One of the most important aspects of good oral health is flossing. If you are trying to figure out what might be causing some killer breath, the likely culprit is that you aren’t flossing regularly (even if you are using a toothpaste specifically designed for bad breath).
When you munch down on a hamburger or have a few crackers throughout the course of the day, little remnants will get stuck between your teeth. Even if you might not be able to feel it with your tongue, that food you ate is slowly decaying.
As the food decays, first it will give off a foul odor that could perhaps knock over a horse. But beyond the smell, the bacteria is multiplying and will start to form a film on your teeth and gums.
This film will eventually form into plaque.
Sure, brushing might do a great job at getting your teeth to look pearly white, and even with a top-of-the-line water flosser you can blast food out between your teeth, the fact remains – you need to get one of the best flosses outlined below between your teeth.
When flossing, whether its a traditional floss or tape (not sure what a dental tape is – we will get to this in a minute), you will be able to scrape away plaque before it forms into tartar (that can only be removed by a dentist).
Even if you have one of those fancy electric toothbrushes – you still need to floss.
Therefore, we wanted to help our fellow men (and gals) by putting together this comprehensive review of the best dental floss on the market that will keep your teeth in pristine shape for years to come.
Comparing The Best Dental Floss
|Name||Filament Type||Length||Dimensions||Price Range||Waxed|
|Dr. Tung’s Smart Floss||Multifilament||30 yards||4.6 x 5 x 2.7 inches||$$||Y|
|Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Comfort Plus Mint Flavor Floss||Monofilament||43.7 Yards||3.2 x 0.8 x 6 inches||$||Y|
|Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Threader Floss||Monofilament||30 Single Use Packets||2.2 x 0.9 x 4.6 inches||$||Y|
|Listerine Dental Floss, Cool Mint||Multifilament||55 yards||0.8 x 2.9 x 4.5 inches||$||Y|
|RADIUS Vegan Xylitol Soft Floss||Multifilament||55 Yards||0.8 x 4 x 2.5 inches||$||Y|
|Tom’s of Maine Natural Waxed Antiplaque Flat Floss||Multifilament||32 Yards||3.8 x 2.6 x 1 inches||$||Y|
Dental Tape Vs Floss
When deciding on the type of floss that you want to use between your teeth, you largely have to types to choose from: tape and traditional floss.
Dental tape is considered by many to be more effective at getting the plaque between your teeth removed. With a broader filament line, it can glide along the entire height of your tooth to fully clear out the most stubborn plaque buildup.
Most experts agree that dental tape, while effective, is geared towards those that have broader spaces between their teeth or if they have dental work (bridge, implants, or braces).
Traditional floss (or just simply known as floss) will be a filament that is significantly thinner and a smaller diameter.
Floss is better suited for a wide range of mouths for both people with normal or narrow spacing. Even if you have slightly wider gaps between your teeth, simply folding over floss can be nearly effective as dental tape at removing plaque.
Many of the products reviewed in this post will fall under the floss category. However, its of course important to know of the options that exist within the marketplace.
Waxed Vs. Unwaxed Dental Floss – Does It Really Matter?
Upon browsing the best dental flosses on the market, you will notice that the filament can be either waxed or unwaxed.
Waxed dental floss will be able to effortlessly glide between your teeth making the flossing experience. In addition, waxed dental floss will also come in flavored varieties that can prove to be refreshing when you are done flossing.
Waxed flosses may contain industrial based chemicals such as PTFE. In this case, some men that may want a more natural experience will go with the unwaxed varieties.
For unwaxed floss, men may prefer this option if they want no flavoring and have tightly cramped teeth. Since the filament doesn’t contain a wax coating, you will be able to place this easily between teeth with little discomfort or frustration.
Unwaxed floss may be susceptible to breakage given its lack of coating on the filament.
Many experts may claim that waxed floss will be more effective at removing plaque between the teeth. A common misconception is that if floss is wax coated it can easily ‘pull’ away the plaque from the teeth given its slightly rougher texture when compared to unwaxed floss.
But check this out:
When it comes to the effectiveness of waxed vs. unwaxed floss, they are largely indifferent. As proven in this study posted on the NIH (National Institutes of Health) website, researchers found no significant difference in plaque removal between the floss types.
Therefore, it comes down to your personal preference.
