Take charge of your health by choosing the floss that will inspire you to keep up with this important daily habit.
Why buy dental floss?
Your dentist has likely told you that flossing your teeth should be a daily (or twice daily) activity, along with brushing your teeth and using mouthwash. They aren’t wrong. While toothbrushes do an admirable job of scrubbing your teeth clean of plaque and food debris, they aren’t infallible. Even the best, most thorough toothbrush will miss tiny bits here and there. In between the teeth and gums are especially hard places to reach, no matter how long or fine the bristles are on your toothbrush. This leftover debris can stick to your teeth and cause irritation, cavities, inflammation, and other more serious dental issues. Dental floss was designed specifically to remove these little bits of debris.
Dental floss is thin enough specifically to fit between even the tightest, narrowest spots between your teeth and pick up any buildup that your toothbrush may have missed. Flossing regularly helps prevent dental issues like gingivitis, periodontitis, cavities, etc. Some studies even show it contributes to heart health since you’re removing rather than swallowing little bits of harmful plaque.
What should you look for in dental floss?
- Method: For such a basic item, there are many formats that dental floss can come in beyond classic string floss. Whether it’s traditional wound floss, flat dental floss, dental picks, or a water flosser, you can find the right option for you. When selecting a flossing method, keep in mind any specific dental needs you may have, like braces or sensitive gums. Certain formats of floss are more effective at reaching into extra tight spaces or are more gentle on the gums than others.
- Material: Today, floss is made from a variety of different materials. Whether you prefer traditional nylon or more natural options, you can find a floss that fits your eco-friendly beliefs or budget. If you find that dental floss tends to get stuck between your teeth while you’re flossing, consider buying a floss that is waxed, as it’ll be slipperier and thus slides in and out easier.
- Flavor: Bland, tasteless dental floss is a thing of the past. Choosing the flavor of your floss can make the process more fun. You can decide whether you would like mint, charcoal, or even other more unique flavors, like cardamom or coconut. If you have young children at home and are trying to teach them to incorporate flossing into their daily morning and evening routines, letting them choose their favorite flavor or something fun like bubblegum or chocolate can help make them look forward to flossing every day and foster a lifelong healthy habit.
Should you buy a water flosser, floss picks, or classic dental floss?
Floss picks and traditional dental floss are generally considered equally effective at removing plaque and buildup. The only real difference in their effectiveness is that classic dental floss is a bit easier to wrap all the way around your teeth. On the other hand, others find that floss picks are easier to maneuver. Some people still prefer floss picks since their length is pre-determined, so they don’t end up using too much floss and going through it faster than they should.
As for water flossers, they do offer their own unique advantages and disadvantages. These devices shoot a thin stream of pressurized water across your teeth and gums to wash away plaque and food particles rather than manually removing them. They’re more expensive than traditional floss and can’t be used any time, any place like regular dental floss (since most have to be plugged in), and take up a lot more storage space in your bathroom cabinet or sink. But they also require less effort and maneuvering on your end, which makes them a good option for people with conditions like arthritis. If you have crowns, bridges, or implants, water flossers are recommended to use in place of dental floss since they won’t scrape against your teeth. They’re also ideal for braces since they can clean out tight-packed areas that even dental floss can’t breach.
If you’re not sure which is right for you, consult a dentist and get their professional opinion.
Plackers Dental Floss Picks
If you prefer pick-style dental floss, you can't go wrong with this mint-flavored value pack.
Pros: Some people prefer floss picks to classic dental floss, and this pack is among the best you can buy. The floss itself is extra-strong so that you can floss without fear of the string shredding, snapping, or stretching itself thin. Like many similar items, each floss pick comes with a built-in tartar toothpick to help further clean your teeth. What sets this product apart is that the tartar picks fold in and out, so the pointy end isn’t exposed when not in use—you won’t have to worry about pricking your finger when grabbing one, nor will they poke holes in the storage bag. There are multiple quantity options available, large and small, to suit various needs. The dental picks come in either a container or zipper-sealed bag for convenient storage.
Cons: Though these picks come in many quantity options, the same can’t be said of your flavor choices. Refreshing as it might be, the mint flavor is the only one available for purchase. If you’re not fond of mint, you’re out of luck.
Bottom Line: These floss picks are perfect for those who want an equally effective alternative to traditional dental floss or don’t want to risk using up excess floss in the process of cleaning their teeth. This flossing option helps you clean hard-to-reach places, especially paired with the tartar pick built into the handles.
