The 7 Best Flosses of 2023

Prevent gingivitis and reduce the risk of cavities with these flosses that our editors and dentists stand by.

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The 7 Best Flosses of 2023

Consistent flossing is essential to maintaining good dental hygiene. Casey Lau, DDS, co-founder and chief dental officer of sustainable oral company ELIMS, explains that the true purpose of flossing is to remove the physical debris that collects between the teeth. This debris, she says, creates colonies of harmful bacteria that can cause cavities, inflammation, and/or gum infections. She adds that while some dentists will say any floss is better than not using floss at all, there are some qualities that make some floss better than others. She says that the best floss options will remove plaque and any other form of debris before it becomes tartar. She suggests that you’ll want to look for floss that’s thicker so it doesn’t shred, lightly waxed, and is textured so it can break up the debris in your teeth.

We researched dozens of flosses and tested a handful at-home, then reviewed them based on their material, flavor, type, and price. A dental professional from our Medical Expert Board also reviewed the contents of this article for medical accuracy, how to use floss, and the best way to evaluate flosses.

Key Specs: Material: Plastic | Usage: General; use once or twice daily | Flavor: Assorted fruits

It might look a little gimmicky, but the brightly-colored, attention-grabbing Cocofloss is our top pick because it was created by a dentist who knew people needed something a little flashy to commit to the healthy routine of daily flossing. Chrystle Cu, DDS, invented Cocofloss—a chemical-free floss infused with coconut oil and made of more than 500 grippy, plaque-busting fibers for a deeply effective yet soothing clean.

According to Cocofloss, one of their spools will last a regular flosser about two months, and the Cocofloss website offers a subscribe-and-save option for fans who want to build their box of flavors and watch them show up in their mailbox on a predetermined schedule.

We’ll admit that Cocofloss is a bit pricier than some other options on our list. While we believe this is a great product, this floss may not be affordable for some people.

Key Specs: Material: Not specified | Usage: General; use once or twice daily | Flavor: Spearmint

According to Dr. Lau, people with sensitive teeth may want to choose a floss containing ingredients that remineralize teeth and fight tooth decay. While these ingredients are often found in toothpastes, it can be helpful to also use floss that offers these ingredients to ensure the spaces between your teeth are getting the same amount of support as the outer surfaces.

He recommends a floss with fluoride or calcium phosphate. This expandable floss by RiseWell is one of the only ones to fit the bill: With hydroxyapatite, a calcium phosphate mineral, built into the fibers, RiseWell’s floss is an effective cleaner. It fits smoothly in between your teeth and then expands to scrub away gunk (and protect your enamel in the process).

This floss isn't readily available at many retailers.

Mild but refreshing cardamom flavor

Not good for people with tight spaces

Key Specs: Material: Polyester | Usage: General; use once or twice daily | Flavor: Cardamom

Spearmint and bubblegum aren’t the only flavors available regarding dental product taste. We chose the Smart Floss by Dr. Tung’s as our pick for best non-minty floss: There’s no overpowering flavor here, only a light, refreshing burst of cardamom (which, if you don’t know, tastes vaguely herbal like a blend of citrus and eucalyptus). 

An out-of-the-box flavor isn’t the only cool thing about this floss: It’s made with soft, silky fibers and coated with beeswax, allowing it to slip easily between your teeth and then expand as it works on all the plaque lurking in there.

It's slightly more expensive per pack than other popular drugstore brands.

Key Specs: Material: Unspecified | Usage: General; use once or twice daily; if desired, use the pointed end to deep clean and turn the pick on its side to use as a tongue scraper | Flavor: Mint

A dental pick probably isn’t most people’s first choice for flossing, but sometimes it’s the only thing that gets the job done. Dental picks are ideal for kids learning how to brush and floss for the first time, adults who like to floss on the go, and elderly adults who have trouble manipulating string floss because of arthritis or neuropathy.

We tested and loved the DenTek Triple Clean Advanced picks. Not only do they provide all the usual flossing work but also feature a micro-textured pointed end for detailed cleaning and a tongue scraper for the freshest possible breath around. Using the DenTek Triple Clean Advanced picks made flossing (something that was usually tedious for us) enjoyable and easy. The floss itself is made of 200-plus fibers designed not to shred or break, and it felt thin enough that it slid in perfectly between our tight teeth.

This isn't the most environmentally friendly or sustainable floss option.

Stiff end for cleaning awkward spots

Spongy floss for wider cleaning

Costly for amount of product

Key Specs: Material: Unspecified | Usage: For braces; use once or twice daily; insert stiffened end between teeth or around oral appliances, then thread string/floss as usual | Flavor: Mint

When you have braces, it’s more important than ever to keep your teeth and oral appliances clean so you can avoid discolored spots, which will be visible when the braces finally come off.

