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About Dental Floss

Visitors from another planet may view the human behavior of manipulating a thin thread through the spaces in between their teeth as a bizarre ritual. However, those who were raised on Earth know that daily flossing is an essential part of oral hygiene that will improve well being.

More often than not, the scientific community releases stories showing the connection between dental problems and lowered fertility rates for women, heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity and other topics. Regular flossing is the most affordable way to remove dental plaque, the known culprit for many of the problems. The process will not only lower the odds of patients developing issues such as tooth decay and gum disease, but can help improve overall health.

Are you looking for a way to improve your dental care regime while staying on a budget? Adding flossing to your daily oral care routine is the best way to get the most bang for the buck. Flossing is still considered to be the best practice for oral care, as the simple but tedious act will safely remove dental plaque and food particles. Removing that debris will reduce the odds of an individual developing tooth decay, gum disease and improving their general well being.

How to Floss

Flossing is a tedious task, but is a must-have process to lower the risks associated with poor oral hygiene. Individuals can improve their flossing techniques and dental health by:

  • Flossing once a day.
  • Flossing after brushing to remove any dental plaque and debris that may not have been removed by the process.
  • Flossing at night, prior to bed to ensure a mouth is a fresh as possible prior to slumber. The step is important as during sleep, saliva production slows down and will not be readily available to wash away unsavory remnants lingering about.
  • Consumers need to use approximately 18 inches of dental floss per session. That amount is long enough to reach behind and between all teeth, including wisdom teeth in the back of the mouth.
  • Individuals need to floss each tooth surface. The process should begin from the back teeth to the front and return to the back on the opposite side of the starting point and should be done for both top and bottom teeth. The floss should be gently around each index finger to provide better control, and the piece in between needs to be run up and down the side of each tooth until reaching the gum line.
  • During the flossing, the dental floss should be moved so that each tooth surface is cleaned with a fresh piece of floss.
  • Follow up the act by rinsing with clean fresh water will help remove any additional stray particles left behind.

History of Dental Floss

Archeologists have unearthed a number of instruments used to help primitive man keep his teeth. Despite the assortment of brushes, twigs and skulls containing primitive but well done dental work, dental floss did not make the scene until circa 1815. At that time New Orleans dentist Levi Spear Parmly launched the product. During the course of his work, he often recommended patients add an additional layer of dental cleaning and suggested fine silk floss for the process (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dental_floss).

Consumers were unable to find dental floss products for until 1882. The Codman and Shurtleft Company were the first that produced an unwaxed silk floss specifically for humans to use. Overtime more dental floss varieties became available and in 1898, the Johnson and Johnson Corporation earned the first patent for dental floss.

The practice was not commonplace until after World War II. The advent of nylon floss made the process of flossing more appealing to consumers, as the product was less abrasive, gave more and had great elastic capabilities.

Dental Floss Facts

Every man, woman and child are advised to floss, however according to the Journal of the American Dental Association only 10 percent to 40 percent of people report doing so. Some of the reasons attributed to the lackluster approach are time, the unpleasantness of the task and side effects such as bleeding gums. Individuals should know that the process is as simple as mind over matter and instead of focusing too much on the task, thinking about some odd dental floss facts may provide a distraction to the process:

  • According to data collected by Kelton Research, flossing is considered to be an act of desperation to remove stuck food or freshen bad breath.
  • Americans spend $200 million on dental floss annually.
  • There are a series of four prison break attempt breaks where the criminals either used dental floss to cut through prison bars or to make a rope so they could escape through a window unnoticed.
  • Approximately 75 percent of Americans prefer grocery shopping to flossing.
  • Annually, Americans buy 122 yards of dental floss, well below the 2190 yards they should be using on an annual basis.

Individuals interested in separating dental floss facts from fiction are advised to seek the expert opinion of a professional dentist.

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