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 hygiene because of his writings about tooth care.
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.
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.
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.