If you’ve ever spent half an hour looking at the floss options at your local drug store, you’ll understand that it can be confusing and overwhelming trying to find a floss that is easy to use, efficient, and most importantly, as comfortable as possible. There’s unwaxed and waxed, tape, ultra floss, floss picks — how are you supposed to know what’s best? At First Hill Dental Center in downtown Seattle, our reliable dentists want to ensure that you’re properly taking care of your teeth, and that starts with flossing every day.

If you want to freshen up on your flossing technique, read this previous blog. If you don’t want to spend your afternoon reading the labels on floss containers trying to find out what makes one type better than the other, keep reading.

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Types of Floss

  • Unwaxed: Your standard floss, this thin nylon yarn is composed of around 35 strands that are woven together for strength. This floss can be used on teeth that are spaced close together, but the yarn can fray or break more easily than the waxed variety.
  • Waxed: This type of floss is lightly coated with wax so that it is resistant to breaking and the floss is easier to slide in between teeth that are spaced close together.
  • Tape: Dental tape can either be waxed or unwaxed and is wider and flatter than the traditional floss. If you have teeth that aren’t spaced close together, your dentist may recommend this type.
  • Super Floss: Super floss has sections of stiffer floss on either end to aid in cleaning around dental work, including implants, braces, or bridges.
  • Flossing Picks: You’ll see flossing picks in small packages rather than a dispenser. These are used to help you floss the back teeth or can be used instead of wrapping the floss around your fingers.
  • Floss Threader: This accessory is similar to Super Floss, allowing you to thread the floss through a needle which then can be threaded through the dental work.
  • Flavored Floss: Any of the above types of floss can have a flavor like mint that can make the process more enjoyable. This gives you additional options, but can also make choosing a floss confusing.

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What Else?

  • Your Seattle dentist may recommend looking for a floss that has the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of acceptance. A floss that has this seal has evidence proving the safety and efficacy of the product.
  • It’s recommended that you floss once a day, but it doesn’t matter whether that is in the morning or evening. Find a time that fits your schedule so that you are more likely to make it a habit.
  • You can either floss before or after you brush your teeth, just be sure that you do a thorough job. If you choose to floss after brushing, keep in mind that just because your teeth feel clean, there are spaces in between the teeth that are still in need of cleaning.
  • Floss should always be thrown out after the thread has been used. It should not be rinsed off and saved to reuse later. The piece of floss is no longer effective and can actually replace bacteria inside your mouth.

The next time you’re stocking up on floss, feel free to ask your local Seattle dentist at First Hill Dental Center for a recommendation. Or if you ask nicely, we might even supply you with some! Give us a call today to schedule your next cleaning.