Levi Spear Parmly, a New Orleans dentist, is credited with inventing the first dental floss. That was before WWII and since that time the variety of dental floss products available in the marketplace has expanded for every individual taste.
The Types of Floss and What they mean to You
Initially, floss was made of silk. Later, Dr. Charles C. Bass developed nylon floss, believed to be better at resisting abrasion and offering improved elasticity. Today, many floss products are made of biodegradable materials to address environmental concerns.
The varieties available are nylon floss, waxed floss, plain floss, dental floss tape, floss wands, wide floss, thin thread-like floss, swivel head floss sticks, electric floss and more. So, which is best for you? The answer is that it depends on the spaces between your teeth and the situation at the time of flossing.
If you have narrow spaces between your teeth, it is more likely the string-like floss will do best for you as the thicker floss may tend to stick between your teeth, tear and become difficult to remove. Wider floss is best for people who have wider spaces between their teeth. This is also known as dental tape. If you do have wide spaces between your teeth but have a large particle of food stuck between your teeth, it’s time to switch to the thin, string-like floss to assure the floss will fit in the area and won’t tear, causing more difficulty in removing the food particle.
It is also believed that waxed floss is easier to move between the teeth but not as effective at removing all plaque as floss that is not waxed.
Electric floss machines, like an electric toothbrush, are available for people who feel that flossing is a manual task they prefer not to undertake. For some, getting the knack of using the electric floss machine takes time and practice.
Floss wands and sticks can be awkward or difficult to flex in certain areas of the mouth and this tends to leave portions of the mouth with plaque remaining between the teeth leaving that gum area open to plaque buildup. New, ergonomic floss wands and sticks with easy-to-hold handles and swivel heads are now available, making it easier to get to those hard to reach places and without the fear of cutting into the gum.
Many times people have different size spaces between their teeth in different parts of their mouths. In this case, a person will need both the thin and wide floss to treat each area effectively.
Ask the Dentist
If you are not experienced with flossing, it’s time to begin using floss in conjunction with daily tooth brushing for optimum oral health.
Make an appointment with top New Jersey dentist, Dr. Ron Rotem and ask him which of the floss products is best for your teeth. Dr. Rotem and his staff will take the time to demonstrate the proper way to use floss to optimize the removal of harmful plaque, thus decreasing the growth of bacteria and maximizing your oral health.
Dr. Rotem specializes in adult dental care and can explain the importance of daily flossing and help you discover which dental floss is best for you.