Dental floss comes in many types, but one of the most noticeable varieties of floss features a wax coating. Waxed floss has many advantages, as the slick coating can make it easier to use in many ways. For some users, however, this thicker floss may not be suitable for the configuration of the teeth.
Waxed floss has a coating of wax covering a thin nylon string. Depending on the exact type of floss you are using, the wax may be flavored to make flossing more pleasant. The wax coating on the floss can serve many purposes.
Floss with a wax coating tends to be sturdier than unwaxed floss. For those who have small spaces, sharp corners, or awkward angles to deal with when flossing the teeth, this added strength may be beneficial. It can help prevent the floss from fraying or breaking while it is in use.
Those with braces often prefer waxed floss for this reason. The metal fixtures on braces can easily snag unwaxed floss. Waxed floss is also stiffer and may be easier to thread around braces and other dental fixtures.
Another pro of waxed floss is its slippery texture. The wax makes it easier for this type of floss to slide between the teeth. This can be useful for those with teeth that are set very close together. However, some individuals may prefer unwaxed floss for a similar reason, because the uncoated floss is slightly thinner and therefore easier to fit into small spaces. The final choice in this area will depend on personal preference and the performance of various flosses in one’s individual case.
A con to waxed floss is the texture. Some individuals may find the waxy feel of the floss disturbing. It may also be more difficult to grip tightly, depending on the way one holds the floss.
When selecting floss, it is also important to consider other variations aside from the coating. Those with very large spaces between their teeth should consider using dental tape instead of dental floss. This option is much wider and can remove plaque from spaces that regular dental floss would only graze. Selecting floss with a flavor such as mint or cinnamon can make flossing more enjoyable, and provide a refreshing clean feeling.
Regardless of the specific type of floss chosen, dentists strongly recommend daily flossing for all individuals. Flossing helps to remove plaque and trapped food particles, and is an important step in preventing tooth decay and gum disease.