Types of Dental Floss

When you think of dental floss, you probably picture a small rectangular container that features a reel of floss threaded through a small hole next to a metal clip that can be used to cut your floss to the desired length. You probably do not spend much time thinking about what kind of floss is on that reel, because there is only one kind, right? In fact, this is not right. Indeed, there are many types including wax-coated, unwaxed, Teflon-coated, fluoride treated floss and more. In this article, we’ll discuss a few of the most common types of floss as well as some floss aids and their associated benefits.

First, let’s talk about some of the similarities of dental floss. All types serve the same purpose so they must be flexible, soft, and easy to use. Most types are made of either cotton or nylon fibres before they are coated with wax or Teflon. Ultimately, which type of dental floss you use comes down to preference; so try them all and use the one that you like the most. You can choose from waxed or unwaxed floss, Teflon-coated floss, tape floss, and flavoured or unflavoured floss.

Waxed and Unwaxed

These are the most common and basic types of dental floss. Some dentists are more likely to recommend the unwaxed type because the threads are better for absorbing food particles and cleaning your teeth. Similarly, some dentists dislike waxed floss because of the potential to leave a waxy film on your teeth. However, waxed floss tends to be smoother and moves more easily between your teeth; it is also resistant to fraying so a smaller amount of it will last longer.

Teflon

Teflon coated floss is a relatively new addition to the dental floss lineup. As Teflon is non-stick, this type is very smooth and moves easily between your teeth without the risk of leaving a waxy residue behind. Teflon floss is shred-resistant and stronger and more durable than other types.

Tape

Also a relatively new form of dental floss, the tape kind is much thicker than the standard type and is excellent for people with wider spaces between their teeth. Tape floss is also resistant to breaking or fraying, and it moves smoothly between teeth.

Flavoured

Flavoured floss leaves a more pleasant taste in the mouth, and is available in all types. Mint and cinnamon are common flavours, but recently there is a wide range of flavoured types available including strawberry or even bacon.

Aids

Flossing is probably the most avoided dental hygiene practice. We all brush daily, but most people admit that they floss only sporadically. As such, flossing aids have been designed to make the task as easy as possible. You can buy devices through which floss is threaded so that you can more easily floss your teeth; in fact, there are even pre-made flossing sticks that are discarded after every use. These devices are not necessary, but if they make you more likely to floss regularly you should consider investing in a flossing aid that works for you.