When it comes to maintaining great oral hygiene, we all know that dental flossing is an essential practice. However, with the wide variety of dental floss options available, it can be overwhelming to figure out which type of floss suits your needs best. Each type of floss has its own unique advantages, and understanding these differences can help you make an informed choice. Let’s explore the various types of dental floss and their benefits, so you can confidently choose the right one for your oral care routine.

Nylon (Multifilament) Dental Floss

Nylon dental floss is a common and widely used option. It consists of multiple strands of nylon fibers twisted together, making it strong and durable. This type of floss is available in various flavors and thicknesses, catering to different preferences.


  • Strong and resistant to tearing
  • Available in a variety of flavors
  • Can be suitable for tight spaces between teeth
  • Affordable and widely accessible


  • May shred or fray in certain cases
  • Not suitable for individuals with sensitive gums
  • Requires careful handling to avoid damaging gums

Steps to Use Nylon Dental Floss:

  1. Take about 18 inches of floss and wind it around your middle fingers, leaving a few inches in between.
  2. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers.
  3. Gently guide the floss between your teeth using a sawing motion.
  4. Curve the floss around each tooth in a C shape and move it up and down to remove plaque and debris.

PTFE (Monofilament) Dental Floss

PTFE dental floss, often referred to as “glide” floss, is made from a single strand of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene material. This type of floss is designed to slide easily between teeth without shredding or tearing.


  • Glides smoothly between teeth
  • Resistant to shredding or fraying
  • Suitable for people with tight spaces between teeth
  • Gentle on gums


  • May be slightly more expensive than nylon floss
  • Limited flavor options compared to nylon floss

Steps to Use PTFE Dental Floss:

  1. Take a piece of PTFE floss and wrap it around your middle fingers.
  2. Hold the floss between your thumbs and index fingers.
  3. Slide the floss gently between your teeth using a back-and-forth motion.
  4. Curve the floss around each tooth in a C shape, cleaning both sides and the gumline.

Dental Tape

Dental tape is a broader and flatter type of floss that is designed to cover more surface area between teeth. It’s often preferred by individuals with more space between their teeth.


  • Wide and flat design effectively cleans larger gaps between teeth
  • Suitable for people with braces or dental work
  • Less likely to cut into gums


  • May not fit well between tightly spaced teeth
  • Limited flavors and thickness options compared to nylon floss

Steps to Use Dental Tape:

  1. Take a piece of dental tape and wrap it around your fingers, leaving a section to work with.
  2. Hold the tape between your index fingers and thumbs.
  3. Gently insert the tape between your teeth, using a back-and-forth motion.
  4. Glide the tape along the sides of each tooth, ensuring proper cleaning.

Super Floss

Super floss is a specialized type of floss that combines different textures to effectively clean around dental appliances like braces, bridges, and implants. It typically consists of three components: a stiffened end, a spongy middle, and regular floss.


  • Designed to clean around dental work and orthodontic appliances
  • Can reach areas that regular floss might miss
  • Suitable for maintaining oral hygiene with braces or dental bridges


  • May require more time and effort to use properly
  • Not as versatile for general flossing

Steps to Use Super Floss:

  1. Take a piece of super floss and cut it to a suitable length.
  2. Thread the stiffened end under dental work or orthodontic appliances.
  3. Use the spongy middle to clean around the dental work, moving it gently back and forth.
  4. Finish by using the regular floss section to clean between adjacent teeth.

Floss Picks

Floss picks, also known as flossers or floss sticks, are single-use devices with a short piece of floss stretched between two prongs. They often have a plastic handle for easy maneuvering.


  • Convenient and easy to use, especially on the go
  • Suitable for people with limited dexterity
  • No need to wrap floss around your fingers


  • Less environmentally friendly due to being disposable
  • Might not provide the same level of control as traditional floss
  • Less effective for reaching tight spaces between teeth

Steps to Use Floss Picks:

  1. Hold the floss pick handle and gently guide the floss between your teeth.
  2. Slide the floss along the sides of each tooth, curving it around to clean the gumline.
  3. Use a clean section of the floss for each tooth.

FAQs About Dental Floss

Q: How often should I floss?

A: It’s recommended to floss at least once a day to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth.

Q: Can I reuse dental floss?

A: Dental floss is designed for single-use only. Using the same piece of floss again can reintroduce bacteria and debris into your mouth.

Q: Should I floss before or after brushing?

A: It’s generally recommended to floss before brushing to ensure that any dislodged particles are removed before you brush your teeth.

Q: Is it normal for my gums to bleed when flossing?

A: Occasional bleeding while flossing may occur, especially if you’re new to flossing. However, consistent bleeding could be a sign of gum disease, and you should consult your dentist.

Q: Can I substitute floss with a water flosser?

A: While water flossers can be effective at removing debris, they are not a direct replacement for traditional flossing. They can complement your oral hygiene routine but not replace it entirely.

Elevate Your Oral Care

Choosing the right type of dental floss depends on your needs and preferences. Whatever type of floss you use, just remember that the key is to stay consistent to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

If you have questions about dental floss or want personalized advice on your oral care routine, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our dental experts are here to guide you toward the best choices for your dental health. Schedule an appointment at our office today and take the first step toward achieving a confident and radiant smile!