A Simple Guide to Which Floss is Right for You

From the time a person is very young, regular visits to the dentist reveal that flossing helps prevent gum disease and tooth loss. There are so many types of dental floss on the market that it’s hard to know what type of floss is right for you. The simplest answer, according to Oral-B, “is the floss that you will use every single day.”

Several determining factors can help you decide which floss is right for you. A Wikipedia article, citing Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice, 3rd Edition, states the following on how to choose:

Factors to be considered when choosing the right floss or whether the use of floss as an interdental cleaning device is appropriate may be based on:

  • The tightness of the contact area: determines the width of floss
  • The contour of the gingival tissue
  • The roughness of the interproximal surface

The point of flossing is cleaning between the teeth, where a standard toothbrush is unable to reach. Determining the spacing of your teeth will help you decide the thickness of the floss you should use. Dental floss with a single filament or waxed floss may be best for you if your teeth are spaced tightly together or if they are crowded or overlap. Multi-filament floss and dental tape are available if there is sufficient room between your teeth to accommodate the thicker strands they offer.

Once you’ve determined the correct thickness based on the spacing of your teeth, it’s time to take a look at your gums. Do your gums contact your teeth by entirely closing the space between them, or are there portions of your teeth where they touch that don’t have contact with the gums? These observations serve the purpose of helping you select the right texture of floss for your gum health. If your gums have full contact with your teeth in the spaces between them, you may find best results with a flexible or spongy floss that reduces the likelihood of cuts.

If the surfaces of your teeth where they meet are rough, that can also help you decide on the correct floss.  Rough surfaces tend to fray or sever floss from time to time, so it may be beneficial to look into multi-filament or waxed floss for increased durability.

Flossing regularly is critical to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Sorting through all of the options to find the correct floss for your needs can be a daunting task. Contact the professionals at Williamsville Family Dentistry today to find out more about which floss is right for you.


We make sure each and every one of our clients’ needs and concerns are addressed in a caring and thoughtful manner. We want your experience to be as enjoyable and efficient as possible here at Williamsville Family Dentistry in Williamsville, NY.

Posted in Fun Facts!, Preventive Care

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