Glide Dental Floss -
A Dentist's Opinion

By dentist Dr. Richard Mitchell

Glide dental floss is one of only a few dental floss packages to come in a 40 meter length. Most flosses and tapes come in 25 meter lengths, half that of Glide. The only other tape with a 40 meter length is Blaque dental tape. Of course, having 40 meters of dental floss doesn't make the floss any better - BUT YOU ARE GETTING almost DOUBLE THE AMOUNT for your money! Basically, the packet just lasts twice the length of time as a normal packet of floss.

But there's more to Glide dental floss than just being twice the length of others!

The main difference with Glide floss compared to other dental floss is that it is extremely slippery. When you have teeth that are tightly packed together, in tight contact with each other, it can be very difficult to get floss between them. But Glide dental floss is probably the easiest of them all to get through tight teeth.

glide dental flossGlide dental floss

Why is Glide so slippery?

The fibers that Glide dental floss is made from contain PTFE, a very slippery, non-stick material. This means that it really does slide easily between even the tightest teeth. In addition, Oral B add a thin wax coating which also helps.

Glide is also quite resistant to shredding, which can be a major pain for some people. When dental floss shreds between 2 teeth, you can spend most of the rest of the day trying to get the fine shreds out! It's really annoying! But when Glide dental floss snags between 2 teeth, it usually just snaps cleanly. NO SHREDS!

So this extra shred resistance is a good feature of Glide. To be honest, I don't think it's quite as shred resistant as Blaque dental tape, (no longer available), but to be fair the Blaque product is also a little thicker.

Glide Dental Floss

There are several versions of Glide floss, which is now owned by Oral B. They are all good, but I recommend the simplest one, the "Deep Clean" in Mint flavor.. The floss is a little thicker than you might expect, but is very soft. The package it comes in is pretty much a standard floss box, but occasionally the floss can be wound into the box very tightly, making it a bit more difficult to pull out.

Here's a link to get the best value deal - a 6-pack from Amazon!

Once you have pulled out your 18 inch section, you will find that it wraps around your fingers quite easily, because it is so soft and of a decent thickness. (Some thinner flosses can cut into my fingers a bit.) It has a nice feel to it.

Then, when you go to put the Glide between a couple of teeth, you will probably notice straightaway that it slips pretty easily between them. If you're used to struggling with floss, this will come as a welcome surprise!

glide dental floss

BUT there is a downside to this slippery customer. Just as it slips into place so easily, it can also slip out again! This can be a little annoying at first, as it seems to pop in and out of it's own will. But with a little practice, you get used to this, and change your flossing technique a little so that the floss stays in place until you're ready to remove it.

Because it's white in color, it can be a little difficult to see exactly where it's going, unless you have a good light. This is where a grey or black floss such as Blaque has an advantage, but it's not a big deal either way.

Finally, the super-slippy surface of Glide floss has one other possible disadvantage; because it's so slippery, it may not "catch" as much plaque as other flosses. But this is a minor point; Glide dental floss will appeal to those people who would not otherwise floss at all, due to difficulties getting floss between their teeth.

So if the choice is between not flossing at all, or flossing with a slippery product, I'll take the flossing every time!The best prices for Glide are usually on Amazon.com.

Here is a link: Oral B Glide Original Floss.


There is a good run-down of all the dental floss products available from Oral B at Oral B floss. The only thing I don't like about it is that there's no clear explanation of the differences between the various versions of Glide dental floss. To me, they just seem to have different colored packages and different names. That's why I recommend the "original" version, as shown above in the photo.


Glide Dental Floss - safe to use?

There was a news story about dental floss containing Teflon possibly being toxic. And I have seen some other dental websites actually use the term "toxic dental floss". This is very risky, as they could get sued by the manufacturer! But was there any truth to the story?

Actually, not much! It infuriates me how much the media whip up the slightest "story" to create a hubbub, unsettling people. This was a great example of "fake news".

So, what are the facts?

The study was carried out by the Silent Spring Institute in Massachusetts. The researchers studied human exposure to a class of materials called polyfluoroalkyl substances - or PFAs for short.  PFAs are toxic to the human body.

The news media claimed that the study showed that some types of dental floss (like Glide) which contain PFAs - in this case Teflon -  can lead to higher levels of PFAs in the blood.

It was this statement that caused such a furore in the news press, and frightened a lot of people. BUT the authors of the study were not trying to prove that floss with Teflon is toxic. They were looking at our general exposure to PFAs, and floss was just one of the things they tested. Actually, the link between Teflon floss and higher levels of PFAs in the blood stream is extremely weak.

The study basically looked for 6 types of fluorine compound in the blood streams of 178 middle-aged women, and then interviewed them to ask questions about their lifestyle and possible exposure to sources of PFAs in their daily lives.

Possible sources of PFAs include non-stick kitchenware, fast food containers, microwave popcorn, dental floss, having stain-resistant carpets or furniture, living in a city with PFAs in the water supply, electronics and paint. The study only asked about the first 6.

So they ignored the possibility that someone could have recently repainted their home!

As you can see, there are a lot of potential sources of PFAs in our daily lives.

While the study found elevated blood levels of PFAs in women who use floss, they were not asked how often they flossed, nor for how long. They were only asked if they EVER used dental floss, or NEVER. Also, some flossers actually had LOWER levels of PFAs in their blood than non-flossers. Only some had higher levels.

Women in the study who ate food out of fast food containers generally had higher levels of PFAs than those who claim not to eat from fast food containers - BUT some had much LOWER levels than those who claim never to eat fast food.

So the links are starting to look pretty weak!

There is no mention in the Silent Spring study of any connection between the amounts of PFAS found and potential toxic effects. And making a determination about the sources of PFAs in the blood is wild guesswork.

ON THE OTHER HAND, there is recent evidence, published in New Scientist magazine, that bacteria involved in gum disease are responsible for a string of medical conditions, including;

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer's
  • Diabetes
  • Parkinson"s
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Fatty Liver Disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Macular degeneration of the eye

SO it's extremely important to remove dental plaque bacteria everyday by careful brushing and flossing.

The American Council on Science and Health have an article that refutes any link to dental floss here, and Glide manufacturer Oral B also disputes that PFAs can be found in its floss.

BOTTOM  LINE? I'm happy to keep using Glide dental floss! The research article is so shaky that it's almost a joke.

But if you're worried, you can choose a natural floss like silk, which does not contain any man-made substances, and is 100% biodegradable.

Page written by dentist Dr. Richard Mitchell  LinkedIn Profile


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