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What is the Best Kind of Dental Floss?

By Dr. Scott Frey

Testing your Teeth to Pick the Best Floss

  1. Buy some unwaxed Woven Floss at your pharmacy. Don't be fooled by look-alikes, the real woven floss is a lot like yarn and is fairly thick compared to ribbon type floss. If you are unsure if your pharmacy carries woven floss, Oral-B SuperFloss is a good substitute since it has a thick portion that is very similar to traditional woven floss.
  2. Floss your teeth using the woven floss and identify tight contacts between teeth where you have trouble fitting the woven floss between your teeth or the floss frays when flossing that area.
  3. Choose your floss based on the type of tooth contacts you have between teeth.

Normal or Loose Tooth Contacts

  • The best floss to use is Woven Floss for these areas (SuperFloss works too). It has great surface area to wipe away plaque and enough diameter that it still works well in normal and loose contacts.

Woven Floss

Tight Tooth Contacts

  • The best floss to use with tight contacts is Reach Total Care Floss. It is stretchy and ribbon shaped so it can slide into tight spaces, and has added microgrooves to increase surface area and wipe away plaque like woven floss.

Reach Total Care Floss

Measure your Flossing Results

Keep in mind not to floss too hard; technique is very important. The only way to know how good a job you are doing protecting your gums by flossing (flossing prevents cavities too) is to measure your results. Check out our post on how to use a Gingival Index to Track Gum Health.

Be Aware of Problem Areas for Floss

Floss works very well on smooth convex surfaces, but there are many surfaces between teeth that are concave and not efficiently cleaned with floss. Using a Waterpik takes care of these areas, but if you aren't using a water flosser you need to supplement your flossing with tools like Go-Betweens and Soft-Picks. We covered these problem areas for flossing in a previous post.

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