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. A single piece of floss runs between the two prongs. The body of the floss pick generally tapers at its end 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. At the base of the arch 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.
History of floss pick
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.
It’s estimated that the yearly production of almost 5 billion single-use flossers for North America emits about 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year. This results in 10 million pounds of plastic trash entering the North American environment every year.
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