What is the best type of dental floss? The answer depends on your teeth. Whether you use traditional string floss, a water flosser, an interdental brush, or other appliance, it’s important that you clean between your teeth correctly every day.
What Flossing Does for Your Oral Health
Flossing is necessary for a healthy mouth. It removes not only food particles themselves but the plaque they can form. A sticky biofilm can lead to tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. This condition starts with a bacterial infection in the gum tissue and, if left untreated, can destroy gingival tissue and the underlying bone.
Build-up of plaque and bacteria between teeth is one of the leading causes of periodontal disease, a condition which not only affects your mouth, teeth, and gums, but has been linked to complications with heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Dental Floss Studies
Many studies of floss show that all types work well if they are used as directed. A Journal of Periodontology study looked at four types of dental floss: shred-resistant, unwaxed, woven, and an electric “power flosser.” All four removed plaque significantly better than a toothbrush alone. Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry showed that both electric and traditional floss removed plaque equally well when used for 30 days.
- Electric or water flossers can be helpful for older adults and those who don’t have a steady hand at floss threading
- If you have significant gaps between your teeth, wide dental tape might be effective for you
- Disposable floss picks or premeasured strands are convenient during travel or at work
- People with tight space between teeth might benefit from waxed floss, which slides more easily in tight spaces
- For those with traditional orthodontic braces, irrigators and floss threaders can reach between teeth above and below bands.
There is no best type of dental floss, only the one that works best for you. Finding a type that is effective for your smile is a matter of trial and error, as well as preference.
If you would like advice on dental floss types and techniques, let our Saratoga Springs, NY team know at your next appointment.