard floss and comes in waxed or unwaxed versions.
- Ideal For: People with widely-spaced teeth and those who find winding traditional floss around their fingers uncomfortable.
- Popular Brand: Reach® Dentotape by Johnson & Johnson is an effective, extra-wide waxed tape that is comfortable to use and removes plaque with minimal effort.
PTFE Dental Floss
- What It Is: Polytetrafluorethylene floss (PTFE) is the same material used in high-tech Gore-Tex fabric. The material slides between the teeth easily and is less likely to shred compared to standard floss.
- Ideal For: Cleaning around gums and tightly-spaced teeth.
- Popular Brand: Oral-B® Glide Pro-Health Comfort plus offers an extremely smooth and shed-resistant texture that removes plaque well without irritating teeth or gums.
Super Floss/Threaded Dental Floss
- What It Is: Super floss, or threaded floss, is made from yarn-like material which has stiffer sections on each end.
- Ideal For: Flossing around implants, braces, or bridges.
- Popular Brand: Oral-B® Glide Pro-Health Threader Floss is smooth and shred resistant, allowing it to effectively remove plaque around orthodontic appliances.
- What It Is: A floss holder is a Y-shaped plastic tool that holds a length of floss between two prongs.
- Ideal For: People who have difficulty manipulating dental floss around their teeth or fitting their fingers into their mouths.
- Popular Brand: The Reach® Access Flosser features a long handle and disposable heads, which easily snap on and off.
- What it is: A floss pick is a small, disposable flossing device with a floss holder on one end and a tooth pick on the other.
- Ideal For: Quick, convenient, on-the-go flossing
- Popular Brand: Plackers® Micro Mint dental flosser features shred-resistant floss and a protected pick, which folds away until it’s needed.
No matter which flossing product you choose, it’s not going to be effective unless you know how to use it. Floss every day, following these steps, and your gums will thank you.
- Break off about 18 inches of floss, and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers.
- Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the other hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes used.
- Hold the floss tightly (without any slack) between your two hands, with about an inch of floss between them. Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle sawing motion.
- When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C-shape against the tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel resistance.
- Hold the floss against the tooth. Gently scrape the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum.
- Repeat this technique on all your teeth, including the teeth in back.
And, by the way, we hope you had a happy National Flossing Day. Keep celebrating – by that we mean floss daily!
Do You Have Dental Care Questions?
Pointe Dental Group can provide you with a complete examination, answer your questions, and discuss your treatment options. Schedule an appointment with us today! New patients can receive FREE comprehensive exam and consultation, plus a full panoramic x-ray with a paid cleaning procedure (a $200 value)!
Grosse Pointe Farms: (313) 881-2480
Shelby Township: (586) 803-8300
Don’t miss a thing! Connect with us on Facebook!