Q:

What is dental floss made of?

A:

Quick Answer

Dental floss is made of a core of nylon, silk, rubber, plastic or polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, surrounded by various ingredients such as flavors, wax and other substances, according to Thomas P. Donnelly, D.D.S. Other ingredients of dental floss may include polishing agents, abrasives, coagulants, tartar control additives and antiplaque agents, according to Natural Life Magazine.

Know More
What is dental floss made of?
Credit: De Agostini Editorial De Agostini Getty Images

Full Answer

Connelly explains that there are two basic types of dental floss. Multifilament floss is made of threads of nylon or silk, and it is the cheapest floss on the market as of July 2014. Multifilament varieties come waxed and unwaxed, and this type of floss varies in thickness. This dental floss has been on consumer shelves for decades.

The second type of floss is monofilament, which is made of one strand of rubber, plastic or PTFE. This type of dental floss is stronger and more expensive, but it is thinner than multifilament floss. Several types of "glide" floss are monofilaments because this type of floss is easier to move between teeth, according to Connelly.

Both multifilament and monofilament dental floss come in flavors such as mint, cinnamon, bubble gum and unflavored. Waxed floss is only available as multifilament varieties because thinner floss does not need wax, according to Connelly. Natural Life Magazine reveals that this wax is usually a petroleum-based substance.

Learn more in Dental Hygiene

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you floss your teeth?

    A:

    Floss your teeth by winding 18 inches of floss around your middle fingers and carefully guiding it between your teeth using your thumbs and index fingers. Gripping the floss tightly, slide it back and forth between your teeth, and repeat until your gum line is clean.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you become a dental hygienist?

    A:

    A career as a dental hygienist begins by getting the necessary training and obtaining a degree or certificate from an accredited school. Upon completing educational requirements, the next step is to take and pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, which is a written test. In most cases, a regional exam is also required, which involves demonstrating clinical techniques learned in school. These exams are mandatory for completing licensing requirements.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the benefits of dental deep cleaning?

    A:

    Deep cleaning stops the progression of periodontal disease, prevents deterioration of the bone and tissue supporting the teeth, and encourages regrowth of the gums. A deep cleaning is not the same as a routine dental cleaning, and it is only beneficial for patients with gum disease or plaque that has been detected beneath the gumline.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a toothbrush made of?

    A:

    Toothbrushes are typically made of plastic handles and nylon bristles, according to Colgate, in various handle styles. However, Wikipedia explains that there are also ecological toothbrushes that are made from biodegradable materials.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore