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Go to your local supermarket and head into any aisle and you’ll probably either feel excited about all the options—or totally overwhelmed. Today, consumers have more options right at their fingertips for everything from cereal to shampoo. Sometimes, having that much choice can feel a little paralyzing. We’re here to help you better understand one type of product in particular: flossing products. Hopefully, knowing these ins and outs can help you better make a decision that works for you.

close up of dental flossing

Dental Floss

Dental floss is the standard nylon floss that can fit into those tight spaces between teeth. It comes either waxed or unwaxed. Waxed floss has a special coating that makes it easier to slide in between teeth that are very close to each other. Sometimes this coating comes flavored. Waxed floss is also a little bit more durable than unwaxed floss. Unwaxed floss is slightly thinner, and is also free of any hints of flavor that might come with waxed floss.

Dental Tape

Dental tape is essentially wider dental floss. It’s flatter and a little bit stretchier. That being said, you still use it the same way by ripping off a strip to run between your teeth. If you have wider gaps between your teeth, you may find it more efficient to use dental tape.

Floss Picks or Disposable Flossers

A floss pick is a little plastic piece with a small piece of floss attached to it. Since the plastic bit serves as a handle, floss picks can be easier for some people to use. Some are meant to be single-use, disposable items for cleaning your teeth, while others have a refillable head.

Water Pick

A water pick may sound like a floss pick but it’s actually something else entirely. This easy-to-use tool, more formally known as an oral pulsating irrigator, shoots out a little stream of water to push out particles from between your teeth. They can be quite handy for people who have to floss around dental work like braces or bridges. Since they need batteries or have to be charged in order to work, they aren’t as convenient to travel around with.

Interdental Cleaner/Brushes

Interdental brushes are a device with a thin brush on the end. To use one, you simply push the brush in between your teeth and then pull it out. An interdental cleaner is a good option for anyone who finds traditional flossing too difficult, such as people with braces or limited mobility.

Remember, any flossing is better than no flossing. You can decide what’s easiest for you to incorporate into your daily routine. Whatever type of flossing product you want to use, keep an eye out for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal. If a product has that, then you know its backed by a reputable professional dental organization dedicated to oral health.

Have more questions? Call or email us at Arlington Dental Excellence! Our team would be happy to answer any dental-related questions you have.

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