History of dental floss
Dental floss was used by prehistoric humans. Grooves have been found in the teeth
of prehistoric humans from dental floss and toothpicks.
Orleans dentist, Levi
Spear Parmly (1790/1859)
is credited with inventing modern dental floss. Parmly had been recommending
that people should clean their teeth with silk floss
Dental floss was still unavailable to the consumer until the Codman and Shurtleft
company started producing human-usable unwaxed silk floss in 1882.
In 1898, the Johnson & Johnson
Corporation first patented dental floss. Some of the brands include Red Cross,
Salter Sill Co. and Brunswick.
The adoption of floss was poor before World
War II. It was around this time, however, that Dr. Charles C. Bass developed
nylon floss. Nylon floss was found to be better than silk because of its greater abrasion resistance
which helped prevent the floss from shredding.
After the Second World War the importance of flossing in order to thoroughly
clean the teeth was highly stressed. Flossing is still believed to be the best
method of removing plaque from the teeth, as brushing alone removes only about
70% of plaque.
Flossing Council in Washington, DC was organized in 1996 to promote the benefits
of flossing. The NFC publishes an online Journal ("MouthWatch") and
awarded the Floscar for the best use of floss in a motion picture.
The Canadian Dental Association advises that it is important to floss before
brushing, and to floss once or more per day. The association also advises to
wrap the floss around the tooth in a 'C' shape, and to wipe the tooth from under
the gumline (gently) to the tip two or three times. Improper flossing may result
Studies have shown there is little difference in cleaning ability between cord
and tape flosses. For someone just beginning to floss, some bleeding of the gums
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