We all know the importance of flossing daily and do a great job of sticking to our habits (don’t we?), but to make sure we’re getting the most out of the practice, it’s useful to know about the different types of flosses out there, and there are maybe more types than you think. Here’s a look at the variations of this crucial tool.

When trying to decide which floss is the best for you, you’re really looking for the appropriate thickness. We all have different spacing between our teeth, and the one that goes easily between your teeth is what you’re looking for, and you should never have to “snap” the floss into place.

There are generally two different types: multifilament floss (made of materials like nylon or silk) and monofilament floss, which are generally made of a type of rubber or plastic. Both types come in varying degrees of thickness and both come in flavored or unflavored varieties, and both are soft, flexible and easy to use.

Dental tape is another type of floss on the market. This is thicker than conventional types of floss and is useful for people who have more widely-spaced teeth. It’s also good when you’re new to the habit. It glides easily between teeth and doesn’t break or fray as much as normal floss would. There is also the option to use a flossing aid if you have difficulty with flossing your teeth, for example if you or your child wears braces.
Choosing which floss is right for you is largely a matter of personal preference once you’ve found the right thickness that glides comfortably through your teeth. The most important aspect of flossing is that it’s done regularly. If you’re not sure about the proper way to use dental floss or want your children to learn the proper way early on, talk to your dentist.