Dental floss, a name synonymous with dental hygiene, was invented by U.S. dentist Levi Spear Parmly. The alarming number of patients, with dental problems, visiting him got him thinking. He was rather appalled to see the terrible condition of their teeth.
He suggested a simple way to clean their teeth. The method involved using a thin piece of silk thread, which we today know as ‘dental floss’, to clean between the teeth. His book, ‘A Practical guide to the management of the teeth‘, stresses on the use of floss after every meal.
Very few are aware of the benefits of using a dental floss along with a toothbrush to maintain good dental hygiene. Thus making dental floss the most underutilized tool which is quite ironical considering its benefits. Codman and Shurtleft patented the floss in the year 1874. Johnson and Johnson corporation, which later bought Codman and Shurtleft, was the widest distributor of floss made from silk thread similar to that used for surgical sutures.