Most of us have never been more grateful for dental floss than after a family BBQ that involves corn on the cob. Who was the genius that thought it was a good idea to stick a piece of wax between teeth to dislodge trapped food?
Believably, humans have been using tools and strings and fingernails, surely, to get rid of unwanted food in their teeth for hundreds of years. But thank goodness for Levi Parmly, who determined, around 1819, that people needed a more effective way to eliminate left over food from their mouths. Floss first began as a tiny silk thread but the cost to obtain this precious material during World War II was just too high. So, what first started as silk evolved into a nylon string and finally into what we know today, the wax spool! Johnson and Johnson patented the wax string and began making their product in 1896. Today, the most modern
types of dental floss use Gore-Tex and other cushy material that is gentle on gums.
It’s crazy to think what started over 200 years ago has now made itself into the realm of dental necessities in many of our everyday lives. The dental market is overflowing with flavored and unflavored options, wax or unwaxed packages, and various colors and materials varieties. Take up the practice of flossing your teeth to help mitigate bacteria, infections and unwanted build up!