It seems like choosing the right dental floss should be a no-brainer. Either it works or it doesn’t, right?


But in fact, there are many options from which to choose. Flossing, as with most things in life, is not a one-size-fits-all decision.


So how do you know which dental floss is right for you?


Here are a few guidelines. 

Look For the ADA Seal

The American Dental Association (ADA) gives its Seal of Acceptance to brands which experts have carefully evaluated for safety and effectiveness. The presence of the seal shows that the brand is scientifically proven to reduce plaque and gingivitis more than simply brushing would do. It’s also been proven safe, which means that it won’t cause damage to the tissue in your mouth, even if used incorrectly. No matter what kind of floss you choose, checking for the ADA seal is the first step in ensuring that you are purchasing a brand that will actually work.

Different Types of Floss

In most cases, you will need different types of floss on hand for each member of your household, since everyone has different needs and preferences. Dental tape or super floss is best for those with large gaps between their teeth. If your teeth are close together, a waxed floss can slide more easily into those tightly-wedged spaces. Young children might start out with child-sized flossers, then move on to an electric flosser later. Spongy floss can be a lifesaver for those with braces or dental bridges.

Floss Picks

These disposable flossers come with the floss thread conveniently stretched onto the arms of a handy plastic tool. If you have difficulty using your hands due to mobility issues like arthritis, these floss picks can make the process much easier, since they eliminate the necessity to wind the floss around your fingers. Another benefit to floss picks is that they’re not as messy as conventional flossers. Of course, if you’re concerned about the environment, floss picks are not a great solution, since they end up in landfills after you use them. As an alternative, you can rig your own reusable floss pick by purchasing a floss holder and winding the thread around it.

Flavored Floss

Let’s be honest; it’s tough to get kids to even brush their teeth on a regular basis, never mind flossing. Fortunately, there are many varieties of flavored floss available. Like toothpaste, floss can also be found in flavors like mint or cinnamon. If your child gets to choose the flavor he or she likes best, it can remove some of the power struggle around flossing. While it might not be enough to make flossing their favorite thing, it at least makes them less reluctant. And the flavor does not add calories or sugar, so adults can use them without guilt, too.


What’s the most important thing to look for in your choice of floss? Ultimately, you want the kind that will make you more likely to floss every day. Even the best dental floss on the market can only work if you use it.