We’ve all had a time when we’ve had some popcorn or candy stuck in our teeth and the only way to remove it is with floss. Dental floss is widely praised for being the catalyst to a healthy mouth because of being able to reach under the gum line. What is really surprising is that recent studies from the American Dental Association found that an estimated 12% of Americans floss as part of their daily oral health regimen. The idea of keeping the mouth clean with dental floss is not a new idea by any means, so it is a wonder why only 12% of Americans take part in this crucial upkeep of the mouth. Most early versions of dental floss are actually quite similar to what we know now as conventional dental floss sold in stores today, although there have been additions made to the floss to ensure a simplified and more comfortable cleaning session, twice daily.
Ancient History: While scientists do not know the precise year of dental floss’ inception, many heavy researchers of the topic found evidence that suggests dental floss even existed in prehistoric times on our planet. In many ancient burial grounds found around the globe – scientists have found remains of “dental” floss and ancient “toothpicks” in the mouths of our ancestors. In those days it was common to use hair from an animal such a horse or to use items such as twigs to remove unwanted debris in between the teeth.
Early 1800’s: Dr. Levi Spear Parmly is believed to have produced the first “waxed thread” and sold it to neighboring towns as “dental floss”.
Late 1800’s: The first version of dental floss is mass produced by the company Codman and Shurleft.
1898: Johnson & Johnson acquires the first dental floss patent and start producing the most common form of dental floss that we know today.
Now that we’ve taken a glance at the history of dental floss, let’s now take a look at why we must implement this simple thread into our daily oral hygiene regimen.
On top of brushing twice daily, flossing provides an efficacy that is unparalleled when compared to other means of cleaning the mouth. Did you know that when you floss, you’re reaching 40% more of your tooth’s surface? On the surface of this 40% of the mouth that often goes untouched, is something that no one needs lingering in their mouth.
If flossing isn’t part of your post-meal time cleaning regimen, then you’re leaving unwanted harmful bacteria in areas of the mouth that are most vulnerable and are more often compromised than ‘visible’ surfaces in the mouth. Flossing is extremely encouraged if you eat a high sugar diet.
Dr Chang and his hygiene team believe you should make the time to floss your teeth twice daily, before or after brushing to ensure having clean teeth, so grab some floss and start your mission to a healthy mouth today!
If it’s been awhile since you’ve visited our hygiene team, please give us a call today!