Types of Dental Floss
Tufted & Braided (Superfloss) Dental Floss
Coupled with a stiff end and a softer middle, tufted and braided floss is terrific for those that are battling braces and bridges. With the rigid end, you can easily maneuver this floss between the hardware to get any stuck food free. The softer middle is great for open spaces between teeth (such as bridge work).
For men that want to get a floss that doesn’t contain any chemical ingredients or waxes, there are makers that rely on natural ingredients or essential oils to get your plaque free. Instead of floss being chemically coated with a waxy mint residue, natural floss makers will typically use a peppermint essential oil.
Found typically in bulk packs, picks will have a floss holder (equipped with floss) on one side along with a slender pick that acts as a tooth pick on the other. While the floss isn’t swappable with picks like a traditional dental floss holder, picks are extremely convenient when you want a disposable option to clean out your teeth when in a pinch.
This type of floss is great for those men who are looking for a whiter smile while flossing. This typically wax coated floss will help to reduce the appearance of surface stains between your teeth through the use of a whitening agent such as baking soda. This is a great secondary step if you are currently doing a whitening strip regimen.
Should you drink from bottled water daily or live in a rural area that is absent of any fluoride infused water, floss with a fluoride coating is a great way to ensure that the integrity of your teeth remain in-tact through the inclusion of fluoride. For more information on the importance of fluoride – check out this article.
Should You Get A Dental Floss Holder?
If you have sausage fingers, arthritis, or perhaps are also looking to pick up some floss kids, a dental floss holder is well worth the investment.
Very similar in design to floss picks, a dental floss holder is a great way to effectively and easily clear out plaque buildup between your teeth.
With disposable dental floss picks, you are stuck using the floss or tape that has been pre-threaded by the manufacturer giving you very little room for customization to provide the most comfort for your teeth.
With a floss holder, you can easily swap out the floss to suit your preference. Therefore if you want waxed or unwaxed, tape vs. traditional floss, its completely within your control to use the floss that provides the best performance for your teeth.
Water Flosser Vs. Dental Floss
Dentists often state that water flossers or oral irrigators are not a full substitute to dental flossing. Even if you water floss regularly, a simple string of dental floss will still prove to be effective at completely removing plaque between your teeth.
However, that’s not to say that water flossers aren’t effective. If you have dental work in the form of implants, bridges, or braces, water flossers are a terrific way to completely remove any left-over food particles in those hard to reach areas.
This will help to ward off halitosis and provide terrific gum health.
Does Dental Floss Expire?
You may notice that on the back or bottom of some dental floss containers there is an expiration date. Is this just a gentle reminder on how long you might have had this stored away in the medicine cabinet waiting to be used or is their real purpose to this?
Some experts have weighed in and stated that with waxed dental floss, the expiration is there as wax is bio-degradable. Therefore, there may be some altering of the integrity of the wax after an extended period of time.
While likely not to be dangerous, it may be recommended to swap out your floss with a new one for extra peace of mind.
Type of Filament Found In Popular Flosses
When reviewing the best dental flosses on the market, you will notice that there are two distinct filament types: monofilament and multifilament.
Constructed of a single strand, monofilament is typically made of nylon and is cheaper to make. With monofilament strand, the floss is susceptible to bending and not getting as full of a cleaning with each pass between your teeth. Experts often state that it will take additional passes of a monofilament to get a full cleaning.
Multifilament is found in the most popular dental flosses on the market.
Multifilament floss is going to typically be in slightly thicker diameter and is constructed of multiple strands of nylon or other synthetic materials. Multifilament will spread out when pressed along the wall of your teeth making for easier coverage and plaque removal.
The biggest downfall of poorly constructed multifilament flosses is their susceptibility to fraying or shedding. Given that its constructed of several thinner strands, they can break-off individually leading to a poor performing floss that can leave you frustrated.
Best Dental Floss Reviewed
Dr. Tung’s Smart Floss
Known primarily for their world class tongue scraper, Dr. Tung’s is expanding their market focus by also creating a highly touted dental floss.
Constructed from a fiber that is akin to cotton, this lightly cardamom flavored floss will leave you with a bright fresh feeling that shouldn’t prove to be too terribly strong.
The multifilament floss has been coated not with a synthetic wax as so commonly found in some of the other flosses on the market, but from a blend of vegetable and beeswax for extra peace of mind.
