Flossing is a very important part of our oral hygiene, but does floss expire? Most of us know that we should floss at all times, but don’t because we think our teeth are okay and do not need any extra care.
My girlfriend introduced me to dental flossing and even though she uses it often, I always forget to use mine, and I was cleaning out my cabinet and realized I still have some unused floss packs, I thought about throwing them away but I stopped and was wondering why I would have to waste my money like that, did they get bad does floss even expire?
Well, I’m glad to tell you that you don’t have to throw out your floss because they do not expire and you can use them for as long as you can.
Why Does Dental Floss Have Expiry Date
According to Wikipedia, an expiration date, also known as an expiry date, is a predetermined date after which something should no longer be used, either by law or by exceeding the expected shelf life for perishable goods. Expiration dates are applied to certain food products as well as some other manufactured products such as infant car seats where the product’s age may impact its safe use.
As regards why dental floss has expiry dates, I have not come across any dental floss with an expiry date, however, most manufacturers like to give their customers or consumers a point of reference for when a product was acquired, especially because some items lose efficacy with time.
The good news is that like toothbrushes, floss does not necessarily expire, as it can last for as long as life itself, yes it can last forever. Although, flavored dental floss is an exception to this as Flavoured floss will gradually lose its flavor around a year after it was manufactured which is only normal.
While using floss that’s been laying on a shelf for a while, be sure it is not breaking. If it does, it needs to be replaced.
Types of Dental floss
There are a variety of options available:
- Thread floss
- Biodegradable and natural floss
- Waxed and unwaxed floss
- Tape floss is also known as dental tape
- Flavored and unflavored floss
- Super flosses
- PTFE floss
Learning about the different kinds of floss is one of the best things you can do for your dental health, if you are not satisfied with the things you find out, you can reach out to a dental practitioner.
Does floss expire?
The question of does floss expire. This is a very valid question because we don’t want to get products that would end up expiring before we even get through to it. Flossing is as important as brushing your teeth because it reaches those places that our toothbrush cannot reach.
The simple answer is No. Dental floss or floss does not expire unless it’s flavored as flavored floss will lose taste after a short while, floss can also expire when it was made with materials that have a shorter shelf life.
When it comes to your oral hygiene, it is best to toss products away when you have doubts about the safety of the said product or see a dental professional.
What Can You Do With Old Floss
Honestly, recycling old and used floss would not be ideal, it is a little tiny material that combines both nylons, and plastic, plus it was made so small for ease of use, so what is the point?
However, unused old dental floss has more fun and innovative ways with which it can be used, that do not necessarily involve the teeth. some of which include;
Cutting through soft foods
Your old unscented floss can be of great help n your kitchen to cut through soft foods like pastry, cheese, cookies, and butter, this gives it a better and symmetrical clean cut plus it makes the use of floss look fun.
Awesome for garland strings on festive seasons
Floss can be used as a needle to thread practically any material that can be punctured Pom-poms, pretzels, doilies, marshmallows…the list goes on and on and this is possible because of its slippery coating.
Substitute for repair threads
I love to sew up my torn bags or patch up some of my blouses, just because I can’t just get rid of those yet, and yes I love tying up loose ends. when you have to repair that handle that fell off your bag, you can just thread some floss on a needle, and sew them up instead f doing away with that bag that you love, plus your things would last longer now, that’s a bonus!
Decorative practical containers
Floss comes in different colors and sizes of containers, you can decide to leave it all-natural, or spare some time to paint or fabric it with a fun print, doesn’t matter. but it could be used as containers for those things in the house that continue to turn up in different places, like your aspirin or hair binders.
What Does Flossing Do
Flossing is as important as brushing your teeth. The importance of flossing cannot be exaggerated as it is an important oral hygiene habit. Although many people do not recognize this habit as worthy enough to be part of their daily routine, flossing cleans and removes food that was stuck between your teeth and this helps in the reduction of bacteria and plaque in your mouth.
yes, it is important to floss, but it is not enough to just floss. flossing needs to be done correctly, as improper flossing is a potential reason for damage to the gums and teeth.
Here are some of the benefits of flossing daily:
- Flossing aids in the removal of food particles and plaque between teeth and along the gum line, where your toothbrush cannot reach, as brushing alone is ineffective at removing bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Plaque removal from below the gum line, which can erode tooth enamel and form tartar (can cause teeth discoloration) The
- Reduce your chances of getting cavities
- Reduces the possibility of gum soreness, puffiness, and unsightly redness.
- Aids in the prevention of gingivitis, which can lead to periodontitis.
If you are one of those that are unsure about the right way to go about it, here are a few steps which you can follow;
How to Floss step-by-step
Here are the steps to follow when learning to floss correctly;
- Remove 18 to 24 inches of dental floss. Wind the majority of the floss around both of your middle fingers to hold it firmly. Only around 1 to 2 inches of floss should be left for your teeth.
- Then, using your thumbs and index fingers, hold the floss taut.
- Insert the dental floss between your teeth. Gently move the floss up and down the tooth, rubbing it on both surfaces. Do not insert the floss into your gums as this can cause blisters or bruises to your gums.
- For the floss to be able to enter the space between your gums and tooth, Curve the floss at the base of the tooth to produce a C shape as it reaches your gums.
- With a new and clean section of the floss, repeat these steps as you move your fingers around your teeth.
This whole process requires considerable delicacy and is tiresome at first. However, Once you’ve mastered it, it should only take you around 2 minutes. Yes, bleeding is normal and indicates that your gums are already inflamed, and this happens because you don’t floss enough, not because you just started. It may also be painful if you haven’t done this in a long time or if you have inflammation.
Using floss picks (little pieces of floss linked to a plastic handle) nearly forces you to floss correctly, and is also the best option for a beginner.
Is it safe to use expired floss
It is not safe to use any product or thing that is expired. Floss does not expire, it can lose its taste, and it can lose its wax for the waxed floss, if you are not sure about whether to use your floss or not, throw it out or see your dental professional.
Does Waxed Dental Floss Expire
Like every other kind of floss, wax dental floss may not necessarily expire, what can happen is that it doesn’t have that much wax with which it was made at first, but it still does the main job, which is the cleaning and removing plaques from our teeth.
While unused and sealed dental floss has no expiration date, the longer you leave open floss on your bathroom counter, the more pathogens, germs, and debris accumulate on it. This can increase your chances of developing oral health issues.
Make sure you visit a dental practitioner twice a year, and if you do not know what floss to get, let them prescribe one for you.