Dental floss

Dental floss is supposed to be used on a daily basis to help keep in between one’s teeth from harmful plaque and tartar build up. The first material used to make dental floss was silk thread. The dental floss that we use today is normally made out of nylon filaments or Teflon or polyethylene ribbon. Dental floss now comes in waxed or unwaxed, flavored or unflavored options and is widely recommended by dentist and dental hygienist everywhere. When nylon was first made into dental floss it was made into thin strands that look the original silk thread that was used. Nylon is a soft material and is strong and durable. Nylon dental floss is still popular, but more and more people prefer the Teflon or polyethylene ribbon now because of how it can glide easily between the teeth.

A dentist by the name of Levi Spear Parmly, from New Orleans, is said to have been the inventor of dental floss back in 1815. He is the one that made it out of silk thread. Dental floss was not available to the general public until 1882 however. In 1898 the Johnson and Johnson Corporation filed for and received a patent for dental floss and it then began to be popular with the public, because of advertising campaigns, etc. It wasn’t until about the time of World War II that a Dr. Charles C. Bass found a way to develop dental floss out of nylon which is still used today. Environmental concerns have also led to the development of a biodegradable material that is used in some dental floss products on the market now.

For it to be the most effective, dental floss should be used every day. Some dentists recommend that it be used twice a day. However, not everyone uses dental floss even though the importance of its use is really stressed by dentists. To use dental floss correctly it has to be tightly held between the fingers and then guided between each tooth and drawn under the gum line. Dental floss also comes in other forms now that uses some kind of attachment that you hold that already has the dental floss stretched for you. These are usually called floss sticks. They can make it easier for some people to use dental floss, but for other people dental floss sticks can be awkward to use. There are ergonomic floss sticks with swiveling heads on the market now that may be better for some people to use as well. There are also power flossers on the market that use vibration to clean in between teeth. The vibrations can help sooth and massage the gum line. Dental floss is designed to scrape each side of the tooth and under the gums. If used correctly it will remove bacteria, food and plaque below the gum line.

Dental floss now comes in different widths. It can be purchased in one, two and three millimeters width. Some types are made into ribbons that are flat which can glide between teeth easier than the thread type. The widest dental floss may not be able to reach as deep as it should under the gum line however. People with small, close teeth should use the thinnest dental floss products on the market. People can also find dental floss useful to dislodge food that gets stuck between the teeth.

Using dental floss daily can help cut down on the incidence of gum disease, cavities and bad breath. Studies have shown that using it regularly can also been linked to lowering heart disease as well. Using dental floss daily is highly recommended for overall good oral health and hygiene. It is very inexpensive to buy and the little bit of extra time it takes to use every day is well worth the benefits you can derive from it.

Last updated on Sep 18th, 2010 and filed under Dental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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