Oral-B Super Floss Pre-Cut Strands
This stiffened dental floss comes pre-cut, so you don't have to worry about wasting any.
Pros: You won’t have to worry about not getting your money’s worth with this dental floss. You receive two packs of floss for an already-low price, and there are 50 uses per box for a total of 100 strands with your purchase; even if you floss twice a day or after every meal, you won’t have to buy new floss for months afterward. This dental floss has the bonus of extra-stiff ends to squeeze into tighter spaces. This makes the floss suitable for people with braces, bridges, and other similar dental work that makes it harder to floss.
Cons: You may end up picking bits of this dental floss out between your teeth, as it is prone to shredding at times. This is an especially prominent issue after flossing in between extra-tight spaces.
Bottom Line: Using too much dental floss and wasting it is a common concern among people who floss every day, and it’s very easy to do so. Luckily, this dental floss comes with pre-cut and pre-measured strands, so you don’t have to worry about that. Unlike some regular dental flosses, it’s suitable for people with braces and bridges.
Reach Waxed Dental Floss
This low-priced dental floss saves you money and comes pre-waxed for easier flossing.
Pros: Standard dental floss isn’t generally a pricey purchase, but this particular product is especially low cost. That’s not the only benefit it brings to the table, either. This dental floss is waxed, which means that it slides in and out between your teeth with noticeable smoothness and ease. Thus it’s gentler on your teeth and gums than other similar products. Not only that, but the wax coating helps to prevent the floss from fraying or shedding, so you’re less likely to be picking shreds out of your teeth after flossing. The small, compact size of the floss case makes it ideal for packing when traveling as well.
Cons: Great as the wax coating of this floss may be in most regards, it does make the floss itself more slippery. You may have a harder time getting a grip and controlling the floss during use. Also note that the compact size does mean you get less floss with your purchase, so you’ll have to buy new cases more often.
Bottom Line: This nylon floss offers a durable and smooth flossing experience that is softer on your gums and teeth than most. If you’ve had issues with sensitive gums or bleeding while flossing in the past, it may be worth giving this dental floss a try, especially if you’re on a budget.
Solimo Extra Comfort Mint Dental Floss
If you find flossing is hard on your gums and teeth, this dental floss offers a gentler alternative.
Pros: This is another dental floss that has a wax coating, which means that it’ll slip more easily between your teeth and put less pressure on your gums. This also means it’s gentler on your mouth but less likely to shred or fray during use. If you’re sensitive to the taste of mint or stronger flavors, this may be a good choice for you since the mint taste is less overpowering than a lot of other flavored flosses. You’ll still get mintier, fresher breath without feeling overwhelmed by the taste. And since you get six packs of floss for one price, you get good value for your money. If you want a smaller quantity, single packs are also available for purchase.
Cons: Keep in mind that this floss is a bit on the thinner side with a light coating of wax than most similar flosses, so it may be less effective in those areas. And, as is common with waxed flosses, you may have some trouble getting a proper grip on this floss during use.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a more cost-effective version of name brand, easy-glide dental floss, this pack may well be worth a look. It’ll be gentler on your teeth and gums than many standard dental flosses.
COCOFLOSS Coconut-Oil Infused Woven Dental Floss
This high-end and safe dental floss is vegan, eco-friendly, and cruelty-free, so you can clean your teeth and gums without guilt.
Pros: This fully recyclable product offers a guilt-free flossing option. It hasn’t been tested on animals, the container is made out of recycled paper, and the floss itself is fully recyclable. You can get refills of this floss without buying a new container, making it much more eco-friendly than pretty much any other dental floss on the market. Moreover, it’s safe for vegans to use; even the wax is vegan, made of coconut oil to provide a smooth glide between the teeth. This also gives the floss some extra flavor alongside the mint, coconut, and strawberry flavors.
Cons: This dental floss is much more expensive than most. You may consider the tradeoff worthwhile for being more animal and eco-friendly, but that does mean paying more money to do so.
Bottom Line: If you’re trying to leave a friendlier, greener, more eco-conscious lifestyle, you’ll love this flavorful, vegan-friendly, nontoxic dental floss. You’ll be able to clean your teeth and gums without any guilt or regret.
Smiles look and feel better when the teeth and gums are clean and properly cared for, and regularly flossing contributes to good oral hygiene. If you want your teeth and gums to be healthier and better-looking, be sure to invest in some quality dental floss like these options and use it daily.