History of Flossing

We know all of you floss every day…right? Flossing & cleaning between the teeth has been going on a long time. Researchers have found dental floss and toothpick grooves in the teeth of prehistoric humans. Take a look at the timeline below to learn when floss was invented and how it became a popular oral hygiene tool.

Early 1800s
Dr. Levi Spear Parmly, an American dentist from New Orleans, is credited with its invention (or reinvention) of dental floss. At the time, a lot of people were not brushing their teeth because toothbrushes were too expensive. Concerned by the condition of his patients’ teeth, Dr. Parmly wrote about the importance of brushing with toothpaste and flossing (with waxed silken thread) in his book, A Practical Guide to the Management of Teeth.

The Codman and Shurtleft Company began to mass-produce unwaxed silk floss.
Johnson and Johnson was the first company to receive a patent for dental floss.
It was during World War II that Dr. Charles Bass introduced nylon floss as a substitute for silk floss. Dr. Bass also is known for making flossing an important part of oral hygiene.
There are many types of dental floss, including waxed or unwaxed and flavored varieties.

If you have any questions about flossing, our fabulous Hygienists here at Smile Sarasota can help!

From the Pennsylvania Dental Association