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The use of Dental floss commonly recommended in order to prevent these conditions from developing. The use of floss commonly recommended in order to prevent these conditions from developing. 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. However, empirical scientific evidence demonstrating the clinical benefit of flossing as an adjunct to routine toothbrushing alone remains limited.
Levi Spear Parmly, a dentist from New Orleans, is credited with inventing the first form of dental floss. In 1819, 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.” He considered this the most important part of oral care. Floss was not commercially available until 1882 when the Codman and Shurtleff company started producing unwaxed silk floss. Floss became part of American and Canadian daily personal care routines in the 1970s.
A variety of dental flosses are commonly available. The most important difference between available dental flosses is thickness. Waxed and unwaxed floss are available in varying widths. Studies have shown that there is no difference in the effectiveness of waxed and unwaxed dental floss, but some waxed types of dental floss are said to contain antibacterial agents and/or sodium fluoride. Factors to consider in choosing a floss include the amount of space between teeth and user preference. Dental tape is a type of floss product that is wider and flatter than conventional floss.
The ability of different types of dental floss to remove dental plaque does not vary significantly. The least expensive floss has essentially the same impact on oral hygiene as the most expensive.
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
Specialized plastic wands, or floss picks, have been produced to hold the floss. While wands do not pinch fingers as 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.
In which the spaces between teeth are tight and small. The dental term ‘embrasure space’ describes the size of the triangular-shaped space immediately under the contact point of two teeth. The size of the embrasure space is useful in selecting the most appropriate interdental cleaning aid. There are three interproximal embrasure types or classes as described below.