Flossing is a crucial way to maintain a healthy smile, but many patients don’t floss daily – or at all. Dakota Dental encourages patients to brush up on the importance of flossing, as well as learn more about the history of flossing and taking care of your teeth.
The simple concept of flossing, or using a thin thread between the teeth to remove food and buildup, has been around for centuries. Discoveries made by researchers have suggested that cleaning between teeth has been practiced and can be traced back as early as the Prehistoric period. Grooves from floss and marks from toothpicks were found in the mouths of prehistoric humans. It’s also presumed that thicker horse hair was used as floss and things like small twigs were used like a type of toothpick. So though the overall concept of flossing hasn’t varied much over time, there have been some improvements and changes to floss.
By 1815, American dentist Dr. Levi Spear Parmly used waxed silk thread as floss. A few decades later, un-waxed silk floss begins being mass-produced for patients to use. By the 1940s, nylon replaces silk as the go-to material for floss, due to the rising costs of silk during World War II and silk’s tendency to shred. Today, floss comes in different flavors, thicknesses, waxed or un-waxed, as floss picks, and more.
Ultimately, each of these different types of floss serves the same purpose. Flossing can help reduce gingivitis and gum irritation, as well as reduce plaque and tartar. As important as flossing is, a recent study showed that only 30% of Americans floss daily and 32% never floss.
If you’re not in the habit of flossing, knowing the benefits that flossing can have for your teeth may be the incentive to start now. The cost of treatment for gum disease far outweighs the cost of buying some floss and the practice of flossing only takes a few minutes a day. The dentists at Dakota Dental work with patients to educate them about preventive dental care and good oral health practices including proper flossing techniques. Regular brushing and flossing will make trips to the dentist even easier.
If you have questions about how to clean your teeth properly, feel free to ask the dentists at Dakota Dental at your next appointment. Request an appointment today!
14682 Pennock Avenue
Apple Valley, MN 55124