While we don’t go too in-depth about the construction of the containers for most dental flosses we reviewed, it is worth mentioning that the Dr. Tung’s Smart Floss does come packaged in a biodegradable container that will breakdown faster in landfills when compared to typical plastic.
So what makes this floss ‘smart’?
When holding the floss tightly the floss will be relatively narrow making it easy to be placed between your teeth. However when loosening your grip slightly, given its multifilament design, will expand providing a fuller coverage on the sides of your teeth.
Dr. Tung’s claims that their Smart Floss when compared to traditional flosses, will remove up to 55% more plaque.
Overall though, this floss is great for those who are looking for a less abrasive filament that should serve those with sensitive gums.
Listerine Dental Floss, Cool Mint
Known for their mouthwash, Listerine makes an incredibly affordable mint flavored floss that should serve men well who are on a budget.
With its wax designed, when using this floss by Listerine, you will instantly notice a bright splash of mint flavor every time it glides between your teeth.
If this floss by Listerine isn’t your cup of tea, they do offer 3 other different varieties including a woven floss for sensitive gums (Cinnamon flavored), Healthy White that contains baking soda for a brighter smile, and finally an Ultra Clean variant that is designed to capture more plaque with each stroke between your teeth.
From the onset, many may think that this is a monofilament floss, however, its actually an incredibly thin multifilament. Therefore, it should prove effective at scraping the plaque from your gums.
Oral-B Glide Pro-Health
Oral-B makes an incredibly highly rated by both peers and our experts when it comes to their dental floss.
The Oral-B Comfort Plus is a wider filament that will move between your teeth with relative ease during each stroke. What is noteworthy about this filament is that since it’s a bit wider (although not as wide as a traditional dental tape), it does contain a light wax coating that will provide an additional grip to pull away plaque buildup on your teeth.
While the floss itself is pretty smooth, some folks have reported that there may be some difficulties in making this floss work in tight spaces.
Therefore, if you have slightly wider gaps in your teeth, this floss should work tremendously well.
From a cost perspective, this is one of the most affordable options that currently exist on the market and should work for just about any man’s budget.
Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Threader Floss
Perfectly made for those with dental work including bridges, implants, or braces, this threaded floss by Oral-B will be effective at loosening food between your teeth and dental work, but also gently scrape away any plaque build up.
With its shred-resistant filament, you won’t have to worry about the floss fraying or simply breaking when rubbed up against a bracket.
After the threaded tip, this floss has an incredibly smooth texture that is lightly waxed to break plaque free with each pull of the floss.
Cost for the Threader Floss by Oral-B is just above market average at about $3.82 for a pack of 30. While the useful life of the product is at about a month, compared to other flosses we reviewed, this is about 50% less in life span (others average about 2 months worth of flossing per container). Being that this is a specially designed floss for dental work, we aren’t necessarily surprised by this and still consider it to be of great value.
RADIUS Vegan Xylitol Soft Floss
This 100% vegan floss by RADIUS is a nylon sponge floss that is not only great for those who like all-natural products, but also those that have sensitive gums and experience severe bleeding when flossing.
The nylon fiber itself is coated with vegan candelilla wax that will help to gently and naturally remove plaque from your teeth in a safe and effective manner.
Behind the wax coating rests a natural mint doubled with tea tree oil for a refreshing and clean feeling once you are done flossing.
To further help out with your gum health this product also contains tree-based xylitol to help reduce the occurrence of gingivitis.
While the filament is rather rounded and sponge-like, this product may be difficult to use for those with small gaps between their teeth.
Tom’s of Maine Natural Waxed Antiplaque Flat Floss
Tom’s of Maine has been crafting all natural products for years. Not to be confused with TOMS shoes, this company has a wide array of products that will get any naturalist man out there excited.
This dental floss by Tom’s could nearly be mistaken for dental tape given its wide filament. While it’s advertised as being a flat floss, this product is more aimed at those out there with wide set teeth or perhaps if you have bridge work.
While this product does say that it doesn’t contain any animal testing or animal ingredients, the wax coating on the filament comes from beeswax. While not necessarily harmful in the collection process, it is worth noting that the wax isn’t chemically derived.
Beyond the beeswax coating, this product does also contain carnauba wax, natural flavor that is akin to spearmint, along with a few other natural extracts.
While many flosses on the market that cater towards a natural audience will usually command a higher price tag, this floss by Tom’s of Maine is just slightly north of average market prices. A pack of this floss should come in at just under $5.