Nine out of 10 dentists recommend it. But surprising tensile strength and the fact that it comes in Teflon mean floss also has lots of nontooth applications. Literally millions of miles of it are sold annually, and not every inch is destined to save those pearly whites. Here's what else you can do with it.

Use it to:

1. Tame your frames. This Old House general contractor Tom Silva likes to hang pictures with it instead of braided wire, which can mar wall paint.

2. Sew something. To reattach buttons, Eagle scout and avid DIYer Jason Gordon packs a needle with an eye large enough for threading it.

3. Seal connections. Tom Silva has also used it instead of Teflon tape, to block leaky gaps around parts that screw into place. He just winds a length around the fitting's threads half a dozen turns before screwing it on.

4. Foil frays. Wrapping rope ends with floss is called whipping and stops unraveling.

5. Protect bits. Remove the guide and empty spool, and the container itself can cradle a router's trim bit.

6. Tie down trunks. Ten loops actually hold.

7. Replace a broken shoelace.

8. Floss tools. The braided kind works best in crevices between equipment parts.

9. Repair wood. A length of floss stretched taut, rolled in glue, and then worked into split seams fills fissures with adhesive.

10. Hang it all. It's a clothesline for bathing suits, and, as TOH reader and dental hygienist Lee Ibes learned, mint green is an invisible tieback for natural garlands.
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