Waterford, MI Dentist
Lloyd H. Alpert, D.D.S.
4025 Highland Road
Waterford, MI 48328
(248) 682-6010

Posts for: September, 2016

September 21, 2016
Category: Dental Floss
Tags: floss   types of floss   flossing  

Types of Dental Floss and Aids - A Guide to Dental Floss

If you are not familiar with dental floss then it is easy to assume that there is only the one type but you’d be wrong. There are in fact several types of dental floss which include:

•Waxed and un-waxed floss

•Teflon floss

•Thread floss

•Flavored (e.g. mint) and unflavored floss

•Tape floss (also known as ‘dental tape’)

These all have the same thing in common: they are soft, flexible and easy to use.

Thread, Teflon and waxed/un-waxed floss is thin whereas dental tape is thicker. Your dentist or dental hygienist will be able to recommend the most suitable floss for you. You may have to try several varieties until you find the one that suits you best.

It is usually a case of personal preference.

Floss is also available in different ‘shapes’, which is spongy, flattened or round. There is also a variety called ‘superfloss,’ which is a combination of all three.

There is also the option to use a special ‘flossing aid,’ if you have difficulty with flossing your teeth.

Waxed and un-waxed floss

Some dentists prefer un-waxed floss as the threads tend to absorb food particles better than the waxed version. They claim that waxed floss leaves a film on the teeth which then act as a magnet for plaque.

On the other hand, some people find that waxed floss is smoother and moves more easily between the teeth than un-waxed floss. It is less likely to catch on any rough edges of your teeth or start to fray.

One example is Oral-B Waxed Dental Floss. They also offer a mint flavored variety.

Teflon floss

This type of floss works quickly and easily. It is made from Teflon which means that it will not stick in between your teeth but if it does, then it comes away very easily.

A well-known brand of this type of floss is Crest ‘Glide’.

Glide appears to have attracted rave reviews and is especially designed for people who are reluctant to floss their teeth. It is made from a shred-resistant material and is stronger and more durable than many other types of floss. It also moves or ‘glides’ easily between your teeth – hence the name ‘Glide’.

Thread floss

This is made from nylon and works in the same way as any other type of floss.

Flavored and unflavored floss

A flavored type of floss, for example mint or cinnamon, is more pleasant to use and leaves a nice, clean taste in the mouth. There is also a type of floss which is coated in fluoride which may protect against tooth decay.

The unflavored type of floss is as the name says.

Tape floss (dental tape)

This is thicker than conventional types of floss and is often preferred by people who have widely spaced teeth. It is an ideal type of floss for people new to the habit and has the advantage of not breaking or fraying.

It also has a smooth action when sliding between the teeth and for that reason, is often chosen instead of the thread type floss.

An example of this is Colgate Dental Tape.

Flossing aids

A flossing aid is designed to help people who find flossing awkward or difficult to do. However there are several types of aids which are designed to make this easier to do. These include:

•Vibrating dental flosser

•Dental floss holder

•Flossing stick

Vibrating dental flosser

A vibrating flosser is easy to use and has the additional benefit of massing your gums at the same time. But they are more expensive than the conventional flosser.

Dental floss holder

A floss holder is available in a particular form, e.g. a ‘Y’ shape and is effective at helping to clean between the teeth. The floss is attached to the holder and used in the same way as someone using their hands.

Floss holders vary in length and those with the shorter handle are more difficult to use.

These are ideal for people with dental implants, a bridge, orthodontic brace or crowns.

Flossing stick

These resemble a common or garden stick and are most effective when the floss is wound tightly onto them. Basically, the tighter the floss the greater its effectiveness.

Are there any alternatives to dental floss?

Toothpicks or ‘interdental’ brushes are an option although floss is great at accessing those tricky areas between your teeth and under your gum line.

Article Courtesy of:


Not at Home? How to Get Rid of Bad Breath on the Go

When you wake up in the morning, getting rid of that bad morning breath is a no-brainer: You head to the bathroom and use toothpaste and mouthwash to freshen your breath. Scoring fresh breath at home is simple, but knowing how to get rid of bad breath while you're out and about can be trickier. After all, you're not always going to be near a sink or have your toothbrush handy. That's why it's important to have a backup plan in place. That way, if you do suspect that you have bad breath, you'll have a few tricks up your sleeve to get rid of it.

Sugar-Free Gum and Candy

Bad breath can sometimes be linked to poor salivary flow, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). The ADA suggests that chewing a stick of sugar-free gum or popping a sugar-free candy into your mouth can help get rid of bad breath and — if the gum or candy is mint-flavored — leave a fresher smell behind. Chewing gum and sucking on candy promote saliva production, which helps clear the tongue and teeth of bad-breath-inducing food particles and bacteria. Keep a pack of sugar-free gum or candy in your pocket or purse so you always have a backup plan.

Portable Mini Brushes

Keeping your toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste in your pocket may not be the most inconspicuous way to score fresh breath on the go. Adding a package of mini brushes, such as Colgate® Wisp®, can help you banish bad breath with a quick trip to the powder room. Designed to work without water or extra toothpaste, this pocket-sized bristled toothbrush has a toothpaste gel in the center. Use it once and toss it for quick touch-ups.

Chewing Parsley

In some situations — think of eating a garlicky meal on a first date — you may not have the tools for fresher breath in your pocket or purse. You're in luck if your dinner came with a parsley garnish. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that chewing a bit of parsley or a sprig of mint can neutralize bad breath. Grab a piece and chew it quickly, and you'll have fresher breath within a few seconds.

Talking to Your Doctor

Quick fixes work well for bad breath that sneaks up on you at an inconvenient time. If you constantly suffer from bad breath, it may be more than just an annoyance. Talk to your dentist about possible causes of bad breath, which can include tooth decay, recent dental work and even digestive problems. Discuss how to get rid of bad breath that is caused by a more serious condition. Whether it's a once-in-a-while problem or a consistent issue, bad breath can be resolved with quick fixes and long-term solutions.

Source: Colgate: Oral Health Center




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