If your teeth hurt when you floss, READ THIS.

We get it. Some people think flossing is painful and no fun — here’s a secret, they’re the people who need floss the most. Not because dentists think, “the more painful, the better!” but because flossing is extremely important to periodontal health. Even the first humans knew so.

That’s right! Scientists have found markings on the teeth of ancient skulls that indicate they also used to floss their teeth with fine thread or makeshift toothpicks. It makes sense, we imagine a diet of buffalo meat, fish, and veggies would easily get lodged in between the narrow gaps of human teeth.

History Of Floss

A dentist named Levi Parmly is recognized for inventing modern dental floss. In 1819, he began flossing his patients’ teeth in hopes that dislodging unseen food from between the slender space between the actual tooth and gum would help the brush push fluoride into those gaps instead. Floss wasn’t commercially accepted until 1882 and a little over 10 years later, Johnson & Johnson introduced the floss we know and love (or hate) today. The company received the first patent on dental floss, made out of the same silk thread that doctors use for silk stitches.

“Not My Job”

So many times we’ve heard, “I don’t floss at home because that’s your job as my dentist.” We get it, we think Bart Simpson is funny too but that mindset hurts you more than it hurts us. What happens when you don’t floss? A number of scary dental prospects. Without floss the plaque on your teeth builds up and solidifies into a hard, brown tartar that can only be removed at the dentist. A lack of flossing can result in premature tooth loss, bleeding gums, and foul “stank-breath” (no, that’s not the clinical term but that is what people will say to you). There is no reasonable reason in 2019 that people are still avoiding dental floss when it is scientifically proven to have more benefits for your teeth than downsides.


“Okay, but flossing gives me the heebie jeebies.” It definitely can if you don’t floss regularly. However, the more that flossing becomes a habit, the less weird it will feel. Plus there are a lot of great options such as fork-like tools that make flossing easier. Talk to your dentist about exploring other non-traditional flossing options such as flavored dental floss, a water flosser, or dental tape.

As “Luda-crest,” portraying a visual representation of proper dental hygiene, says in the clip, “I’m the enemy of the cavity, unstoppable like gravity, so brush with regularity, or you will face calamity.”

Now, think about the last time you flossed your teeth. This morning? Awesome. You can’t remember? Less awesome. At Christiana Dental Center we prioritize our patients’ care, hygiene, and oral health. We are a team of experienced professionals that have the education and empathy to offer you the best dental health in Delaware. If you’re looking to get your teeth flossed, address dental concerns, or need to come in for your annual routine cleaning, contact us!