Sure, for many of us, “best floss” sounds akin to saying “best paper cuts” or “best Lego bricks for stepping on.” Flossing is the one dental task we’re constantly scolded about, but no matter how much hounding we get, we avoid it entirely. Oh, we'll buy the best toothpaste we can find. Upgrade to an electric toothbrush. Even submit to a whole teeth-whitening regimen. But ask us to slide that waxen twine betwixt our teeth? That's a bridge too far.
But we’ve got a teeth-related secret to share: if you find the right floss for your teeth and gums, it doesn’t have to be torture, or even a chore. Heck, you may even start to find flossing to be a zen act of relaxation (you know, probably not, but anything’s possible). Floss has come a long way in recent years, with innovations to accommodate different grips, different teeth spacing, and different tastes (sometimes literally!).
You know flossing is good for you, but you may not know how much better floss has gotten since those grueling early days of bleeding gums and string wrapped too tautly around fingers. So let us take you on a tour of the best floss on the market, to help you find the dental tool that will feel nearly tailor-made for your teeth.
The Best Floss
What to Consider
Density: Think about thickness. Have you ever had a piece of floss shred as you ran it between a particularly tight set of teeth? Or conversely, have you ever found that a gap between teeth is so wide, your slender floss strip slips right through? There's now a wide-array of floss thicknesses on the market, from tools like the DenTek Floss Pick for tighter teeth to Oral-B's Super Floss for wider gaps or braces. Think of your gums like Goldilocks: some floss may be too thick, some may be too thin, so keep searching until you find the one that's just right.
Dexterity: In other words, think about ease of use. Once upon a time, the only way to floss was to wrap a strand of floss around your fingers to create a taut strand you then awkwardly angled between your teeth. And while there's still plenty of standard string floss on the market, more and more we're seeing ergonomically designed flossers which can allow some users to more easily clean their teeth. Not every style of floss offers the same level of ease to everyone, so think about what you'll have the easiest time working with.
ADA-Accepted: What does ADA-accepted mean? It means that a product has earned the Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association. As their website explains, the ADA has sought to dispel misinformation or over-exaggeration about the advertised benefits of various dental products since the 1860s (back when “snake oil salesman” was a literal job, rather than a figure of speech). In 1930, the ADA created guidelines “...to evaluate these products for safety and efficacy,” which would result in the product being branded with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Now, we should point out that a lack of ADA seal does not mean a product is inherently dangerous, especially in our modern marketplace. Dental products aren’t required to pass ADA evaluation before they hit shelves in the same way medications need FDA-approval, with the latter being a government organization, while the ADA is an independent professional association and 501(c). But if you’re looking for extra assurance that your chosen floss has gone through rigorous testing, keep an eye out for that signature ADA Seal.
How We Chose
With so many different floss brands and flossing products out there, the first step was identifying what different needs there might be when it comes to floss, from different types of grips to different types of teeth, and even different types of flavors. Once those categories were determined, we set about scouring the internet and browsing the dental aisles of pharmacies to scope out the most promising prospects. Our ultimate conclusions were based on a combination of passionate online reviews that spoke to results, and our own hands on testing (which meant finally flossing as much as our dentists always told us to).
So whether you struggle with tight teeth, tough-to-reach flossing spots, or simply struggle to find the will to floss most days, we've got a spool here that will help make it easier.