We spent over 72 hours researching and testing 10 different brands and several types of dental floss and found that ease of use, brand name, and flavor were the most important factors that consumers looked at when shopping for dental floss. Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Dental Floss scored high marks over the rest of the competition and is our overall top pick. Oral-B dental floss is shred resistant and slides 50% easier over each tooth making it easier to get your teeth super clean. The cool mint flavor is very refreshing and a favorite feature with users.
Dental Floss Buying Guide
Because there is no one dental floss that is right for every single person, there are many types that have been created. Some people have several different kinds of floss that they use. Finding the perfect dental floss for your specific needs could take a little trial and error but the one thing you always want to ensure is that the choices you are trying are high quality, reputable brands that are known for producing excellent products.
The guide below is designed to give you some information about the different kinds of dental floss and what each does. There is also a section on what to look for when shopping and how to go about choosing a dental floss or several kinds of floss for your home.
There are many ways you can accomplish your goals without sacrificing quality and this guide will help. Learning about dental floss is not overly complicated even with all the options so as long as you know what to look for and how to determine whether the company is in good standing,
Types of Dental Floss
There are two basic “types” of dental floss on the market:
Multifilament Floss – Examples of multifilament floss include silk or nylon floss. This is the most common type, popular with consumers. This type of dental floss has been around pretty much since dental floss was created. Generic dental floss is almost always nylon-based. It is a lot cheaper than the other type and comes in a variety of flavors and thicknesses and can be un-waxed or waxed.
Monofilament Floss – single filament made of certain types of plastic, rubber, or PTFE. Monofilament floss is the newest technology in dental floss. Because it is not made of fabric like the multifilament floss is, monofilament floss will not tear or rip. Many people find the single filament floss much easier to use and feel it slides between the teeth. Because of this great feature many brands of single filament dental floss use the word “glide” in their name. Monofilament dental floss also comes in a variety of flavored including mint, bubblegum, and cinnamon and is available in unflavored as well. Monofilament dental floss is available in a variety of thicknesses just like multifilament floss is and is always unwaxed.
Waxed vs. Unwaxed
Nylon (multifilament) floss is available in waxed and unwaxed varieties. The wax is applied to the floss to help make sliding it between the teeth much easier. Most people find waxed floss more comfortable to work with and easier to use. It doesn’t make a difference in how the floss works as both waxed and unwaxed varieties will take care of the food particles equally. Choosing whether to go with waxed or unwaxed is largely a matter of preference and you may not know for sure which one you prefer until you try both. Monofilament dental floss only comes in unwaxed since wax is not needed with this type of floss.
Finding the Right Dental Floss
There are many different types of dental floss available and finding one that will work for your needs is important so you will use it the way you should. Keep in mind that many people have several different kinds of floss and use more than just one style.
Children will have different needs than teens and adults so more than likely, you will have several different types of floss in your medicine cabinet at any given time. Some may like flavored, waxed, unwaxed, or any other number of different options that are out there. The low cost of dental floss makes it very possible to have several kinds of dental floss available for all preferences.
Typically, people who travel will keep standard dental floss that fits great in a toiletries bag and keep floss sticks or even an electric flosser for home use.
If you don’t know which type of floss will work the best for you and your family, your dentist is always a great resource. We’ve listed a few tips below that you can use when choosing.
- If you have larger gaps between your teeth a super floss or dental tape could make it much easier to get the particles and works well between these larger gaps.
- If there is very little space between your teeth a waxed dental floss will slide much easier than unwaxed.
- Floss sticks and pre-measured strands of floss produce a lot less mess than the floss that is pulled out in long strands and then cut.
- If you have bridge work or braces you should consider a dental floss that is spongy in texture and get a floss threader as well. Any floss can be used on dental appliances if you have this convenient threader on hand.
- The ADA seal of approval is more important than the type of dental floss you choose. The American Dental Association is made up of professional dentists in the US that are committed to ethical dental practices, oral health, and progress in science when it comes to oral hygiene and dentistry. This important seal of approval lets consumers know that the dental floss has been checked out by professionals and that it has earned the seal.
Dealing with Plaque
Plaque can affect anyone regardless of age and cause all kinds of tooth and gum problems if not taken care of properly. Studies have shown that there is no major difference in the ability to remove plaque among the different types of dental flosses. All four of the flosses tested showed improvement in the amount of plaque present when flossing was combined with proper brushing. The electric flosser had the higher plaque reduction average after just one use.
Other studies have shown that standard dental floss and electric flossers were both effective to the same degree when it came to removing plaque. Both methods were also deemed safe and did not traumatize the soft and hard tissues of the mouth.
There is plenty of research that backs up the fact that electric flossers are just as effective and safe as standard flossing. They are very good choices for elderly adults that may have some dexterity problems with the standard floss. They are also great for kids and teens because they usually like electric toothbrushes and an electric flosser they may see as a fun way to take care of their teeth.
Things to Watch Out For
Regardless of the type of dental floss you choose there are some things you will want to watch out for once you start using it. If you notice any of the symptoms we have listed below you should contact your dentist right away.
- Swollen gums that are painful and red
- Gum or tooth sensitivity or increased sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures
- Gums that bleed, especially when you brush or floss
- Discharge or pus around the gums or teeth
- Teeth that are loose
- A bad taste in your mouth without cause
- Misalignment between top and bottom teeth that wasn’t already present
- Gums receding from your teeth
Flossing your teeth is an important way to ensure healthy gums and teeth. It should be a part of your regular oral hygiene routine. To get the most from a flossing routine you want to have the best possible dental floss you can find. With all of the choices in types, brands, flavors, and textures available you will be able to find the right dental floss for each member of your family.
The three top rated dental floss products we have reviewed above are all terrific examples of quality dental floss products that will help you get your teeth completely clean. A cleaner mouth is a healthier mouth so regularly using dental floss will definitely result in a healthy mouth with healthy gums.
The brands of our top three products are reputable companies that are well-known in the oral hygiene industry and are trusted by consumers. Choosing one of these featured dental floss products will get you started on the road to a better feeling, healthier mouth.
The information we provided for you in the buying guide will help you understand the differences between the different types of dental floss along with helping you sort through all the different offerings so you eliminate the ones that will not provide what you are looking for.
Having the right knowledge is the best way to prevent purchasing dental floss that will not provide what you are looking for. Even though dental floss isn’t tremendously expensive, you don’t want to waste your money.
This is why it benefits you to use this guide to provide all the information you will need. Take this helpful information, along with the reviews of the top-rated reviews and confidently search the choices and find the one or ones that will be just right for you and your family.