Are There Different Types of Dental Floss?

girl with dental floss

Did you know that only 28% of Canadians floss at least 5 times a week? Many don’t floss at all. This means that well over half of the population does not follow dentists’ recommendations to floss at least once per day.

If you’re one of the many people who don’t floss as much as they should, it’s never too late to change. Maybe you haven’t found the right type of floss to help you get the job done. There are many different types of dental floss, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Let’s talk about a few of the most common ones now.

1. Unwaxed Floss

This thin, simple floss is the most common type you’ll find in stores. It looks a lot like sewing thread but is slightly thicker and more durable. Many people enjoy how easy it is to slide unwaxed floss between their teeth. Unfortunately, this type of floss is also highly prone to shredding. If you have any untreated tooth decay, chipped teeth, overhanging fillings, or tartar build-up on your teeth, it may be difficult to finish flossing without tearing through the floss.

2. Waxed Floss

If unwaxed floss isn’t working for you, you might prefer using the waxed kind instead. Waxed floss doesn’t shred as easily, so it’s great for people who struggle to keep the unwaxed type in one piece while flossing. However, the addition of the wax makes the floss a little thicker, so it can be harder to maneuver than the unwaxed kind.

3. Dental Tape

Need something a little bigger than a tiny strand of floss? Try dental tape! These thick, flat strips of floss are very strong and are great for people with large spaces between their teeth. Kids may also have an easier time grasping and moving these thicker strands than the standard thin ones. They don’t work as well for people with tightly spaced teeth, though.

4. Super Floss

Super floss is extremely thick compared to standard floss, resembling yarn much more than thread. It’s usually packaged in pre-cut segments that you can pick up and use right away without needing to measure it. Super floss is excellent for working around braces, bridges, and other dental prosthetics in your mouth. People who don’t have many prosthetics in their mouth might find these pieces of floss considerably more difficult to work with than standard floss

5. Polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) Floss

Also called silk floss, PTFE floss is made out of the same material as Gore-Tex fabric. It is highly resistant to shredding and slides easily into tight spaces between your teeth. This floss is arguably the best performer of all the types listed here, but it is more expensive than standard floss and can be difficult to find.

More Questions About Types of Floss?

Flossing is just one of the many things you can discuss during your dental appointments with our team at Coscarella Family Dentistry. Ask us what type of floss we recommend and where you can find it – we may even have some samples for you to try out. Contact us today to book an appointment at our office and start exploring the many ways you can make flossing work for you.


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