Tools of the Trade: Choosing the Best Dental Floss
In this second installment of this series we will be investigating dental floss. Retail shops provide an expanse of choices; waxed or unwaxed, flavored or unflavored, tape or floss even electric or manual. Navigating through the seemingly limitless possible combinations does not require a degree in dentistry. Just keep these simple explanations in mind and selecting your best floss will be simple.
Dental floss can be divided based on a few simple categories. Once you understand the differences, picking up a package of unwaxed, mint, dental tape flossers will be as simple as ordering that non-fat, no-whip, upside-down caramel latte.
Let’s get started…first “Wax On” or “Wax Off?”
Wax On – Wax is added to standard dental floss as a means of enabling the floss to easily glide between tight spaces. If your teeth are close together (creating tight contacts) it is especially important that the dental floss be able to reach into that tight space and remove debris before decay has a chance to form. The bristles of a tooth brush will not be able to enter the tight area between the teeth.
Wax Off – Unwaxed dental floss is often less expensive and is effective at removing debris and bacteria from between teeth. If you do not have any difficulty getting the unwaxed floss between your teeth, then continue to use it. Unwaxed floss is less likely to slide over debris and bacteria which increases its effectiveness.
Next…All of These “Flavors Are Guaranteed to Satisfy!”
There is the ubiquitous Mint flavor that is the dental product staple, always refreshing and generally well liked by all. Bubble gum flavored floss may make it a little easier to convince the kids to get flossing. Specialty providers are now producing even more choices, including flavors like Cupcake and Bacon! So, why not choose a wide assortment and enjoy a buffet of flossing flavors!
Sponge, Tape, Threader, Woven or Floss
So we have made it through the first two criteria, perhaps you’re a traditionalist and are leaning towards a nice unwaxed, mint or a wild child running headlong for the slithery, waxed, bacon-flavored…but WAIT…now comes a crucial choice, threader or tape, floss or sponge, yet another level to the floss buying conundrum.
Sponge flossers are comprised of a small (usually yellow) cone on the end of a twisted wire. They are most commonly used for cleaning around orthodontic appliances and bridges. They cannot be used to clean between teeth or under the gum line so sponge flossing must be supplemented with another form of flossing.
Tape floss is wide and flat. It is a very popular choice because it is easy to manipulate and can be turned in either direction to floss between teeth with wide spaces in between and those with close contacts.
Floss threaders are small plastic handles that have a piece of floss stretched between. These are very helpful when dexterity is a concern and when flossing the teeth of small children (when used, it is much less likely that the well-meaning parent will be bitten).
Woven floss is thicker than regular floss but thins when pulled tight. It is a great option for individuals who have inconsistent spacing between their teeth. It is also a good family floss as it will suit a variety of needs.
The reigning and as yet, undefeated champion…plain ol’ floss. This is the thin, nylon string we have all seen and used countless times. It cannot be matched in familiarity, consistency or ease. It works on all types of appliances, ages and teeth.
Can You Feel The Power!
Electric flossers are meant to make the job of flossing easier. They consist of a handle that holds a small floss-like material that gently vibrates. The user must still move the floss between each tooth but the gently vibrating motion does the work of scraping the surface clean of bacteria, plaque and debris.
Now that you are prepared to tackle the floss aisle stay tuned for the next article in this series “Tools of the Trade: Choosing the Best Tooth Paste.”
For more information please feel free to Contact Brighton Implant Clinic or Call us on 0800 111 6623.
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