Looking for Floss in Japan?

When I first came to Japan, floss was slightly difficult to find (though not impossible). Over the past few years since, I've seen more options pop up at local stores (including western brand Reach). So, if you're worried about finding floss in Japan, well, there's no need.

I should note that if you live in a small town far away from most civilization, you likely won't find a great floss selection (if at all), but it is possible to order online.

So, what are your options?

Lots of floss at this particular store (and not even in a large city).

First, some terminology:

Words to know

フロス                           furosu                         floss
デンタルフロス             dentaru furosu           dental floss
ワックス                       wakkusu                     wax
アンワックス                anwakkusu                 unwaxed
ノーワックス                no-wakkusu               "no wax" (unwaxed)

Some of the main brands/types you'll potentially find (depending on the location and store) include:

GUM Waxed Dental Floss   (ガム デンタルフロス ワックス)
GUM Unwaxed Dental Floss   (ガム デンタルフロス アンワックス)
GUM Easy-through Floss   (ガム イージースルーフロス)
Reach Waxed Dental Floss  (リーチ デンタルフロス ワックス)
Reach Ultra Clean Floss   (リーチ ウルトラクリーンフロス)
Reach Unwaxed Dental Floss   (リーチ デンタルフロス ノーワックス)
Clinica Sponge Floss  (クリニカ スポンジフロス)
Shumitect Soft Floss  (シュミテクト やわらかフロス)

I've also seen cheaper generic brands in some stores as well.

So try out a local daily goods store (or a few, since selection will vary by store), but if that fails you, try Amazon Japan [affiliate link] or Kenko.com.

Toothpicks, Dental Flossers and Soft Brush Picks

歯間ブラシ for "between the teeth"
Another thing to note is that you can get toothpicks, soft brush picks, dental flossers and other "pick" type tools, also known as 歯間ブラシ (しかんブラシ, shikan burashi). "歯間" means the space between teeth, and "ブラシ" is brush. You may also see the dental flossers called 糸ようじ or 糸付ようじ, meaning a "threaded toothpick." Sometimes they are also just called "pick" or something similar (in English or Japanese). In any case, they aren't hard to find in the oral care aisle, as there are usually dozens of them.

Dental flossers, or 糸ようじ
Compared with regular floss, these are generally more common and easiest to find, and they come in very handy for those with braces, bridges, permanent retainers, and similar dental work, though you can use them for basic flossing if you'd like to.

Happy flossing!

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