We all know that when it comes to hygiene, flossing can feel like a chore. But by flossing, you remove plaque, which in turn prevents “bacterial changes that lead to gum disease,” says Dr. Ramin Tabib of NYC Smile Design. Many of the dentists we spoke to emphasized that flossing daily is the best way to keep your mouth clean and healthy. “The type of floss you use is far less important than flossing regularly, so I like to help my patients find products they will enjoy using on a daily basis,” says Dr. Jennifer Plotnick of Grand Street Dental. To that end, we asked six dentists to weigh in on their favorite flosses.
Best overall floss
Without a doubt, Cocofloss was the most recommended by the dentists we spoke to. “My favorite floss — and the one I hand out to all my patients — is Cocofloss,” says Plotnick. Cocofloss, with its bright packaging and well-designed floss, is the brainchild of the Cu sisters, Chrystal (a dentist) and Cat (an artist). The floss comes in a variety of fresh flavors including mint, coconut, strawberry, and cara cara orange; and for a limited time during the summer months, watermelon also makes an appearance. The floss has a unique thread that is “soft, yet textured,” which makes it super-effective at removing plaque without hurting the gums, explains Dr. Saddia Patton of Downtown Dental. Plus, the string has a coating of coconut oil which has antimicrobial properties, says Tabib. Dr. Plotnick adds that coconut oil is also “naturally soothing to gum tissue.”
Best affordable floss
Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Dental Floss
“In our midtown Manhattan office, we use and recommend Glide floss by Oral B,” says Dr. Zachary E. Linhart of Manhattan Dental Health, because “it is smooth, very strong, and works great.” Patton agrees: “It won’t shred while you’re trying to get in between your teeth.” Oral-B Glide Floss has a coating of wax on the fibers that gives it that easy glide but a strong hold. While flossers can get passionate about the waxed versus unwaxed debate, “choosing the right floss is really a matter of personal preference,” says Plotnik. While some people may swear by waxed floss because it glides easily in tight places and doesn’t fray, others find that it doesn’t remove plaque as effectively as unwaxed floss, she explains. So feel free to experiment before deciding on which one you love.
Best floss for kids
Plackers Kids Dental Floss Picks
It can be quite challenging to get traditional floss in between children’s back teeth, “which is, of course, one of the most common areas for cavities and the most important places to floss,” says Dr. Jeremy Dixon of Gramercy Pediatric Dentistry. Which is why he recommends using stick flossers, because “they are easy to use, will protect parents’ fingers from little bites, and will help prevent cavities from developing in between the molars.” These stick flossers from Plackers come with an ergonomic, extra-long handle to make it even easier for parents to maneuver.
Best all-natural floss
RADIUS Natural Silk Floss
For people who prefer all-natural products,Plotnik recommends looking for flosses that are either infused with tea tree oil, a natural antimicrobial, or are made of biodegradable silk. Silk floss is generally softer than traditional nylon floss. Dr. Mark Burhenne, founder of AsktheDentist.com and the author of The 8-Hour Sleep Paradox, personally loves and uses this silk floss from Radius.
Best floss threader for braces
GUM EEZ-Thru Floss Threaders
If you wear braces, both Linhart and Patton suggest using a floss threader. As Linhart explains, a floss threader acts like a needle, making it easier to clean under and around the brackets and wires with your floss of choice.
Best floss picks
Oral-B Precision Clean Interdental Picks
Another useful tool to have in your bracket-cleaning arsenal is the Oral-B Interdental Picks, says Patton. But these interdental picks aren’t just great for braces. They can also be used if you have more significant gaps between your teeth or if you have gum recession that leave “black triangles” between your teeth, adds Linhart.
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