The Dental Product I HATE Most!

Ok, this month I have to get up on my soapbox and just RANT! I HATE GLIDE FLOSS! 

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Now hear me out…

I remember the first time I used Glide Floss…it was about a decade ago in dental school. As young dental students we had to do our own cleanings for patients, and we were graded by how much plaque was left on our patient’s teeth when we were finished.  We also had a little kiosk-type area where we could choose the products we would use for our patients. That day I decided on “Glide” to floss my patient. I mean, hey, it sounds great… It glides right in-between teeth, never shreds, never gets stuck…what could be better, right? Wrong.

So, my instructor came by to check how I did cleaning my patient’s teeth. He placed one of those pink “plaque indicator” tabs in my patient’s mouth and had her swish. This tab would stain any areas pink that still had plaque on them. Now, despite having diligently flossed each nook and cranny of my patient’s mouth, every area in-between my patient’s teeth lit up like a pink beacon of failure. I was mortified!

My instructor said: “You forgot to floss”.

I said…”I promise I flossed! Look at all this floss I used!”

His response: “You used Glide, that’s your problem. Start over using something else.


Part of me thinks they put that danged floss in those kiosks to teach us all this lesson! And now I’m going to impart this knowledge on to you readers! Don’t use Glide Floss!

So why doesn’t Glide work?!

Glide is made of PolyTetraFluoroEthylene…basically “Teflon”… the same stuff used to slick your pots and pans at home. That is what makes it glide so smoothly between your teeth…unfortunately, it is what also makes it glide right over the plaque and bacteria you are trying to remove!

Imagine this frustrating scenario:  You’re flossing every day with Glide, but your gums keep bleeding. You start thinking, “dang, I must be flossing too hard…” OR, even worse, you think “Geez, my gums bleed whether I floss or not…I’m not going to floss anymore!”. You go to the dentist and he says you have 5 new cavities in-between your teeth.

That’s not fair! You’ve been a good patient and have been flossing regularly, and now you’ve got to take time off of work, and pay your hard earned money to have 5 teeth fixed! THANKS GLIDE. You should send them the bill.

So in summary, please, please, PRETTY PLEASE, don’t use Glide floss. You will have to work a teensy bit harder to get the floss between your teeth, but the floss will actually do it’s job! If your floss is shredding, that’s NOT NORMAL, let your dentist know -hopefully me – and he’ll fix it. I also want to remind everyone: no matter how good you brush your teeth, you will still get cavities IF YOU DON’T FLOSS.  So floss your teeth every day with something like unwaxed floss, or Johnson & Johnson DentoTape (my personal favorite). You’ll thank me later.

Ok, I’m done ranting. 🙂

Thanks for reading this month’s blog! And please, leave your comments or questions on Facebook or here on the website.

Until next time,

Dr. Palmer

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