How to Choose the Best Dental Floss
Flossing is an integral part of maintaining your oral health which allows you to clean surfaces of your teeth that are otherwise not reachable by only brushing.
Neglecting to floss your teeth will allow bacteria to grow in the areas between your teeth and underneath your gums and will eventually lead to dental plaque and gum disease. But what are the things one should look out for when choosing the best dental floss for you?
The type of dental floss you should choose depends on your preferences, how much space you have in between your teeth, and whether you have any dental appliances like braces. The most common types of floss available and their uses are listed below.
If you find that regular floss slides in very easily or you see large gaps in-between your teeth, it is advisable to use a broader or flat floss called “dental tape” that reaches all the surfaces. A broader floss like dental tape will make flossing easier when big gaps are evident.
A standard floss is a thin strand made of nylon that fits into the small spaces between your teeth. If you have crowded teeth, a standard floss with a wax coating can get into tight places and effectively clean your teeth. Sometimes, waxed dental floss is the best dental floss for patients with braces as it easily slides in and out of small spaces, and is gentle on the gums.
Super floss is usually recommended for people with a fixed dental appliance like braces or a crown & bridge. It is made of three parts: a rigid end to floss under the braces, a spongy part to floss around your braces, and a standard floss to remove plaque below your gums.
A floss pick is a disposable and pre-measured piece of floss on a small plastic handle. It is an easy option to carry if you’re traveling or don’t want the hassle of cutting standard floss before using it. They are easy to use in tight spaces and can effectively remove food particles from between your teeth.
A water or electric floss uses a small jet of water to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth. A water floss is one of the best dental floss you can use if you have braces or cannot use standard floss. It can help clean in between your wires and brackets.
Whichever floss you choose to purchase, always look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal. This indicates that the product has been tested and reviewed by the Association and has been deemed effective and safe. If unsure, you can ask your dentist to recommend the best dental floss for you.
How to Floss?
A lot of people floss incorrectly and end up damaging their gums. Here’s the correct way to floss:
- Take about 18 to 24 inches of dental floss and wind most of it around your middle fingers.
- Hold 1- 2 inches of floss tight between your two thumbs and index fingers.
- Guide the floss gently into the space between two teeth with a back and fro rubbing motion. Don’t push the floss forcefully between your teeth as this can hurt or damage your gums. Gently floss both sides of your tooth with a rubbing motion.
- Once you reach your gumline, curve the floss against one tooth into a shape. Guide it into the space between your gums and your tooth surface. This removes food particles trapped in the gum space.
- Discard the used floss as it can re-introduce bacteria into your mouth. Repeat the above steps with each tooth. Happy flossing!