The Placerville Dental Group, like many authorities in dental care, recommend that you floss your teeth at least once a day, supporting your routine of brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. Flossing helps to keep food bits and plaque from places your toothbrush finds difficult to reach, like in between your teeth and under the gumline. But just like toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other dental products, there are many different types of dental floss. Let’s talk about two of the most common kinds of floss.
Waxed floss is often a simple string of nylon monofilament. The floss is very strong. The wax coating helps the floss slide in between tightly spaced teeth. Some companies add flavors to the wax, like cinnamon or mint. The type of wax used can come from natural sources, like vegetable or beeswax, or from synthetic sources. Some people prefer to avoid chemical waxes, while ethical vegans avoid the beeswax styles. Others don’t like to use this floss because it’s so slippery, likening it to just using the wax to “smear plaque around.” (Unwaxed versions of monofilament floss are available, but are less popular.)
Woven floss is several filaments woven together. This floss has a texture similar to rope, making it seem soft and springy. Unlike monofilament floss, woven floss has less potential for cutting the gums, and its textured composition often makes gripping easier. For some people, the texture of woven floss on their gums is softer and more gentle than waxed floss, but for others, the texture is disconcerting. For people with teeth that are really close together, woven floss is nearly impossible to use, but it’s great for people with gaps between their teeth. Due to its composition, woven floss shreds easier than a monofilament floss.
Which Floss Is Best?
As with many products, personal preference plays a strong part. In many cases, it comes down to trying several variations or brands and deciding which one suits you best. Nevertheless, here are some questions to consider about floss:
- Is the use of chemical compounds concerning to you?
- Do you have tight or wide gaps between your teeth?
- Does your technique lead to bleeding gums?
- Do you care about flavored floss or is that unimportant?
Discuss the answers to these questions with your dentist at the Placerville Dental Group. Together, you can find the perfect floss to supplement your dental care routine. If you haven’t scheduled a semi-annual visit already, you can do so by calling our office or using our online form. The Placerville Dental Group is happy to help you find just the right floss – waxed or woven – to maintain your healthy smile.