Did you know that according to the American Dental Association (ADA), only about 12 percent of Americans floss as recommended, once daily? Flossing is not a new concept. While the modern floss may look a lot different than historical floss, the goal is the same: to dislodge food from between the teeth.  

Here is a fun look at this history of floss: 

Earliest Evidence:  Research suggests that more than 6,000 years ago, ancient humans were using horse hair and stone splints (toothpicks) to remove food from their teeth. 

1815: Dr. Levi Spear Parmly, an American dentist, introduced waxed silken thread as floss. He also wrote documented reports on the importance of brushing and flossing daily. 

1882: Flossing begins to grow in popularity. The Codman and Shurleft Company initiates the first mass production of unwaxed silk floss. 

1898: Johnson & Johnson receives the first patent for dental floss. 

1940s: Nylon, a less expensive and more durable product, becomes the popular choice over silk thread for floss.  

2018: “The Floss” dance, made famous by the Backpack Kid, Russell Horning and now a part of pop-culture in the ever popular Fortnite dance options, offered a subtle reminder of the flossing motion encouraged by the ADA. 

Today: There are many options for string floss: regular, mint, waxed or unwaxed, but to help make flossing the back teeth and around orthodontic appliances easier and more comfortable, we at Olson Orthodontics recommend going beyond the string floss and utilizing a Waterpik.  The Waterpik is a device that uses a steady stream of water to “floss” around, and between the teeth.  It is almost 3 times as effective at removing plaque around braces as string floss!  Oh, and it’s fun to use!   

Ask us about the latest tech in flossing during your next (or First) visit to Olson Orthodontics!!