Dental floss was first introduced in 1815 by Levi Spear Parmly, a dentist from New Orleans. He suggested that people should clean their teeth with a piece of silk floss, yet dental floss only became available to the public no sooner than 70 years later. Nowadays, the bunch of microscopic filaments used to remove plaque and food residue from between the teeth has gained popularity and it is recommended by most dentists and dental care professionals around the globe.
We’ll go into important aspects of dental floss below, but for our quick pick of the best dental floss, you’ll find that Reach has done a tremendous job putting together some great products that are very popular and are well-rated by actual users.
Our Pick For The Best Dental Floss
Flossing products currently available to consumers differ in a variety of aspects.
The original dental floss was made of silk. After World War II, nylon floss was manufactured and was found to be more effective because of its greater elasticity and abrasion. Now synthetic materials such as nylon, PTFE and polyethylene are used and due to environmental concerns, dental floss which has been produced with biodegradable materials is also available.
Dental floss may be waxed or unwaxed and flavored or unflavored. A wax coating helps the dental floss glide more easily between the teeth. Many people who have little space between their teeth prefer waxed dental floss. Certain types of waxed dental floss add to their effectiveness, by containing antibacterial substances and sodium fluoride.
As mentioned, there is great variability among dental floss products. The most important factor to consider though is thickness. Types of floss that differ in thickness are suitable for different mouths, or even for different areas of a single mouth as adjoining teeth are very likely to vary in proximity. A floss that is too thick for a space between a particular pair of teeth will not be able to slide down to the gum line, while on the other hand, if too thin it will not be as efficient as it should and it might even break. Thicker floss is considered to do a better job in scraping plaque away, but hard particles of food tightly stuck between teeth are more likely to be removed by thinner floss. There are some kinds of floss that can be split lengthwise to create the desired thickness for each specific need.
Flossing by hand is not always easy, especially for children. And reaching the rear teeth can be tricky for everyone. This is why specialized plastic wands been manufactured to hold the floss enabling a wider reach. Early flossers however, did not provide the required flossing control around angles and under the gums. Current ergonomic flossers come with swiveling heads allowing access to both anterior and posterior teeth, with improved handles for a better grip. Added to this, the heads’ flexibility allows the floss to wrap around a tooth and thoroughly clean under the gum line. In the same category, floss picks are disposable devices composed of two plastic prongs holding a piece of floss, extending from the body of the gadget, which on the other end tapers into a toothpick. Which works best is really a matter of personal preference.
If you have never had luck with dental floss, you might consider a water flosser like the Waterpik Ultra. Oral irrigators use pressurized water, rather than silk, nylon, or another type of string-type product to clean your teeth.
In conclusion, the best dental floss is the one that is appropriate for one’s needs. Depending on teeth alignment and spacing, one should choose the interdental cleaner that fits them best. The choice however, must be made amongst products that have been approved by the American Dental Association, which means that they have been tested for effectiveness and safety.
And once more, our pick for the best dental floss based on general use, popularity, and rating is from Reach: