Different Kinds of Dental Floss

by | Apr 1, 2021 | Oral Health

Whether you’re someone who diligently flosses daily or dreads flossing because it tends to make your gums bleed, we’ve got news for you! Did you know that there are different kinds of dental floss that can make your flossing routine easier, more comfortable and even more effective?

Gentle or Expanding Floss

If you’re new to regular flossing or your gums are sensitive and prone to bleeding due to a health condition, gentle or expanding floss is a great place to start when exploring different kinds of dental floss to suit your needs. This kind of floss is usually made with an extra soft and stretchy spongy material that expands in thickness to make it easier on tender gums. The extra thickness can also make it a great option for cleaning between teeth with large gaps or under and around dental appliances like braces and retainers.

Floss with a Threader

Another great option for those needing to clean orthodontic or dental appliances is floss with a built in threader, and sometimes a built in thicker section of gentle floss as well. This type of floss usually comes pre cut and in individual sealed packages which can be convenient for travel or sharing extra floss safely with other household members, as long as the packages have not been opened.

Floss Picks

When talking about different kinds of dental floss, we’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss floss alternatives. Among the most popular are floss picks or dental picks. There’s also a difference between the two. Floss picks are small sticks that have a short span of floss stretched between two points on one end. They can be a great option to help make flossing easier on the go, such as during a lunch break, but keep in mind that they can’t always reach all the areas that regular dental floss can, so it’s important to keep both on hand and use each as directed by your dentist.

Dental picks are a bit different in that they don’t utilize floss at all, instead they have a thin flexible tip that can be used similarly to floss to clean between teeth and under and around orthodontic and dental appliances. Dental picks are often recommended by orthodontists to help their patients with braces or fixed retainers clean areas that are difficult to reach with floss. Just like floss picks, though, they also can’t reach all the smaller areas between teeth that are important to clean, so it’s important to use regular floss, as well.

Water Picks

Waterpik was invented by a Colorado dentist in 1962 and utilizes a pressurized stream of water to clean between teeth and along the gum line where brushing may not reach. Dental hygienists often use a pressurized water pick tool because it can be more comfortable along the gums than other scraping tools for removing plaque. Water picks or water flossers can be very helpful and effective tools when used properly. Ask your dentist for more information and tips for use if you’re considering investing in a water pick tool.

Talk to Your Dentist

Whichever different kinds of dental floss you choose to try, it’s a great idea to make an appointment with your dentist and talk to them about what options may be the best fit for your needs. They may also demonstrate how to use the different options and provide helpful tips for the different areas of your mouth or dental appliances that may be difficult to clean.

Call our Austin or Georgetown dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.