Author Topic: Suggestion for dental floss loop knot?  (Read 26477 times)

Sandra Snan

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Suggestion for dental floss loop knot?
« on: September 17, 2010, 10:14:28 PM »
I'm new to this forum, but I've searched for the term "floss" and came up zilch, so maybe this thread can be useful to someone else in the future if we come up with something good.

I'm looking for a way to tie a short piece of slippery/gliding dental floss into a loop. When my dental hygienist demonstrated this flossing technique, she tied an overhand loop secured by tying both the ends in a single overhand knot.
When I tried it at home with the other, more slippery brand of floss I use, it didn't hold, it just slipped away.

I've used a sheet bend, secured by tying each end into a separate half hitch around the bight. This is fiddly to do with the tiny, sometimes stiff floss every night.

I recently switched to a zeppelin bend. I can live with it, but it's still a little fiddly.

Something like the method of tying an alpine bend that starts with wrapping the rope three times around your fingers would be great but it slips open, just like an unsecured sheet bend or my dental hygienists overhand loop + overhand knot does.

So if anyone of you know a knot to satisfy the following criteria, you'll make me happy and I'll use the knot every day.

  • Quick to tie, can use some trick like wrapping around fingers or something like that
  • Can be hard to learn, I'm willing to practice
  • Doesn't have to be able to be untied ever, once made into a loop
  • Needs to work with very slippery, very thin and kinda stiff thread. It's a flat plastic ribbon that also tends to stretch and get even thinner when pulled.

What are your suggestions?
Thank you so much in advance!
Sandra
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 10:22:39 PM by Sandra Snan »

roo

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Re: Suggestion for dental floss loop knot?
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2010, 10:44:03 PM »
From another thread:

Here's an approach that's very fast to tie:

Are you familiar with the Stevedore Knot?

http://www.troop7.org/Knots/Stevedore.html

OK, now imagine you tie a Stevedore with the two ends of the floss twinned together, pointing in the same direction.  Oh, and also use a lot more twists.

So you take both ends together, pointing in the same direction, take a bight from them with your index finger and spin, spin, spin, until you're satisfied, and tuck the free ends through the bight loop.

It should take all of two seconds.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 10:53:04 PM by roo »
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Sandra Snan

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Re: Suggestion for dental floss loop knot?
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2010, 10:48:00 PM »
It works like a charm. Thank you so much!

dfred

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Re: Suggestion for dental floss loop knot?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2010, 10:55:02 PM »
The most slippery floss I have at hand is Glide brand, which I believe is some sort of teflon/goretex material and is incredibly slippery.

For tying the ends together, try this...   First tie the two ends in a one-sided overhand bend (ABOK #1410) like your hygienist did.  Then start making another one more or less in the same spot, but instead of pulling the ends all the way through, pull just a bight containing the first knot through, making an overhand noose (#1114).   Snug the overhand part of the noose up a little bit, but not too much.  Then carefully pull on the working ends so the noose collapses.  As the original overhand bend reaches the overhand part of the noose, the whole thing should jam giving you a secure bend.    Though ugly, this has the advantage of only needing to tie overhand-type knots which are comparatively easy in this kind of line.   It will probably only be possible to tie very slippery line. 

BTW, for end loops in this type of material I use a Angler's Loop #1017 (aka Perfection Loop) beefed-up with a round-turn between the two intermediate loops before finishing the knot.   This will hold a moderate load before the loops starts slipping.  One further wrap makes the knot break before it slips in Glide floss, but is a bit harder to draw-up cleanly.

dfred

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Re: Suggestion for dental floss loop knot?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2010, 10:57:56 PM »
Oops, roo got a reply in there while I was typing.

The normal (non-extra wrap) Stevedore still can slip a bit in Glide, but only at near breaking loads.  But I agree it's elegant.  Thanks for sharing...
« Last Edit: September 17, 2010, 10:59:24 PM by dfred »

Sandra Snan

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Re: Suggestion for dental floss loop knot?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2010, 11:05:43 PM »
That's the brand I use. Didn't know it was available internationally.
Thanks for your suggestion, too!

SS369

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Re: Suggestion for dental floss loop knot?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2010, 03:42:56 AM »
Might even give the surgeon's knot a go. It works for sutures.

SS

knot4u

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Re: Suggestion for dental floss loop knot?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2010, 03:49:24 AM »
I'd go for a knot that jams, like one the following:

-Surgeon's Loop (Double Overhand Loop on bight)
http://www.netknots.com/html/surgeons_end_loop.html

-Figure 8 Loop on a bight
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figure-eight_loop

EDIT:  I see now that you already found a solution, good.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 04:15:33 AM by knot4u »

Sandra Snan

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Re: Suggestion for dental floss loop knot?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2010, 07:19:38 AM »
Before posting here, I tested and dismissed a lot of knots briefly but I only posted the ones that I?ve tried using for some time, because the others slipped out immediately.

I did try tying both the ends together in a regular surgeon's knot (doomed to fail as a bend, but I was playing around with all the knots I knew) but I'm not sure if I tried tying the bight into a surgeon's knot as a loop. Now that the extra-twisted-stevedore-on-the-bight does the trick, and is less fiddly with this material than a surgeon's loop, I'll stick with that.

I also tried the figure 8 loop but it slipped open.

