Dental floss

From Academic Kids

Floss redirects here. For the computing acronym see FLOSS.

Dental floss is a thin, nylon string that is used to remove food and plaque from the teeth. The floss is inserted between the teeth and scrapes along the sides of the teeth, especially close to the gums. Dental floss comes both waxed and unwaxed.

Floss Slang for flashing jewelery/cars/houses/possesions/etc.



Research has shown the dental floss, in one form or another, was used even by prehistoric humans. Grooves have been found in the teeth of prehistoric humans from dental floss and toothpicks.

The New Orleans dentist, Levi Spear Parmly (1790/1859) is credited with inventing the modern version of dental floss. Parmly had been recommending that people should clean their teeth with silk floss since 1815.

Dental floss was still unavailable to the consumer until the Codman and Shurtleft company started producing human-usable unwaxed silk floss for in 1882.

In 1898, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation were the first to patent dental floss. Some of the brands include Red Cross, Salter Sill Co. and Brunswick.

The adoption of floss was poor before World War II. It was around this time, however, that nylon floss was developed by Dr. Charles C. Bass. Nylon floss was found to be better than silk because if its greater abrasion resistance and elasticity, which helped prevent the floss from shredding.

After the Second World War the importance of flossing in order to thoroughly clean the teeth was highly stressed. Flossing is still believed to be the best method of removing plaque from the teeth, as brushing alone removes approximately 70% of bacteria and plaque.

The National Flossing Council ( in Washington, DC was organized in 1996 to promote flossing and knowledge of its benefits. The NFC publishes an online Journal ("MouthWatch") and awarded the Floscar for the best use of floss in a motion picture.

How to use Dental floss

The Canadian Dental Association advises that it is important to floss before brushing, and to floss once or more per day. The association also advises to wrap the floss around the tooth in a 'C' shape, and to wipe the tooth from under the gumline (gently) to the tip two or three times. Improper flossing may result in cavities. Studies have reportedly shown that there is little difference in cleaning ability between cord and tape flosses.

Dental Floss Brands

Colgate Total, Glide, Oral-B, WaterPik

External link

de:Zahnseide nl:Tandzijde simple:Dental floss


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools