What Are the Best Types of Floss for Dental Health?

Posted by Southeast Family Dental Jun 29,2022

Did you know that the global dental floss market is worth over $558 million? That’s a lot of floss and shows that millions of us care about our dental health.

Recently, there has been an increased awareness of how oral health benefits our overall health. So when you floss, you’re not just doing your teeth and gums a favor. By keeping them in great shape, you’re benefiting your whole body!

But floss is not a one-size-fits-all product. There are so many types of floss on sale that it can be hard to know which is right for you.

Let’s explore the different types of dental floss, how to use them, and who should use them.

Who Needs to Use Dental Floss?

Floss is a type of interdental cleaner, meaning it goes in between the teeth. There are also tiny interdental brushes that do much the same job.

The American Dental Association recommends cleaning between your teeth with floss every day. Kids should also start flossing when their teeth become close together. They may benefit from a wider type of floss.

Flossing helps to remove plaque from between the teeth. If you don’t floss regularly, this can develop into tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist and can cause gum disease.

The different floss types all do the same basic job. But they feature different designs or features that make them easier for certain people to use or more appealing.

The Many Types of Dental Floss

If you’ve got teeth, there’s a floss out there that’s right for you. Here are the top choices that are widely available today.

  • Waxed Dental Floss

Regular floss is made from nylon. Waxed varieties feature a thin layer of wax that lubricates the floss and makes it easier to use. This is great if your teeth are very close together as it’s easier for the floss to get where it needs to.

It’s also great for beginners and comes in a range of enticing flavors!

  • Unwaxed Dental Floss

Unwaxed floss is also made of nylon, but it can have the tendency to shred. That’s because it’s not lubricated like waxed floss.

However, some people love the fact that it’s unflavored and is super thin. That makes it easier to maneuver if you have crowded teeth.

  • Recycled and Natural Floss

Floss can also be made from recycled polyesters and is then infused with natural ingredients. These products are noted for their strength and shred resistance. They are slightly textured, which helps to remove plaque from tooth surfaces.

They are also flexible and can fit between most surfaces. They use natural lubricants, such as coconut oil and vegan wax.

Silk floss is an option for people who like to keep things natural.

It’s 100% biodegradable. It’s naturally smooth and glides easily between the teeth. It’s just as effective as regular nylon floss.

  • PTFE Dental Floss

PTFE floss is very strong, soft, and thin. It glides effortlessly between teeth, getting into the tiniest spaces with ease. For this reason, it’s growing in popularity right now.

If you find flossing uncomfortable, give PTFE floss a try. You may find it much kinder to your gums and it might help you get back in the habit.

  • Dental Tape

Dental tape is a wider, flatter style of floss. Some people find it easier to use due to its flat shape and the fact that it’s stretchy. Its shape makes it easy to slide between teeth.

If you’re struggling with regular floss, dental tape might be a good alternative.

  • Water Flosser

Instead of using floss, a water flosser directs a jet of water into the area between your teeth. However, some dental professionals don’t recommend them.

The ADA gives its Seal of Acceptance to water flossers that can get rid of plaque. If you do buy one, make sure that it has this seal so you know that it will be effective.

  • Floss Picks/Sticks

Floss picks are ideal if you find regular types of floss difficult to use. These small tools can be maneuvered between even the most inaccessible teeth at the back of the mouth.

  • Soft Picks

Soft picks are interdental brushes that are an on-the-go alternative to floss.

They feature a tapered end with bristles that can fit in gaps between teeth. They are also great for cleaning around dental work, such as bridges, crowns, and implants. They’re just as effective as floss when used correctly and are a great option for people who find regular flossing too difficult.

  • Floss for People With Braces

It is possible to floss teeth with braces with regular waxed floss. Don’t choose unwaxed, because it can break and get caught in the braces, not good.

