Thursday, August 6, 2009

Floss pick

A floss pick is a disposable oral hygiene device generally made of plastic and dental floss. The instrument is composed of two prongs extending from a thin plastic body of high-impact polystyrene material. Between the two prongs, a single piece of floss is fused into the plastic, one respective to the other on each prong. The prongs generally are attached to a body ending in the shape of a toothpick.

There are two types of angled floss picks in the oral care industry, the 'Y'-shaped angle and the 'F'-shaped angle floss pick. The floss end of the pick usually is ergonomically designed into the shape of a hyperbola for maximum disruption of bacterial pockets in the inter-proximal spaces of the teeth. At the base of the hyperbola where the 'y' begins to branch there is a handle for gripping and maneuvering before it tapers off into a pick.

Floss picks are manufactured in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes for adults and children. The floss can be coated in fluoride, flavor or wax.

Floss picks have been proven in clinical studies to be just as efficacious as rolled floss.


In 1888, B.T. Mason wrapped a fibrous material around a toothpick and dubbed it the 'combination tooth pick.' In 1916, J.P. De L'eau invented a dental floss holder between two vertical poles. In 1935, F.H. Doner invented what today's consumer knows as the 'y'-shaped angled dental appliance. In 1963, James B. Kirby invented a tooth-cleaning device that resembles an archaic version of today's F-shaped floss pick.

In 1972, an inventor named Richard L. Wells found a way to attach floss to a single pick end. In the same year, another inventor named Harry Selig Katz came up with a method of making a disposable dental floss tooth pick. From then on, multiple versions of the disposable flossing mechanism were born. Alex Fong, and Rites Caune put floss picks on the map in the oral care industry around the year 1992.

Floss picks contain many features and benefits that can help prevent gum disease when used regularly.


Tongue scraper - Removes germs to freshen breath
Textured pick - Stimulates gums and removes food
Contoured pick - Triangulated to fit between teeth
Angled pick - Reaches back teeth and trouble spots
Waxed Nylon, Dyneema or Kevlar floss - Effectively removes plaque and food particles and helps prevent gingivitis

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