How flossing became a daily routine for dental health

Dental floss is a relatively new invention in dentistry. Because brushing doesn’t reach plaque and food particles that get stuck between your teeth, floss was a vital invention.

It came into use through the influence of Dr. Levi Spear Parmly. He recommended using a silk waxed thread between teeth to get rid of plaque and food particles. In addition, he claimed that flossing was the most important step in dental care and is also credited with its invention in 1815.

Parmly practiced dentistry in the United States and Europe during the 1800’s. While living in London he taught, wrote two valued books and practiced dentistry. After returning to the United States, he set up a practice in New Orleans and became a dental authority in the southern United States. He offered free services to children. His theory that cavities were caused by foreign material on the tooth surface was instrumental for the dental field. It was before scientists had discovered oral bacteria. His stress on clean teeth helped prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Dental Floss Manufacture

Even though Parmly began using floss in 1815, floss wasn’t widely available until the company Codman and Shurleft started manufacturing it in 1882. By 1898, Johnson & Johnson obtained a patent, which was the first patent for dental floss. They used the same silk stitching that doctors used for stitches in medical treatment.

However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that the use of floss became a widespread dental routine in the U.S.

Helping you stay on top of your dental care

You can’t beat regular checkups to prevent cavities and gum disease. Even with brushing and flossing, checkups should be part of your dental care routine. Give us a call at Hutto Hippo Family Dental and feel free to ask questions. We are glad to provide you with answers and schedule an appointment. Our number is (512) 806-7740.