Flossing is an important part of taking care of your teeth and gums. Most dentists recommend flossing daily. It is just as important as brushing your teeth. It involves running a string, called floss, in between two teeth to clean this inter dental space. Floss is usually made with a waxed nylon thread.
How was dental floss invented?
Dental floss was invented in 1818 by Dr. Levi Spear Parmly, a dentist in New Orleans. He recommended running a waxen silk thread "through the interstices of the teeth, between their necks and the arches of the gum, to dislodge that irritating matter which no brush can remove and which is the real source of disease." The first commercial floss became available in 1882 by the Codman and Shurtleft company, when they started producing unwaxed silk floss. Today floss is made with waxed nylon thread. Dental Floss really took off after world war II & the great depression when companies were looking for a way to make more money and started aggressively marketing and promoting dental floss.
Advantages of flossing:
Flossing & brushing both play different, important functions in teeth cleaning. While brushing cleans the top and sides of your teeth, floss is an interdental cleaner – it cleans the tight spaces in between teeth, where food can get stuck & the brush can't reach. While mouthwash can kill the bacteria that form plaque, it can't remove tartar and bits of food that can get stuck in these places. The build-up of plaque between the teeth is the primary cause of dental disease, such as gingivitis and dental caries. These places can be cleaned with the help of a floss.
Thus flossing proves to be a very important to remove the food debris, plaque etc. from internal dental spaces and from spaces where brush cannot reach. It helps in prevention of caries and gum diseases in future and helps maintain oral hygiene.