It takes a lot of time and it can be quite frustrating to thread the floss through the braces to get the job done. An oral irrigator/ water flosser could be a simpler option. They come with tips for orthodontics and because they use water there’s no threading involved.

Floss threaders are a great option for braces. They allow you to tackle teeth one by one. Reload it with fresh floss after completing one set of teeth.

Dental tape is another great option for brace wearers. It’s wider, more spongy, and just more comfortable than regular floss. The only drawback is that you have to use it the same way you would traditional floss.

Which Floss Is the Best?

And the winner is… all of them!

The best type of floss is the one that you will actually use. If you find your current floss too difficult, consider switching to one of these alternatives. You might find one that is better suited to your particular needs.

The key is regularity. Choose a type of floss that will help you to floss every day.

The Right Types of Floss for You

It’s true that there are a lot of dental floss options on the market. But the best types of floss are ones that you feel comfortable using and will use regularly. Along with brushing twice a day and regular checkups with your dentist, they’re the best way to maintain great dental health.

At Southeast Family Dental, our team is ready and waiting to help you achieve a great smile. Whether you need general dentistry, cosmetic or restorative care, we’ve got the right treatments for you.

Call us at (317) 359-8000 or schedule an appointment today.

Leave A Reply

Please fill all the fields.
More Blog Posts
A Dentist’s Favorite TikTok Videos
A Dentist’s Favorite TikTok Videos

Sure, TikTok is filled with all the latest dance crazes and funny pet tricks, but that doesn’t mean a dentist can’t have fun with this viral video app too! Lots of dentists are jumping on the TikTok bandwagon and some of their videos are pretty funny. We asked Dr. Geiger and Dr. Jones to pick out some of their favorite dental-themed TikTok videos. We think you’ll enjoy them as much as they did! Dr. Geiger’s Favorite TikTok Videos Okay, we admit it. We may occasionally use dental lingo that only we understand! But, we still always have your best interests in mind! [] C’mon, admit it. How many of you try to convince how “good” you’ve been since your last checkup? We hope we really aren’t the most hated but yeah, we get it – going to the dentist might not be your favorite part of the day! Dr. Jones’s Favorite TikTok Videos Yes, even the staff at your dentist’s office can get excited doing their job! []  Did you ever wonder how a dentist gets a checkup?

Are smokeless (chewing) tobacco and e-cigarettes bad for your teeth?
Are smokeless (chewing) tobacco and e-cigarettes bad for your teeth?

It is widely known that smoking can seriously harm your oral health. Smoking increases the prevalence of oral cancers, gum disease, plaque, tooth discoloration and loss of bone in the jaw. Risk to oral health? In recent years, e-cigarettes have had a huge increase in popularity. Users enjoy the absence of bad-smelling smoke and the ability to vape inside. There is the lack of any fire risk and potential cost savings compared to traditional cigarettes. Since vaping does not involve inhaling the same thick smoke as cigarettes, some believe that e-cigarettes do not pose a risk to oral health. Although there is some evidence to suggest e-cigarettes may be less harmful to your general health than traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes can cause serious damage to your oral health. E-cigarettes are known to cause inflammation of the throat and the mouth. Furthermore, these devices are not yet known to be safe to operate. There are multiple documented cases of e-cigarettes exploding in the mouths of users, causing both burns and broken teeth. Lastly, while some people may find e-cigarettes useful as a smoking cessation aid, they can also function as a gateway drug. Significant numbers of young people become accustomed to the actions and rituals of smoking in the first place through e-cigarettes, and then go on to smoke traditional cigarettes. Smokeless (chewing) tobacco A similar dynamic is at work with smokeless tobacco. Some users believe that because they do not inhale any smoke, there will be no harm to their oral health. However, smokeless tobacco is known to have a profoundly harmful impact on oral health. It dramatically increases the risk of oral cancer. Many users also experience gum (periodontal) disease. Tooth discoloration occurs in many cases. Some people also experience a decreased sense of smell and taste. In addition, smokeless tobacco often has harmful additives. Sugar is a common component, which increases the risk of tooth decay and cavities. Sand and grit are also very common in chewing tobacco. Their presence erodes teeth and causes increased teeth sensitivity. Chewing tobacco and vaping might not generate smoke as traditional cigarettes do, but they can be very harmful to your oral health. If you would like to quit smoking, talk to your doctor about smoking aids or programs. If you are experiencing any of effects above, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Southeast Family Dental on 317-359-8000.

