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Choosing your floss

With so many different types of floss to choose from, it can be hard to know what floss is right for you. But by doing a little research and trying different types, you can find one that best suits you.

Why does floss come in different types?

Different floss types generally serve different purposes.

  • Wide floss. Also known as dental tape, this floss may be a better choice if you have bridgework. Dental tape is also recommended if you have wider-than-average space between your teeth.
  • Waxed floss. This floss can be easier to slide between closely spaced teeth.
  • Unwaxed floss. This floss will squeak against cleaned teeth, indicating plaque has been removed.
  • Bonded unwaxed floss. Also known as mono filament floss, this kind of floss doesn’t fray as easily as regular unwaxed floss but does tear more than waxed floss.

What are floss holders?

Plastic floss holders, usually in a Y or U shape, can make flossing easier for people who may have difficulty holding floss, such as children or seniors.

What are water flossers?

Some people substitute water picks, which shoot jets of water between the teeth, for flossing, but that's not always a good idea. Unlike flossing, water picks do not remove plaque. They are effective if you have orthodontic braces, which may retain food in areas a toothbrush cannot reach.

Which kind of floss should I use?

The best kind of floss to use is the one that’s most comfortable for you and addresses your specific dental needs. If you’re struggling to find a type of floss you like, consider asking your dentist for recommendations. Whichever you choose, just remember to floss every day!

Last updated March 31, 2022

The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.