Dental floss harps? What class of madness are these?

Pricewatch opens wide for the best value in tooth floss, sticks and brushes

Lidl Dentalux 89 cent for 80 metres

We figured we couldn’t possibly go wrong with this cheap own-brand floss. “It is only a bit of thread” is what we told ourselves as we opened wide and prepared to make our teeth sparkle. Then the piece of thread snapped in two in our mouth. Figuring we were too vigorous in our flossing action, we tried again, more gently this time. It snapped in two again and this time it left a piece of floss wedged between two uncooperative molars. We had to go at it again to remove the floss by which time we were not well disposed to this brand. It could be that our teeth our too tightly compacted for this brand or maybe it is just weaker than some other options. It is good and cheap, mind you, and when it comes to value for money impossible to fault.

Verdict: Great if you go easy

Star rating: * * * *

Oral B €2 for 25 metres

After our Lidl disaster we decided to go upmarket and picked this satin-coated affair from Oral B. This floss was sturdy and strong and was pleasingly coated with some class of minty goodness that made our mouth feel fresher even while our gums were doing a mean impression of a bloody abattoir on market day. It is widely available and while pricier than some other options on the market, it is not that dear and one little container will probably last us a full year (if only because once the trial ends our interest in flossing will most likely end too). At least until our next dental crisis


Verdict: Very reliable and widely available

Star rating: * * * *

Tesco Proformula dental floss harps €1.99 for 100

What class of madness are these? Floss sticks? Even though they looked odd, we figured they might be for us as they would take a lot of the guess work out of our flossing experience. There are a very limited number of ways we could go at our teeth with them so the chance of ripping our gums open were reduced. They also double as pretty satisfying toothpicks and one packet will last the guts of three months. We still didn’t like them. Too often the floss broke and all the plastic in the handle seemed excessive and can not be good for the environment.

Verdict: Not for us

Star rating: * *

TePe interdental brushes €4.39

According to the packet, an impressive 94 per cent of dental hygienists recommend this brand. We’re with the other 6 per cent. That is not because they don’t do a good job, in fact they do an excellent job – probably more excellent if you are a dental hygienist and can bill someone else for their use. At 73 cent a stick, these are pricey. And if they are not used correctly, they are prone to bending into all manner of tooth-unfriendly shapes which renders them largely useless after a couple of pokes. Then there is the confusion over the sizing. There are just so many options and, because our teeth our tragically un-uniform, we’d probably need to buy the whole set and, frankly, life is just too short.

Verdict: We’ll stick with the floss

Star rating: * *