A primer on fibers

October 4th, 2017

Dental flossDevout flossers tend to gravitate toward certain types of floss depending on thickness, texture and taste. There haven’t always been so many options.

In its earliest form dating back to the 1800s, floss was made from silk. Nowadays, most floss is made of nylon and comes in waxed and unwaxed varieties, also known as multifilament floss, because the nylon is woven together.

Then there’s dental tape — this, too, is made of nylon, just wider and flatter — and finally, monofilament, or polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) floss, which you may know by the brand name Teflon. It’s less prone to shredding than nylon, and it should be. Stretched Teflon is the same material used in Gore-Tex fabrics, known for their waterproof, windproof and breathable qualities.

— Jennifer Fuentes