Most people if they were asked would probably assume that there was really no difference between one kind of dental floss or another. In fact, they might not know that there were different types of dental floss available. However, there are several different types from which to choose, and each has its own specific features and benefits.
Unwaxed and Waxed Floss
Of the two, many dentists prefer that you use unwaxed floss, since they believe that this type is more effective at removing food particles better than the waxed type. They also feel that the use of waxed floss tends to leave behind a thin film on the teeth that serves as a platform for plaque. The advantage of using a waxed floss (not surprisingly) is that it is easier to use, since it slides more easily between your teeth.
Teflon floss is effective, easy to use and slides quickly and smoothly between your teeth. Thanks to the Teflon, even if it gets stuck between your teeth it can be easily pulled out.
Thread floss is made of nylon and is used the same way as other varieties of floss. It is one of the more common types on the market.
Flavored floss has the advantage of providing you with a pleasant aftertaste in your mouth after you clean your teeth. It's usually infused with a flavor like cinnamon or mint. Certain types also have fluoride added in order to prevent tooth decay.
Also known as dental tape, this floss is considerably thicker than traditional floss. It is frequently used by people who have gaps between their teeth. Because it slides smoothly between the teeth, it's also useful for people who haven't flossed before, since it's unlikely to fray or break.
Various Flossing Aids
Young people and the disabled often have trouble flossing, so there are several devices that are intended to make the process easier, including:
Vibrating Dental Flossers: A vibrating dental flosser has two advantages: it is fairly easy to use and it massages your gums at the same time. The drawback is that it costs more than a traditional flosser.
Dental Floss Holders: Dental floss holders are designed with a Y-shaped that is very effective for cleaning between your teeth. With the floss on the holder, it is used in more or less the same way as traditional floss.
Flossing Sticks: Because of their design and because the floss is tightly wound onto them, flossing sticks are particularly useful for people who have dexterity problems (like children) or hand tremors resulting from health issues.
For information on proper flossing techniques, talk to your dental office, like Smile Builders - Robyn Lesser DMD.