When roo posted the idea, I tried it immediately, and it sorta snapped but I didn't set it properly and I tied it a little close to the end. I tried it twice more with greater success and then posted enthusiastically. It's not as fast as two seconds yet but it's way faster than anything else I've tried, barring maybe the butterfly loop, which also slipped open.

Reading that answer was a bit like a lightbulb moment.

knot4u

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Re: Suggestion for dental floss loop knot?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2010, 02:25:05 PM »
Hi Susan,

I'm glad you found something that works.  Now, maybe you can help me.  What exactly is your application?  How is the floss being used?

At first, I thought the application was a plane old fixed loop.  Now, I realize that your discussion of a bend in the original post was not a fluke.  You mentioned bend again in your last post.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 02:30:14 PM by knot4u »

Sandra Snan

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Re: Suggestion for dental floss loop knot?
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2010, 05:46:22 PM »
I don't know many knots. I've learned the lingo to the extent you see here, but I have a very small inventory of actual knot knowledge. I used a bend to tie the two ends together to create a loop. I know as much as that knots like the reef knot or the surgeons knot is not good in that situation. They're fine for tying things close to something else, like a shoe. (I also like the reef knot aesthetically.)

The scenario is this: floss in one fixed loop, both index fingers in that loop, and then the floss go between the teeth.
Sometimes the floss will be taut and sometimes slack and the points of force will move as I circle the floss around to get fresher parts of it between the teeth.

Before I was taught this technique, I used a slightly longer length of floss that I wrapped a couple of times around the fingers. Very stressful since I had to hold on to it with my hands tensed, and annoying to move to fresher parts of the floss since I had to unwrap and rewrap, so I liked the loop method but was annoyed that the knots I used were so fiddly to tie.

Sheet bends came to mind since I used a sheet bend with great success to make a loop of strong sewing thread for eyebrow care. I think that the next time I do that, I'll use a zeppelin bend. For floss, it seems to me that the best I've tried so far is that version of Stevedore-on-bight-of-double-floss with a few extra twists that Roo suggested.

Sweeney

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Re: Suggestion for dental floss loop knot?
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2010, 10:33:29 AM »
Just a quick throwaway - for very slippery stuff like dental floss a blood knot should work well. Most diagrams show 2 ends being wrapped around the opposite standing parts which with cold fingers in the rain is pretty close to impossible in nylon monofilament (on the odd occasions when I have done it I've used a simple home made jig). However it can be done easily and quickly by making an overhand knot in the 2 ends first (this just holds them together) and wrapping and tucking then trimming off the overhand knot. If anyone wants more detail I'll try a couple of drawings.

Barry

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Suggestion for dental floss loop knot?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2010, 06:08:51 AM »
Susan, I'm years ahead of you with the idea of knotting floss,
though likely decades arrears if actual flossing usage is counted!
Yes, the wrap-around-fingers method is tedious; making a closed
circle/sling of floss (sparing us the ambiguity of "loop"!) is a better
way to go.  But off the top of my head, I don't know what I used
-- would, like Sweeney/Barry, think first of an angler's knot, the Blood knot,
and like structures.  (Okay, I just examined my tied floss-slings : too
fiddly tiny to tell much, but at least one Blood knot is among
the set; and I also made a structure with eye knots at each end,
rather than a circle of floss; and also cannot figure out what eye
knot I used (back-2-back Overhands should do the trick).

BUT, you might also try a combination --a main knot adding a stopper
to the ends : tie the Offset Water knot (which I think is what
your hygienist did), and then tie a Butterfly knot so that the knotted
ends are essentially the Butterfly's eye.  The knot should slip until
the OWKnot becomes flush against the other, slippage stopped.

And a similar tactic can be used back with the original knot tried,
viz., the Offset Water knot (Overhand) -- tie a 2nd one right before
or behind the first, preventing the one loaded in offset oientation
from pulling out, as the other will jam against it (and in that
orientation it should not itself slip).

A circle-sling of floss allows one to put double strands of floss into
action, or to work two sides of a tooth at once.

 - - - - - -

Quote
Might even give the surgeon's knot a go. It works for sutures.

One doctor advises me that surgeons in fact never use this knot!
(But knot books do.)  However, in this case, the knot will transform
qua bend into something that indeed might hold, but hardly as
surely as other knots.

--dl*
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SS369

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Re: Suggestion for dental floss loop knot?
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2010, 01:02:28 PM »
Quote:
"Might even give the surgeon's knot a go. It works for sutures.

One doctor advises me that surgeons in fact never use this knot!
(But knot books do.)  However, in this case, the knot will transform
qua bend into something that indeed might hold, but hardly as
surely as other knots."

I for one indeed know from personal experience that doctors use this not. Thank goodness it was not a surgeon. But, I think that using the name of the knot was sufficient to the cause for Ms. Snan to investigate for her purpose. Having just tried it in some floss right now, it works unless you put your foot into the tooth cleaning sling and apply gum cleaving pressure.

SS

knot4u

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Re: Suggestion for dental floss loop knot?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2010, 02:40:48 PM »
One doctor advises me that surgeons in fact never use this knot!
(But knot books do.)  However, in this case, the knot will transform
qua bend into something that indeed might hold, but hardly as
surely as other knots.

My brother is a general surgeon.  I think the surgeon's knot is the only knot he knows for surgery and for everyday life.  :D
« Last Edit: September 21, 2010, 04:35:45 PM by knot4u »