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Different Types of Dental Floss

There are many types of floss available that clean under the gums and between teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach. Unwaxed floss, waxed floss, dental tape, super floss, even yarn can be used. Some floss is thicker than others. Some floss has less wax than other brands. Sometimes a thin, wide tape is best. At other times, a thick fiber such as super floss is necessary.

The most important fact is that everyone needs to floss at least once daily. Plaque, which includes bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease, needs to be removed once a day. The closeness of your teeth and the condition of fillings and crowns likely will determine the type of floss that is easiest for you to use. People whose teeth are very close together may prefer waxed floss since it slides between the teeth with little effort. People with less tight contacts between teeth may prefer unwaxed floss. People whose receding gums have left spaces between their teeth where food collects may find that super floss cleans these areas better than traditional floss.

Floss aids can make flossing easier. These items have small or large handles that hold the floss so patients can clean their back teeth. Some are single–use and others are reusable by placing new floss on the handle each time it's used.

If you have a bridge, it is important to floss under it daily. Don't forget to floss your implants, too.

It doesn't matter what type of floss you prefer. Be sure to floss thoroughly every day. Learn to floss without the use of a mirror, and you will find more times and places where you can easily accomplish this part of your daily oral hygiene care.

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