What is the history of flossing?

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Prior to the invention of modern dental floss, animal hairs such as the hair from a horse’s tail were used for flossing. The first thread-like form of dental floss was invented by American dentist Levi Spear Parmly; Parmly is credited with the idea of using silk thread for flossing. Toward the end of the 19th century, the Codman and Shurtleft Company began mass production of an unwaxed, silk dental floss. In 1896, Johnson and Johnson began production and distribution of their version of a silk dental floss. However, it wasn't until World War II that nylon dental floss became available. Nylon dental floss continues to be the most widely used form of dental floss today.

Continue Learning about Healthy Oral Hygiene

Healthy Oral Hygiene

Healthy Oral Hygiene

Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily constitute the basics of good oral hygiene. Keeping other parts of your mouth, such as your gums, healthy can benefit your overall health by preventing the spread of germs and dis...

ease. At-home care should be supplemented by professional care. When plaque or tartar develops, a dentist or oral hygienist will use special tools to scrape (scale) the teeth clean without damage. Flouride treatment can help keep teeth cavity-free. Learn more about healthy oral hygiene with expert advice from Sharecare.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.