That doesn’t mean flossing with braces is easy, though. So we like the Oral-B Super Floss Pre-Cut Strands for simplifying the whole process. Grab a string and use it like a regular piece of dental floss, in between your teeth, around appliances, and under the gum line. The strands are smooth and spongy, helping to gently but effectively remove debris from your teeth. Plus, they even have a stiffened end for getting into those tight, awkward corners and easily threading through and around wires, bands, and brackets.

It's fairly costly for the amount of floss you receive.

Key Specs: Material: Unspecified | Usage: For tightly packed teeth; use once or twice daily; if desired, use the pointed end to deep clean and turn the pick on its side to use as tongue scraper | Flavor: Mint

Plackers Micro Line Dental Floss Picks is our pick for the best-tasting floss because of the refreshing mint taste that makes flossing enjoyable. The mint flavor is the perfect amount of strength to help your mouth feel fresher and cleaner, without any offputting aftertaste. 

This floss is engineered to have tough strands that don’t stretch or shred, even when going between incredibly tight spaces. Our editor who tested this floss has very tight teeth and noticed that the floss didn't break when they were using it. You also get a microplastic pick built in so you can get a super precise clean when needed.

It’s easy to run through multiple dental picks in one session, making this a more costly option due to how often you’ll have to restock.

Not great for tight spaces

Key Specs: Material: Nylon  | Usage: Take a piece of floss, curve it around the tooth, and use an up and down motion to clean under the gum line and the debris on top  | Flavor: Unflavored

It’s very easy to run out of dental floss often due to how often we use it in our routine. Our pick for the best long-lasting floss is Reach Dentotape because you won't have to replace it as often as other options on the market. Our editor who recommends this floss has been a loyal user for three years and is in love with how the grippy texture of the dental floss gets all the debris from between their teeth, and how one pack comes with 100 yards of dental floss. For reference, that’s around a half mile’s length. When you eventually run out, you’re able to easily repurchase via common retailers.

It’s an unflavored waxed nylon dental floss that works well if you have teeth with wider gaps. This dental floss has a little more wax than other dental flosses, so it’ll glide a little easier between teeth.

This is a very thick dental floss, and may not be ideal for people with tightly-packed teeth.

To find the best dental flosses, we asked two dentists what shoppers should look for when choosing a new product. With their expert recommendations in mind, we scoured the internet for crowd-favorite dental flosses, considering more than two dozen products. We also asked our editors which flosses they've personally tested and used at home and included the top contenders.

We analyzed flosses based on the following criteria:

After researching and testing over 7 dental flosses, Cocofloss Coconut-Oil Infused Woven Dental Floss is our top pick. We love how much debris is cleaned from our teeth due to the spongy texture. It's effective, tastes great, and looks good sitting in our cabinet.

Not really, though flavored or wax floss may change in taste in texture when floss is kept around for long periods of time, Dr. Lau says: “Floss is often flavored or waxed or both, [and] over time the wax can get old, and the scent and the flavor can go away, but the floss is not really harmful [or unsafe to use].”

We’re going to attempt to settle a long-lived debate right here and now: what’s more effective, flossing before or after brushing? According to Dr. Reich, the latest research comes down in favor of flossing before brushing. He cites a 2018 study published in the Journal of Periodontology, which compared plaque reduction in two groups: brushing first, then flossing, and flossing first, then brushing. The results showed that plaque reduction was significantly higher in the group that flossed before brushing than in the group that flossed after brushing. We recommend a floss first, brush second routine for maximum clean-mouth potential.

Bleeding gums can be caused by multiple things, some a sign of gum disease and some easily reversible. “Bleeding gums is a sign of inflammation, which is often due to ineffective removal of plaque,” says Dr. Reich, “[but] it can also be the result of overaggressive flossing, which is causing trauma to the gum tissue.” You may also have bleeding gums if you are on certain medications (such as blood thinners), if you have a vitamin deficiency, or if you are pregnant. Since it’s hard for patients to know what the source of their bleeding is, the best course of action is to talk with your dentist about your experience, says Dr. Reich. Your dentist can then refer you to a gum specialist, or periodontist, if necessary.

Sarah Bradley has been writing health content since 2017—everything from product roundups and illness FAQs to nutrition explainers and the dish on diet trends. She knows how important it is to receive trustworthy and expert-approved advice about over-the-counter products that manage everyday health conditions, from GI issues and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.

Boronow, KE, Brody, JG, Schaider, LA. et al. Serum concentrations of PFASs and exposure-related behaviors in African American and non-Hispanic white women. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2019;29:206–217. doi:10.1038/s41370-018-0109-y

American Dental Association. ADA questions conclusions in study linking dental floss with toxic chemicals.

Mazhari F, Boskabady M, Moeintaghavi A, Habibi A. The effect of toothbrushing and flossing sequence on interdental plaque reduction and fluoride retention: A randomized controlled clinical trial. J Periodontol. 2018;89(7):824-832. doi:10.1002/JPER.17-0149

Ellison J. Bleeding gums may be a sign you need more vitamin C in your diet. University of Washington.

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The 7 Best Flosses of 2023

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