Jun 04, 2024 - minute readminutes read

How To Choose Your Floss

Everyone’s oral health needs are different. However, we all need to clean between our teeth.

It’s important that you choose the floss that’s right for you, as it will help you remove more plaque and achieve better oral health. Wearing braces, tight teeth, sensitive teeth…?

You need a floss which is adapted to your specific needs. With so many different options available, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. This page can point you in the right direction and help you pick the perfect floss for you!



Common Types of Floss

String Floss

String floss is the most traditional form of floss. It's flexible and can be maneuvered easily between teeth. There are two main types: waxed and unwaxed. Waxed floss, which typically comes in flavors such as mint, is smoother and easier to slide between tight teeth or braces. Unwaxed floss tends to be thinner and easier to grip, though it is more prone to breaking and shredding.

Dental Flossers

Dental flossers are small, handheld tools that hold a piece of floss. They are ideal for people who find it challenging to manipulate string floss. Flossers are convenient for reaching the back teeth and can be a great option for children or those with limited dexterity.

Interdental Brushes and Picks

Interdental brushes and picks are excellent alternatives to traditional flossing, especially for individuals with braces or wider gaps between their teeth. These tools can efficiently remove plaque and food particles from between teeth and along the gum line.

Why is Tooth Flossing Important?

Tooth flossing plays a crucial role in oral hygiene. It removes plaque and food particles from areas between your teeth and along the gumline that a toothbrush alone can't reach. 

Benefits of flossing

  • Prevents tooth decay: By removing plaque, flossing helps prevent cavities between teeth.
  • Reduces gum disease risk: Regular flossing can reduce the risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
  • Promotes fresher breath: Flossing helps eliminate food particles and bacteria that contribute to bad breath.
  • Complements brushing: Flossing reaches areas that brushing alone cannot, making your oral care routine more effective.

How to floss?

  1. Break off about 13-16 inches of floss and wind most of it around your middle fingers.
  2. Hold the floss and wrap it around each middle finger, keeping a short section taut between your thumbs and index fingers.
  3. Gently guide the floss between your teeth using a zig-zag motion.
  4. Floss under the gum line, using an up-and-down motion

Learn more with our How to Floss Guide.

Is flossing more important than toothbrushing?

While flossing is not more important than brushing, it is an essential complement to it. Brushing cleans the surfaces of your teeth, while flossing cleans the tight spaces between teeth and below the gumline. Both are crucial for complete oral hygiene and preventing dental problems.

If you If you have very tight teeth, removing plaque can be a challenge. A flosser pick with silky floss such as GUM® COMFORT SLIDE FLOSSER PICKS is probably your best bet. You could also try GUM® EXPANDING® FLOSS, which is also designed to easily fit in the tightest spaces. Once you’ve inserted it, it will expand significantly to fit the space and clean the entire surface, reaching above and below the gum line.  

Just because your back teeth are more difficult to reach doesn’t mean you should neglect them. In fact, this makes them even more susceptible to plaque build-up so you should give them as much attention as your other teeth. To clean between your back teeth more easily try using GUM® FLOSSERS or an angled flosser like the GUM® ANGLED FLOSSER PICKS.

If you experience light bleeding and/or pain when flossing this could indicate plaque build-up along the gum line. You need to floss more regularly and thoroughly to remove the plaque that is irritating your gums. Make sure you choose floss that is adapted to your sensitivity and use it gently, without snapping, every day. GUM® EXPANDING® FLOSS is gentle on gums and ideal for people with sensitive gums and teeth. If bleeding and/or pain persists, make an appointment with your dental professional.

If you’re always in a rush, or just find it difficult to floss, flossers might be a good alternative. Our ergonomically designed GUM® FLOSSERS make effective flossing super easy. With a comfortable grip handle and extra resistant floss which slides easily between the teeth, they are perfect to floss in no time or for on-the-go flossing. 

Cleaning between your teeth is key to achieving good oral health. This is because brushing alone only covers three out of five tooth surfaces. To clean all surfaces, you need to use a toothbrush in combination with floss and/or an interdental tool. Some people find traditional flossing difficult. If this is your case, you might want to consider using GUM® PROFESSIONAL CLEAN FLOSSER PICKS They are easy to hold and perfect for on-the-go use. You could also consider using interdental brushes or picks instead of floss.

Many orthodontic appliances make it more difficult to floss. There are specific types of floss which can help you floss more easily. GUM® EASYTHREAD® FLOSS has a built-in threader at the end which can easily be inserted under wires. You could also consider using GUM® EEZ-THRU® FLOSS THREADERS to help you quickly and easily insert any type of floss between your teeth and clean around wires and brackets.

When wearing bridges, crowns or implants, reaching all areas and cleaning thoroughly can be difficult, but should be done if you want to protect your oral health. Consider using a specially designed floss. GUM® EASYTHREAD® FLOSS is super easy to use, thanks to a built-in threader. It allows you to easily guide the floss between your teeth, under and around crowns, bridges and implants. 

Flossing daily is a great way to remove plaque between your teeth. Everyone should floss, especially if:

  • You have particularly tight spaces between your teeth
  • You have individual implants
  • You have dental prostheses on natural teeth or implants
  • You wear an orthodontic appliance

Flossing is a small task, but many forget to do it daily. The important thing is to establish a daily habit and stick to it. To make flossing part of your daily routine, keep your floss in sight, right next to your toothbrush, and remind yourself that flossing ‘helps you clean where your toothbrush alone can’t.’ Consider using a flavored flosser, like GUM® TWISTED MINT™ FLOSS PICKS, and you’ll get a burst of fresh mint flavor every time you use it. And once you’re done, you feel extra fresh and clean!

Found this interesting? Check out HOW TO...