That trip to the dentist might not cost as much as you think
That trip to the dentist might not cost as much as you think

Some people avoid going to the dentist because they think of dental expenses as a cost that they can avoid. However, the average dental bill is considerably less than other common household expenses that might not be completely necessary. Coffee, alcohol and the gym The average American spends $700 on coffee each year. Most of this comes from ordering coffee in cafes. While making coffee at home costs no more than a few cents, the same cup of joe might cost over $5 in a cafe. Similarly, the average person over 21 spends $400 each year on alcohol. Moreover, while a typical gym membership costs about $40 or $50 per month, about 70% of those go unused. Going to your dentist, on the other hand, is absolutely essential to safeguard your oral health. Your dentist can help you to improve your oral health, find problems and deal with them before they develop, and also give you peace of mind. Overestimating dental expenses Many people overestimate dental expenses, or assume that they will cost more than they actually do. Wanting to minimize expenses in the short term encourages people to visit their dentist infrequently. This tendency is made worse because many healthcare plans do not include dental coverage. Yet this short-term approach to dental care is actually far more expensive over time. The paradox of dental expenses is that they can be reduced by going to the dentist regularly. This is because of the age old principle that prevention is better than cure. Your dentist can catch problems and deal with them early on. This often saves people a lot of money that they would have to spend treating more serious issues further on down the line. For example, a cavity that could be resolved with a simple filling early on might require a root canal a few months later. Regular check-ups are key Regular check-ups are the key to safeguarding your oral health and also to keeping your dental bills low. If you’d like to find out more or to schedule a check up, please do not hesitate to give the friendly office staff at Southeast Family Dental a call today on 317-359-8000.

Would a Dog Calm Your Fears at the Dentist?
Would a Dog Calm Your Fears at the Dentist?

Do you suffer from fears and anxiety when going to the dentist? Or, maybe a trip to the dentist is a scary event for your child, which also stresses you out? Dental fears, anxiety and phobia are extremely common. It’s estimated that between 5% and 8% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to fears. Some people (perhaps up to 20%) experience so much anxiety that they’ll only go to the dentist when it’s absolutely necessary. People experience dental anxiety and fears for various reasons, including: * Previous bad experiences at the dentist’s office. * Fear of pain. * Feeling helpless or not in control of the situation. * Embarrassment about the state of their teeth and gums. Being unfamiliar with the instruments, noises and smells in the dental office. This is especially true for young children. At Southeast Family Dental, we understand how the dentist’s office can cause anxiety and fears. But calming fears isn’t just for kids, some adults need help calming their anxiety at the dentist, too. So a dentist located in Northbrook, IL, has found an ingenious way to do just that. He brings a trained comfort dog into his office. The golden retriever soothes nervous kids and adults alike by comforting them during dental exams. In fact, the golden retriever has a sixth sense when it comes to figuring out exactly who needs him the most. A comfort dog really is an excellent idea to calm dental fears, because animals tend to have a soothing effect on people. Other ideas that dentists may use to calm your fears, include: * Providing you with an iPad and headphones, so you can listen to relaxing music or watch a TV program to distract you. * Offering you a blanket for warmth, comfort and the feeling of security. * Giving you nitrous oxide or other sedatives to help you feel relaxed during dental exams or procedures. If you suffer from dental anxiety and fears, talk to our team at Southeast Family Dental. We can talk to you about what to expect during your appointment and help you find ways to ease your fears. We want to make sure your dental experience is as calm, comfortable and stress-free as possible for you.

