The F Word

Floss…. What word were you thinking?

Out of all of the word in the English dictionary we refer to one word as the F word.

It is the one magical word that just by its sound it can describe pain, pleasure, hate, and love.

The  F word I am describing is Floss!

Floss is derived from Dental floss (or simply floss) is a cord of thin filaments used to remove food and dental plaque from between teeth in areas a toothbrush is unable to reach.[1]

The use of floss is commonly recommended in order to prevent gingivitis and the build-up of plaque.[2] Namely, the American Dental Association claims that up to 80% of the plaque can be eliminated with this method, and flossing may confer a particular benefit in individuals with orthodontic devices.[3] However, scientific evidence demonstrating the clinical benefit of flossing as an adjunct to routine toothbrushing alone remains limited.[3]


Floss falls into many categories, much like the other F word many people are offended by this word and do not like it to hear it or use it.

Levi Spear Parmly, a  Dentist from New Orleans, is credited with inventing the first form of dental floss.[4] In 1819, he recommended running a waxed silk thread “through the interspaces 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.”[5][6] He considered this the most important part of oral care.[4] Floss was not commercially available until 1882 when the Codman and Shurtleff company started producing unwaxed silk floss.[7] In 1898, Johnson & Johnson received the first patent for dental floss that was made from the same silk material used by doctors for silk stitches.[7]

During the war II, nylon floss was developed by physician Charles C. Bass.[7] Nylon floss was found to be better than silk because of its greater abrasion resistance and because it could be produced in great lengths and at various sizes.[7]

Floss became part of American and Canadian daily personal care routines in the 1970s.

Today dental professionals recommend that a person floss once per day before or after brushing to reach the areas that the brush will not and allow the fluoride from the toothpaste to reach between the teeth.

Floss is commonly supplied in plastic dispensers that contain 10 to 100 meters of floss. It is recommended to pull out approximately 40 cm of floss, the user pulls it against a blade in the dispenser to cut it off. The user then strings the piece of floss on a fork-like instrument or holds it between their fingers using both hands with about 1–2 cm of floss exposed. The user guides the floss between each pair of teeth and gently curves it against the side of the tooth in a ‘C’ shape and guides it under the g. This gumline to remove particles of food stuck between teeth and plaque that adhere to dental surfaces below the gumline.[3]

Factors to be considered when choosing the right floss or whether the use of floss is an interdental cleaning device is appropriate may be based on:

  • The tightness of the contact area determines the width of floss
  • The contour of the gingival tissue
  • The roughness of the  interproximal surface
  • The patients manual dexterity and preference: to determine if a supplemental device is required

F-shaped and Y-shaped dental floss wands

Specialized plastic wands, or floss picks, have been produced to hold the floss. These may be attached to or separate from a floss dispenser. While wands do not pinch fingers like regular floss can, using a wand may be awkward and can also make it difficult to floss at all the angles possible with regular floss. These types of flossers also run the risk of missing the area under the gum line that needs to be flossed. On the other hand, the enhanced reach of a wand can make flossing the back teeth easier. If none of this is for you… you can opt to use a water flosser.

The water blasts the particle out from in between the teeth.

If this is still not for you there is always the floss dance!

I an a burst ambassador I recommend the BURST FLOSS It is black charcoal-infused you can see the plaque on it and it gets wide when you use it so you can see where you have flossed. There is no other floss like it on the market. Use Promo Code 5ZMZBR for the discount

  1. “How to Floss”. Flossing Techniques-Flossing Teeth Effectively. Colgate. 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  2. ^Bauroth K, Charles CH, Mankodi SM, Simmons BS, Zhao Q, Kumar LD (2003). “The efficacy of an essential oil antiseptic mouthrinse vs. dental floss in controlling interproximal gingivitis”. Journal of the American Dental Association. 134 (3): 359–365. doi:14219/jada.archive.2003.0167PMID 12699051.
  3. Jump up to:ab c d e Berchier CE, Slot DE, Haps S, van der Weijden GA (2008). “The efficacy of dental floss in addition to a toothbrush on plaque and parameters of gingival inflammation: a systematic review”. International Journal of Dental Hygiene6 (4): 265–279. doi:1111/j.1601-5037.2008.00336.x. PMID 19138178. The dental professional should determine, on an individual patient basis, whether high-quality flossing is an achievable goal. In light of the results of this comprehensive literature search and critical analysis, it is concluded that a routine instruction to use floss is not supported by scientific evidence.
  4. Sanoudos M, Christen AG (1999). “Levi Spear Parmly: the apostle of dental hygiene”. Journal of the History of Dentistry. 47 (1): 3–6. PMID 10686903.
  5. ^Christen AG (1995). “Sumter Smith Arnim, DDS, PhD (1904-1990): a pioneer in preventive dentistry”. Journal of Dental Research. 74 (10): 1630–5. doi:1177/00220345950740100201. PMID 7499584.
  6. ^Parmly LS (1819). A Practical Guide to the Management of the Teeth; Comprising a Discovery of the Origin of Caries, or Decay of the Teeth. Philadelphia, PA: Collins & Croft. p. 72.
  7. Jump up to:ab c d Kruszelnicki, KS (30 March 2001). “Dental Floss 1”. ABC Science. Retrieved 15 May 2015.