Dental Floss Preferences

During your trip to the store, you may have noticed the large variety of both toothpaste and dental floss. When choosing dental floss, which style to choose is simply a matter of preference.
A study conducted by periodontists at University of Buffalo found that nylon waxed dental floss and Teflon floss (wide, plytetrafluoroethylene floss) yield the same results on oral health: they both remove food particles and plaque.
However, of the 60 participants in the study, 75% preferred dental tape, which is thicker than thread floss, it will not fray or break, and slides smoothly between teeth. Usually, people with more room between their teeth like dental tape.
There are two common methods of flossing; the spool method and the loop method. The spool method uses your middle finger as a spool for the dental floss. As you floss each of your teeth, the middle finger will take up the soiled and/or frayed floss. The loop method is preferred for children and adults with less nimble hands. With this method, tie an 18-inch piece of floss into a circle and use your index fingers and thumbs to guide the floss between the teeth.
A third option is the floss holder. Floss is stretched between prongs on a y-shaped holder. Much like a tiny toothbrush, a floss holder has a handle that allows you easier access to back teeth. Floss holders are small and can conveniently fit in your purse or wallet.
The American Dental Association recommends you floss at least once a day in conjunction with brushing two times a day, rinsing after meals, and visiting your dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning and checkup.
If you have questions on proper flossing or are in need of your cleaning, call me, Dr. Jeffrey Allen, a general and family dentist in Pella, IA at (641)628-1121. Proper oral care can maintain your teeth for a lifetime.