Expert Advice

Is nonwaxed dental floss better than waxed?

Waxed or not, buy a floss you'll use; that's what counts.

Is nonwaxed dental floss better than waxed?
Pin it

No. Research has not proved that one is better than the other. But if you have tightly packed teeth, go with waxed floss; it runs smoothly through the spaces and won't shred.

Choose what you'll use. Since flossing every day is key, dental hygienists suggest using the type that will encourage you to make this preventive measure against gum disease a regular habit. Blood isn't bad. If you see specks of blood when you floss, it doesn't mean you've hurt the gum tissue; it might mean that you've interrupted an infection and started the healing process.

Try an alternative. If you have arthritis or a broken hand, use an oral irrigator (like a Waterpik) or preloaded floss picks. They are effective and require less dexterity. Floss daily. Floss first to loosen plaque and food, then brush.

Jean Connor, R.D.H., president of the American Dental Hygienist Association