Uses of Dental Floss

Floss isn't just for teeth.

Photo: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

If you follow your dentist’s advice, you clean your pearly whites with dental floss on a daily basis. However, you may not be making the most of your floss if you don’t use it for anything but removing food and plaque from your teeth. Thanks to its slenderness and strength, its daily uses extend far beyond your mouth, according to “This Old House” magazine.

In the Kitchen

If you ever have trouble removing a freshly baked cookie from the baking pan, do away with the old spatula method. Tightly grab a length of dental floss with one end in each hand and slide it between the pan and the cookie before you try to pick up the cookie, recommends an article in “Reader’s Digest” magazine’s Home and Garden section. Dental floss also makes a clean slice into soft and sticky foods, which means it can save you from the bits that grab onto the knife when you try to cut cake. Take a length of floss that is longer than the cake’s diameter, then slice it down and gently move it side to side as you go. Floss also cuts cleanly into other soft foods, such as hard-boiled eggs, canned cranberry jelly and blocks of cheese.


If your tent, backpack or umbrella suddenly gets a nick or gouge and you don’t have a spool of thread handy, thread your needle with floss instead. In fact, you may find that sewing with floss is more effective on these items that take a beating — and re-sewing on those buttons that keep falling off your coats and heavy shirts — because it is more durable than thread.


Don’t fret if you are camping or in a hotel room and you forgot to bring a rope or clothesline. Simply tie the ends of a long strand of dental floss to two strong anchors — such as two trees or two curtain rods – and you’re set. Dental floss makes such a strong, cheap and inconspicuous clothesline that you may decide to use it as a permanent replacement for the traditional one you’ve been using at home. Dental floss’ hanging abilities aren’t limited to clothes. For example, you can use it to hang up wind chimes, Christmas tree ornaments and photo frames.

Other Emergency Fixes

Just as dental floss can create a clean separation between a gooey cookie and a baking pan, it can also help cleanly separate two stuck-together photos in a photo album. If your floss is waxed, it can even help remove a ring that won’t budge from your finger. Wrap a few loops of floss around the part of the finger that is just above your ring and pull the ring over it. Be careful not to wrap it too tightly, or else you risk cutting off your circulation. Dental floss can even be used in emergency medical situations, such as clamping an umbilical cord during childbirth that unexpectedly occurs outside of a hospital, according to the archives. However, call 9-1-1 before you attempt to use dental floss for any medical emergencies.

Related Videos


Add to this Article



Just for you

What type are you?

Choose your Skin Type
or Register
Beauty School iPad App


How would you like to register?

Register with Facebook
  • It's fast, easy and hassle-free
  • One-click log-in and commenting
Register with
  • Use your email to create your account