Clean Teeth: The Fascinating History of Dental Floss

March 28, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — wellesleydg @ 5:00 pm
Smiling woman flossing her teeth

In modern times, dental floss is regarded as an essential oral hygiene tool. After all, how many times has your dentist or dental hygienist reminded you to incorporate flossing into your daily routine? However, dental floss is a relatively modern invention. In fact, it was not popularized until the 1800s! Would you like to learn more about the evolution of this important product? Continue reading below to discover some fascinating information.

The Beginning of Dental Floss

Prior to the 1800s, there is evidence to indicate that people used things like pointed sticks and similar objects to clean between their teeth. However, floss as we know it today did not make its debut until 1815, when a dentist in New Orleans began advising his patients to use a thin silk thread to clean between their teeth.

In the following decades, the idea of interdental cleaning became more and more popular. In 1882, a company by the name of Codman and Shurtleft Company began marketing unwaxed silk floss. In 1896, Johnson & Johnson followed suit by releasing its own version of dental floss. The first patent for dental floss was issued in 1898 by Johnson & Johnson for a floss that was made from the same type of silk that doctors used for stitches.

Advancements in the Mid-20th Century

In the 1940s, nylon replaced silk as the go-to material for dental floss due to its consistent texture and reduced capacity for shredding. The use of nylon also allowed for the first waxed flosses to be produced in the 1940s.

Modern Floss

Since the 1940s, further advancements have been made in the field of dental floss. For example, some companies use a material known as Gore-Tex to produce floss. Plus, many different types of textures of floss are available to cater to various people’s needs. Some flosses even have stiff ends to make them easier to maneuver around braces and other oral appliances.

Dental floss has come a long way since it was first invented. This key part of your oral hygiene routine should never be taken for granted!

Meet the Practice

The team of dentists and specialists at Wellesley Dental Group are proud to provide top-quality oral health services for our community. We are passionate about oral hygiene, and we are happy to provide tips and product suggestions to help our patients maintain clean and healthy smiles. For example, we can always demonstrate proper flossing techniques! If you have questions about us or how we may be able to serve you, contact our office at 781-691-4914.

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