Whitening floss is a dental floss that whitens spaces between teeth. Not all whitening dental flosses are made equally, however. Some contain active ingredients that lighten the areas between teeth, while others do so through abrasion. Using whitening floss daily can result in brighter teeth, and prevent tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease.
Flossing in between teeth helps produce healthy teeth and gums by removing plaque, food, and bacteria in between teeth. Some users of floss may wonder why it is necessary to whiten areas of the teeth that are never seen. Whitening floss is beneficial because many stains start between teeth, so using whitening floss stops those stains before they spread to the areas of teeth that are seen. Also, although the areas in between teeth are not seen directly, whitening these areas can still create a brighter overall smile.
The strongest and most often used teeth whitener is peroxide, but, because of the sensitivity of the gums to this bleaching agent, it is usually not used in whitening flosses. Calprox® is a peroxide substitute that is used in some floss products. It uses baking soda, along with 16 other ingredients, to lighten these tight spaces. Instead of bleaching, Calprox® removes a substance called protein pellicle. This is a translucent layer of protein that protects teeth, but also clings to stain-causing substances, like plaque and bacteria.
Some brands of whitening flosses brighten teeth through abrasion. This means that the string used is coated with a substance that will create more resistance and rubbing than normal dental floss. This extra scrubbing removes more plaque and other residue between teeth, which results in whitening.
There are many types of whitening floss available. Prices vary depending on the brand or product selected. The lower-end kinds usually start at about $4 US Dollars (USD), while more expensive brands can cost as much as $20 USD.
Most major discount retailers carry several different brands of this floss, which is also widely available at drug stores. There are also some specialty brands that can be purchased online only, or solely by a dentist's order. In addition to traditional canisters of string-type product, some stores also carry whitening floss picks.
The best whitening flosses glide smoothly between teeth. Another important quality in the string form of floss is strong, sturdy string that will not break or stick in tight spaces. Whitening floss is usually rugged, and can be coated to prevent sticking. It is also available in flavors, like mint, that can help freshen breath.
Flossing between teeth with any kind of dental floss is a healthy habit, but too much flossing can cause damage to the gum line. This can result in a smile that is not cosmetically pleasing. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that individuals floss daily. Flossing more than three times a day can result in gum damage, however.