Floss Anyone?

Dental floss was introduced by a New Orleans dentist in 1815. He suggested to use thin silk thread to clean between your teeth. This idea to clean and preserve the teeth and gum health was such a novel idea given that most people expected to lose there teeth as young adults. Also, the idea of putting your fingers in your mouth to clean your teeth was quite foreign too. In the past people had used pointed sticks for interdental devices. Later toothpicks became quite the fashion.In fact, during Victorian times, the New York Times reports that after dinner a gentleman would produce a leather box lined with velvet and withdraw his gold pick and begin grooming. Even Charles Dickens owned a toothpick inlaid with ivory and engraved with his initials. In 1898, Johnson & Johnson Company patented the first dental floss similar to the stitches that doctors used. Later in 1940, nylon would replaced the silk. But after World War II, wax was introduced on the nylon to make it easier to floss. Recently, special handles have been invented to help make handling floss easier. In addition to nylon, GorTex has been used as well as different textures, flavors and degrees of stiffness that also aide around cleaning braces and fixed bridges. Today, flossing remains an important adjunct to maintaining overall oral health.

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