It’s Never Too Late To Start Flossing — These Are the Best Options for Healthier Gums

flossing man
Courtesy of Bite
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By now, you’ve probably heard that flossing is important. It removes plaque and can prevent the build-up of tartar. And, by removing small food particles from your teeth, you lessen the chances of having bad breath. And while flossing may feel uncomfortable on your gums, it can actually improve your gum health.

So if you do feel motivated to start flossing, or you’re just wondering if you can find a better floss for you, then we’ve got you covered. The world of dental floss is surprisingly nuanced — there’s waxed and unwaxed, monofilament and multifilament. Studies indicate that there’s a negligible difference in the efficacy of these flosses and that the kind you choose will largely come down to comfort.

Multifilament floss can be comfortable, but it’s prone to fraying. Monofilament is made from a single, sturdy strand and is resistant to fraying, but can sometimes be more expensive. Waxed flosses are coated and are less likely to fray, and many waxed flosses have pleasant mint flavors. If your teeth are very close together, however, it can be harder to get a waxed floss between them. There’s also dental tape, which comes in similar packages to floss but has a thicker, ribbon-like shape.

Ultimately, it may take a little trial and error to find one that’s comfortable for you and accept that a little initial discomfort will be normal. These are some of the best flosses available right now, including convenient picks and trusty stalwarts.

  

1. Listerine Floss

BEST OVERALL 

Listerine may be best known for making mouthwash that’s intense enough to wake the dead, but they also make floss that’s gentle enough to be used on the sensitive areas near your gums. This option is a good value because six packs are included, each with 30 yards of floss. The floss is coated with a pleasant mint flavor. It’s designed to glide gently over teeth while resisting shredding, and the brand’s proprietary micro-grooves grab food particles more effectively.

floss Amazon

  

2. Package Free Dental Floss

BEST ECO-FRIENDLY

Package Free is an online store that prioritizes eco-friendly, plastic-free home and self-care products. Every part of every product is considered in terms of the end of its life, with much of it being compostable and the rest recyclable. This floss is made from silk and coated with Candelilla wax. The floss and box are compostable, while the metal cutter is recyclable. Thirty-three yards of floss are included.

floss Package Free

  

3. Quip All-Black Metal Refillable Floss String

BEST TRAVEL FLOSSER 

Quip has become hugely popular for its stylishly designed electric toothbrushes which have replaceable heads that ship via subscription, and they’ve also taken their innovative subscription-based model to this flosser. You can refill the floss using cartridges that Quip ships to you. The retractable top also makes it perfect for travel. It’s a bit more expensive than the average flosser, but the steel flosser will last a long time.

floss Quip

  

4. Bite Dental Floss

BEST PLASTIC-FREE

It’s safe to say we love Bite. This eco-friendly brand won two spots last year in our 2020 SPY Man Awards for Best Toothbrush and Best Toothpaste, so it should come with no surprise that Bite’s dental floss is just as great. This vegan, plastic-free dental floss comes in a small refillable glass jar to help our planet in any which way it can. Instead of plastic, the floss is made with vegan candelilla wax and comes completely unflavored.

Bite Dental Floss Courtesy of Bite

  

5. TreeBird Floss

RECYCLABLE AND BIODEGRADABLE 

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, consider this biodegradable floss from TreeBird. It’s made from responsibly-harvested silk and waxed with candelilla wax, making it a compostable option. But the brand’s commitment to reducing waste goes beyond the floss itself — from the recyclable cardboard box to the glass and metal dispenser, plastic use is kept to a minimum. It has a fresh mint flavor for a pleasant experience.

floss Amazon

  

6. Public Goods Dental Floss

SILK FLOSS 

This dental floss from Public Goods comes in a glass container with a metal lid, and it’s shipped in a recyclable cardboard container. The floss itself is made from biodegradable silk and coated with peppermint candelilla wax.

floss Verishop

  

7. Dr. Tungs Floss

NATURALLY FLAVORED

If you’re looking for something natural but effective, then this option from Dr. Tungs is a good pick. Thirty yards of PTFE and BPA-free floss is included, and it comes in a biodegradable container. The floss is coated with natural beeswax and vegetable wax instead of paraffin, and it has a cardamon flavor that’s naturally sourced. The wax is designed to be stretchy for easier maneuverability, and it works with those with tighter or more widely spaced teeth.

