The American Dental Association advocates flossing once a day to remove food particles that have become lodged between the teeth, the ones our toothbrush might not be able to reach.
Flossing’s an effective way of cutting down on bacteria and plaque — that stubborn film that clings to your teeth and contributes to gum disease. But among the many types of dental floss on the shelves of your local pharmacy, which one is right for you? Our friendly dentist at Dr. Matthew Tsai, DDS, APC is here to provide some answers.
First, what’s your floss made of? There’s nylon, the most common material used in manufacturing dental floss. Many users find nylon floss works just fine, although it has shown to break and fray. Another option is monofilament floss, which is stronger and slides between teeth more easily. It comes down to a matter of personal choice; either one gets the job done.
Many brands offer waxed or unwaxed products. The thin wax coating gives the floss more glide than an unwaxed version, which may actually squeak against the teeth during use. Again, either choice is fine as long as you’re comfortable.
Many varieties of dental floss are round, although a flat shape may work better if your teeth are close together. And what about all those flavors, like mint, bubblegum, and yes, even pumpkin spice? Whichever variety will encourage you to floss is the right one for you.
No discussion of dental floss would be complete without mentioning that question we get from so many of our customers: Should I floss before or after I brush my teeth? According to the ADA, either way is fine, as long as you don’t skip flossing if you’ve already brushed.
Our friendly dentist at Dr. Matthew Tsai, DDS, APC is happy to recommend the right floss for you and demonstrate the most effective flossing technique during your next visit. Please contact us today for an appointment!
By Dr. Matthew Tsai, DDS
February 27, 2023