Do you Know the Right Type of Floss to Buy?

FlosserDental self-care products are sometimes overwhelming. Sure, it’s great to have so many options, but sometimes too many choices can leave you feeling confused. Just because you’ve seen commercials for one brand, does that make it the best? Should you go by a friend’s recommendation? How about asking your dentist? No matter who you speak to, you’re bound to hear a number of opinions on which is the best toothbrush, toothpaste, or mouthwash. Even dental floss is not impervious to criticism. Should you go by trial and error and come up with your own preference? Pella family dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Allen points to study information in deciding the type of floss you purchase.

Flossing Study

The University of Buffalo was home to a fascinating study on the features and benefits of nylon and Teflon dental floss (also known as plytetrafluoroethylene floss). The purpose of the research was to find which type of floss was superior when it comes to the removal of food particles and plaque. Of the 60 participants in the study, about 3/4 preferred dental tape (i.e. Teflon floss) which is thicker than nylon thread floss. Why? Dental tape does not fray or break. If you’ve ever had pieces of floss caught between your teeth, you know this is frustrating and uncomfortable. Dental tape was reserved, in the past, for people with larger gaps between teeth. However, if you find nylon floss is uncomfortable for you and you are avoiding flossing as a result, perhaps it’s time for you to give Teflon floss a try.

Flossing Methods

There are several methodologies for flossing, but both involve wrapping floss around fingers and sliding the thread between teeth. The idea is to remove as much food debris as possible in those harder to reach spaces which your toothbrush won’t clean properly. The spool method uses your fingers just like spools for raveling and unraveling the next clean length of floss. The loop method is great for children or the elderly – anyone with less dexterity in their hands. By tying an 18-inch piece of floss into a circle you can utilize your index fingers and thumbs to guide floss gently, but firmly, between teeth.

Visit your Pella Family Dentist

If you are due for a checkup and cleaning, you can contact Dr. Jeffrey Allen at (641)628-1121.  Our Pella dental office is happy to provide comprehensive dentistry services to the whole family.