floss Amazon

  

8. Burst Expanding Floss

BEST BLACK FLOSS

One thing you probably never knew existed? Black floss. Yeah, that’s right, instead of making their floss white the way every other floss brand in the world does, Burst created an all-blast floss that helps you visually see immediate results due to the contrasting colorway. Gross, yet helpful. It has a charcoal coating (which is way trendy right now) that literally absorbs hard-to-attack stains such as ones caused by coffee and wine. It hits 85% of the plaque on your teeth with ease, so this stuff is kind of a no-brainer.

Burst Expanding Floss Courtesy of Burst

  

9. Plackers Floss

MOST CONVENIENT 

One way to encourage people to floss is to make it more convenient. These picks are threaded with a fine, mint-flavored floss. They can be easier to use than floss, which requires pulling out a thread and wrapping it around your fingers. They’re also a good option for taking on the go. Another smart design feature is that each pick has a toothpick at the base, which can be flipped out from its covering to help loosen tough to reach areas. Three packs are included, and each pack has 90 picks.

floss Amazon

  

10. Reach Floss

BULK 200 YARD SIZE

This floss from Reach is waxed and has a refreshing mint flavor. It’s designed to easily slide between teeth and loosen and remove plaque and food particles. The waxed floss is also designed to resist shredding and fraying. This offer is a good value, as well, because a single package contains 200 yards of floss, which should last a long time.

floss Amazon

  

11. Crayola Floss

BEST FOR KIDS

The best time to start forming good habits is when you’re young, which is why these adorable kids’ flossers are such a great option for any parents. They come in a variety of fun colors, and 75 total picks are included. The fluoride coating bolsters teeth health, and the small size and lack of sharp edges make this an easy option for young children to use. Plus, the grape flavor will make kids more likely to want to use them.

floss Amazon

    

12. Tom’s of Maine Floss

BEST BULK OPTION 

Tom’s of Maine is well known for making eco-friendly hygiene products, and that extends to their floss. This floss comes in six boxes containing 32 yards of floss each, making it a good value. The floss is waxed with natural ingredients such as beeswax and jojoba wax, and it’s also free of artificial colors and preservatives. The flat floss is a good option for harder-to-reach areas.

floss Amazon

  

13. Oral-B Floss

GOOD FOR BRACES

This floss from Oral-B is specifically designed for those with braces, bridges or widely-spaced teeth. The floss is made with three components: a spongy floss, a stiffened end threader, and regular floss. These are designed to work in conjunction for harder to reach areas. The floss is also pre-cut, making it easy to grab the right amount each time.

floss Amazon

  

14. GUM ButlerWeave Waxed Floss in Mint

BEST PACKAGE 

You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube, but you can put the floss back in the container. This floss itself has a fiber weave that resists shredding, and it’s made to move smoothly between your teeth. But the detail that really sets this floss apart is the wheel, which allows you to retract extra floss back into the container.

floss Bed Bath and Beyond

  

15. DenTek Kids Fun Flossers

KID-FRIENDLY 

Another good option for kids is this package of flossers from DenTek. They come in a pack of 90, and the plastic flossers are available in a range of fun colors like purple, blue and green. The smaller size is meant to be manageable for kids’ smaller mouths.

floss Target

  

16. Cocofloss Sampler

BEST FLAVORS

Cocofloss is known for having a really soft floss that’s great for people with gum-related issues. What else are they known for? Flavors. Yeah, we said flavors. The Cocofloss sampler lets you try all of Cocofloss’s wild flavors such as mint, coconut, strawberry and orange. If you’re willing to add a little bit of taste into your life, get flossin’.

Cocofloss Sampler Courtesy of Cocofloss

  

17. Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Threader Floss

2-IN-1 DESIGN

It’s no secret that flossing when you have braces can be difficult, which is why it’s a great thing this threader floss from Oral-B is an option. Threaders can help you get floss through braces, and this option from Oral-B makes it more convenient by combining threader and floss in one.

floss Target