No strings attached

Posted by watchmen
February 10, 2020
Posted in OPINION

Who would have thought that a piece of string could become a big-time string.

“The floss,” as many people call it, is a cord of thin filament used to remove food and dental plaque in between teeth that the toothbrush cannot reach.

The American Dental Association reports that up to 80 percent of plaque can be removed by the floss.

While it doesn’t seem to be that popular to many Filipinos, the floss has been around for a while, more than 200 years actually.

Dentist Levi Spear Parmly, of New Orleans, invented the first dental floss in 1819 although it was not commercially available until 1882 as un-waxed silk floss.

In 1898, the Johnson & Johnson Corporation received the first patent for dental floss. It was made of the same silk material that doctors used for surgical stitches.

The nylon floss came in the 1940s during World War II when Dr. Charles Bass, who developed it, found it to be better than silk because of its greater resistance to abrasion; the nylon version could also be produced in greater lengths and many sizes.

It was only in the 1970s that the floss really became a part of the oral care in many homes in North America. Today, the floss has become popular and packaged in convenient dispensers worldwide.

Dentists now recommend that people should floss once a day after or before a meal to reach the gaps between teeth and allow toothpaste fluoride to reach inaccessible gaps.

Now, according to ReportBuyer, sales of waxed floss had a significant market share in 2018.

It is a trend expected to continue, said Reportbuyer, an industry intelligence provider.

Factors such as a diverse range of product offerings will play a significant role in the waxed floss segment to maintain its market position.

Among the positive factors are the rising oral awareness among consumers, increasing number of innovative products and growing market penetration of dental care products.

However, adverse health implications due to incorrect use of dental floss products, availability of substitute products, and high competition from private label brands may hamper the growth of the dental floss industry, ReportBuyer said.

It said consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the health risks associated with bad oral health.

Flossing is prevalent in developed countries across North America, the Western Europe and the American Dental Association recommends the use of interdental cleaners such as floss for better care of teeth and gums.

There are even automated floss dispensers, attached to bathroom walls and mirrors reminding users to floss after brushing. Automated floss dispensers integrated with LEDs that alert users who forget to floss are now under development.

The rising popularity of automated floss dispensers is one of the major trends influencing the market’s growth, ReportBuyer said./WDJ



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