The History of the Dental Floss

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History of the Dental Floss

Oral care is a two-fold process: the care provided by the dentist and his team; and the care that you give to your teeth, on your own. For oral health to be properly maintained, both aspects need to be supplied sufficiently.

At home, your personal efforts at caring for your teeth can make a big difference. Apart from brushing, everyone is reminded of the importance of flossing, because of its amazing contribution. Have you ever wondered how flossing came to be? It seems such a weird practice, but seems to work wonders. Did you know that evidences of “flossing” can be traced back to the prehistoric period? In Thailand, some monkeys are found with a habit of cleaning their teeth that is similar to flossing. As a matter of fact, some long-tailed Macaque monkeys are found to pull hair from humans who come near enough, so that they can use it as “floss”. If not, hair, they are also found using twigs or coconut fibres for the same function.

flossing clean teeth

The History of Flossing

In 1815, Levi Spear Parmly, an American dentist, introduced the use of silk thread to clean and remove dislodged food particles in between the teeth. In his book, “A Practical Guide to the Management of Teeth”, he described the floss as a waxen silk thread that can sweep into the interstices of the teeth. But it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that flossing really caught on. In the People were much too fascinated with toothpicks, for cleaning in between their teeth.It was Dr. Charles C. Bass’ effort to make a difference that brought life to the phenomenon. As the “Father of Preventive Dentistry”, he developed the nylon floss that was shown to be more elastic and durable, to silk.

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A lot has changed through the years, but one thing remains true, flossing and other personal efforts to clean the teeth are of value.