Which Dental Floss Is Best for Your Teeth?

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Asian woman flossing teeth with string looking in mirror

Which Dental Floss Is Best for Your Teeth?

There is a variety of dental floss options on the market. Choosing waxed, flavored, picks, spools, and more can be difficult. With so many choices, it can be challenging to determine which is the right floss for you. Which dental floss do dentists prefer for their patients? It depends on a few factors, including whether the patient has braces, is budget-conscious, or has a preference for natural materials.

While dental products have certainly evolved since the first floss in 1815, the mechanics are the same. It might make you wonder: are all dental flosses the same, or is one type better than all the others?

Types Of Dental Floss: String or Pick for You? 

Traditional String Floss

Traditional string floss usually comes as one continuous thread in a plastic container on a spool. It is similar to the first iteration of floss, silk thread. Now, it is made from plastic and nylon.

Fun fact: Floss was originally made from strands of silk fibers.

The Pros: When you floss, a long strand is broken off of the spool. As you thread the strand between your teeth and along the gum line, you maneuver it through your fingers. This allows you to expose a clean piece of the long floss for each new tooth. The flexibility the string provides helps you get into tough spaces and wrap around teeth easier. 

The Cons: Traditional string floss can be hard to use for some people. It is also more time-consuming than floss picks because you must constantly reposition it around your fingers.

string floss and dental picks

Floss Picks

Floss picks are curved plastic tools that have a small piece of floss on the end. They typically have dual ends, one containing floss and the other acting as a plastic pick for removing food particles. 

The Pros: Floss picks are easy to use and save time. You don’t have to worry about twirling floss around your fingers because it is already pre-threaded onto the tool. The dual ends provide an advantage by quickly dislodging food particles and letting you switch back and forth easily. 

The Cons: When you floss with a pick, you only use one section of floss on every area in your mouth. This causes bacteria to be redistributed. In addition, there is more waste because each pick is made of plastic, while only the container is made from plastic with traditional string floss. The extra waste results in a larger price tag.

Which Dental Floss Is Right For You?

When you select a floss, ensure it meets your needs. While traditional string floss is slightly more effective, the ADA considers floss picks a safe and effective alternative. Waxed or unwaxed is a matter of preference. Waxed floss moves through crevices easily but is slightly thicker, which is challenging for some people. Flavored floss is also an option, making flossing more appealing for children and those who want to boost fresh breath. 

Helpful tip: Don’t reuse floss as it won’t be as effective and could contain bacteria.

Your Oral Health

Asheville Dental recommends brushing your teeth twice daily and using dental floss and mouthwash at least once daily. By flossing daily, you will improve your oral health. 

It is also necessary to see your dentist every six months for a thorough exam and cleaning. This helps catch problems early and keep your mouth healthy. Need to schedule your appointment? You can contact us on our website. Until then, happy flossing. 

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