Dental floss comes in several varieties, all designed to help a person remove food particles and plaque from between his teeth. Some types, such as woven floss, may be more effective at cleaning teeth while being more gentle to the gums than regular waxed floss. Woven floss consists of several pieces of thread that are twisted together.
Although most people recognize that flossing their teeth is a good way to prevent gum disease and tooth loss, many do not like to do it. Some have sensitive gums and find that flossing makes their gums bleed. Since it is made of a softer material, woven floss does not irritate the gums as much, especially if a person uses it correctly. It is important that a person does not dig the floss into his gums or snap it between his teeth.
Using woven floss will help improve a person's gums. A person who flosses daily may notice that his gums do not bleed as much after a few weeks, since the floss has removed built up tartar. Woven floss may remove more plaque and tartar than waxed ribbon floss, since it is designed to expand in the areas between a person's teeth.
When a person pulls the floss out of the container, it resembles a piece of embroidery floss that consists of two or more loosely braided threads. The threads may be bi-colored. Since woven floss is generally made of cotton, its threads are slightly fibrous and are able to scrape the sides of teeth clean. The cotton thread also makes the floss soft and gentle.
The floss is slightly puffy but thins out when a person pulls it tight between his fingers. After he slides the floss in between two teeth, a person should loosen the tautness of it, so that the woven floss expands and fills the area. Its ability to stretch makes it suitable for a person with closely spaced together teeth.
Woven floss should be used in the same way that any other floss would be. Dentists recommend using 18 inches and wrapping the two ends around the middle finger of each hand. A person should grasp the floss with his thumb and index finger on each hand, so that two inches of floss is between his fingers. Pulling the floss taut, he should slide it between two teeth, moving it in a saw-like motion against the sides of teeth.