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All About Dental Floss

Did you know the first dental floss was invented in the 19th century by an American dentist named Levi Spear Parmly. His 1819 book about dental care described a waxed silken thread that we now call dental floss. As a result, his patients soon began using the thin silken strands to clean between their teeth. It's no wonder Parmly now is considered a pioneer in?dental hygienebecause of his writings about tooth care. 

Benefits of Floss: 

Dental floss plays a pivotal role in helping to chase away some of the oral bacteria that causes decay. It achieves a critical cleaning between the teeth that removes plaque and food particles that a toothbrush cannot reach. 

Types of Floss 

The first dental floss was made of silk thread. To improve the product, later versions have been made of nylon and Gore-Tex. There are different textures, such as soft floss, spongy floss, or floss with stiffened ends. 

Benefits of Floss 

The American Dental Association recommends daily flossing as an important factor in maintaining good oral hygiene. The other recommendations include, brushing teeth twice a day, eating a balanced diet, and visiting the dentist for?cleaning and exams?on a regular basis. Dr. William Mayo from the world-famous Mayo Clinic, states that "daily plaque control can add ten years to your life." In spite of the evidence, only about 15 percent of people floss on a regular basis. 

Fun Facts 

People buy more than three million miles of dental floss in the United States each year.  

  • Year commercial floss was first manufactured: 1882. 
  • Amount bought per person: 18 yards. 
  • Amount that should be bought per person: 122 yards (figuring one foot per day). 
  • People who say they floss daily: 28 percent. 
  • In 1994, a prison inmate in West Virginia braided floss into a rope and scaled the wall and escaped. 

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.