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

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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 Ultraclean Dental Floss

Listerine may be best known for making mouth wash 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.

Pros: Value buy includes six packs of floss. Mint flavor isn’t too strong. Floss is designed to resist fraying.

Cons: May be too thick for very tightly spaced teeth.

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2. Oral-B Complete SatinFloss Dental Floss

This option from Oral B consists of two packs, each with 50 yards of floss. As the name suggests, SatinFloss is designed to have a silky smooth texture that glides easily between teeth and doesn’t irritate your gums too much. The floss has a fresh mint flavor that calls to mind toothpaste, and it doesn’t linger in your mouth when you’re done flossing like some alternatives. The texture and shape make it easier to get between tighter teeth without breaking.

Pros: Two packs of floss, 50 yards each. Smooth texture for less irritation.

Cons: Somewhat prone to fraying.

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3. Dr. Tung’s Smart Floss 30 yds

If you’re looking for something natural but effective, then this option from Dr. Tungs is a good pick. 30 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.

Pros: Natural ingredients, stretchy and flexible fiber. Effectively removes plaque.

Cons: Expensive. Can occasionally shred.

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4. Plackers Micro Mint Dental Floss Picks

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.

Pros: Strong, abrasion-resistant floss. Easy single-use picks. Picks also have a toothpick on the base to help loosen food.

Cons: Single-use picks are more wasteful than string floss.

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5. Reach Waxed Dental Floss

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.

Pros: 200 yards of floss in a single package. Refreshing mint flavor. Floss is designed to resist fraying and shredding.

Cons: Packaging could be better designed, as it can be difficult to get the floss out.

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6. GUM Crayola Kids’ Flossers, Ages 3+, 75 Count

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.

Pros: Grape flavor and fun colors make it more enjoyable for children to use, and small size is comfortable to hold. Flouride coating.

Cons: Only one flavor option, which not every kid will like.

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7. TreeBird Biodegradable Dental Floss

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.

Pros: Eco-friendly compostable wax. Comes in a reusable glass container and recyclable cardboard box.

Cons: More expensive than other options. Silk floss is less durable than nylon, so it may snap.

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8. Tom’s of Maine Natural Waxed Antiplaque Flat Floss

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.

Pros: Waxed with natural ingredients. Value buy includes six boxes.

Cons: The floss is nylon, so it’s not totally environmentally friendly.

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9. Oral-B Super Floss, Mint

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.

Pros: Good option for those with braces, bridges or wide-tooth gaps. Comes in a two-pack.

Cons: Somewhat prone to breaking.

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