World Record | Largest Collection of Toothpaste
World Record | Largest Collection of Toothpaste

You’ve probably never really given much thought into how many different types of toothpaste there are in the world. When you head to the stores to pick up a new tube of toothpaste you may be met with dozens of different makes and types of toothpaste. Maybe you have a brand that you have stuck to for years, or maybe you go with whatever is on offer or is the cheapest. But it turns out that there is a whole world of choice out there. Building A World Record Toothpaste Collection One man actually collects toothpaste. Dr. Val Kolpakov is a dentist who actually started out collecting pulled teeth. He switched hobbies and began collecting different types of toothpaste. So far, he has amassed a collection of over 3000 different tubes from everywhere in the world. He switched from pulling teeth to collecting toothpaste because it was “more exciting”. Of course, he displays his entire collection in his Saginaw, MI, dental surgery for all of his patients to see. It’s probably a much nicer sight than his previous collection. It is probably no surprise that will a collection of toothpaste so large, Dr. Val Kolpakov holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of toothpaste. So Much Variation In Dr. Val Kolpakov’s world record collection, there are a whole host of different varieties. If you want to feel as though you want a treat while you brush, his collection is home to chocolate, curry, and whiskey toothpaste. One of Dr. Val Kolpakov’s toothpaste dates all the way back to 1801. Although not strictly a toothpaste, because it hadn’t actually been invented then, this is a tooth powder in a silver box. The scariest toothpaste of all dates back to the second world war and is made using a radioactive compound. While nobody would rush to use this now, it was believed at the time that the radiation would revive your gums. He has red wine toothpaste, amaretto flavored paste, there are celebrity toothpaste tubes that have featured on TV and movie sets. Dr. Val Kolpakov started collecting after he had heard of a German dentist who had collected 500 different types of toothpaste. About a quarter of the world record collection that was started in 2002 by Dr. Val Kolpakov is on display in his dental practice in Saginaw. Your Toothpaste Doesn’t Have to Break a World Record Of course, there is no need for you to buy three thousand different types of toothpaste. One good toothpaste is all that you will require. The reason that you need to brush your teeth is that each day bacteria form in your mouth and sticks to your teeth. These bacteria can cause plaque to form on the teeth, which in turn will lead to tooth decay. Bacterial plaque also causes gum disease if left to its own devices. So brushing helps to get rid of the plaque-causing bacteria and is therefore very important for your oral health. Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day. You should brush for two minutes at a time, ensuring that you get every part of your teeth including the sides, tops, and backs. The most important thing that you need in your toothpaste is fluoride. This helps to remineralize your teeth and reverse the effects that plaque and reduce the risk of decay. Stannous fluoride provides all of the benefits of regular fluoride toothpaste, however, it also helps with sensitive teeth. There are a number of different types of fluoride available in toothpaste. In some cases, your dentist may recommend high-fluoride toothpaste if you are at a higher risk of tooth decay. You should only use this type of toothpaste if your dentist specifically recommends it. Getting The Best Advice On Your Dental Needs If you are in anyway unsure about the type of toothpaste that you should be using, be sure and speak with your dentist about it while having a check-up. Having a regular dental check-up is vital for your overall oral health. It allows dentists to spot the early warning signs of tooth decay and allows them to do something about it. Plaque can be removed before it becomes a problem, however, once decay has set into your teeth, it may cause considerable discomfort and will require more work doing to it. Prevention is far better than having dental procedures, and that is why your dentist will be happy to provide you with any advice that you need to help you maintain healthy teeth through regular brushing with the right toothpaste.


6020 Southeastern Ave,
Indianapolis, IN 46203

Office Hours

MON - THU:8:00 am-5:00 pm

FRI:8:00 am-2:00 pm

SAT - SUN:Closed