The most important thing about flossing teeth is to just do it. As long as it gets done, it doesn’t matter what time of day one flosses. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), only 12 percent of Americans floss daily.

The ADA recommends cleaning between your teeth at least once a day with an interdental cleaner (floss, dental pick, water flossing, etc.) as an essential part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Cleaning between teeth greatly helps reduce cavities, gum disease and plaque. Plaque that is not removed by brushing and cleaning between teeth can eventually harden into tartar. After tartar collects around the gum line, it becomes difficult to remove and can lead to gum disease.

Timeline of modern flossing

  • Levi Spear Parmly introduced the idea of using waxed thread as floss in 1815.
  • Johnson & Johnson was granted the first dental floss patent in 1898.
  • In the 1940s, nylon replaced silk as the main material in floss.
  • Floss now comes in a variety of materials, like spongy or soft flosses for sensitive gums.