Dental Floss Market

Dental floss was invented in the early 19th century by dentist Levi Spear Parmly and patented in 1874. For decades parents in the United States have taught their children to floss their teeth daily. The Federal government has recommended daily flossing since 1979 as part of a surgeon general’s report. Later, the recommendation was part of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are updated every five years. The American Dental Association, which has recommended flossing since 1908, states on its website that “flossing may … help prevent gum disease and cavities”. A Department of Health and Human Services statement reiterates that flossing is “an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.”

Things changed a bit in 2015 when the Dietary Guidelines for Americans omitted daily flossing as a recommendation due to inconsistent and unreliable evidence that flossing provided any benefit. According to the source, most existing studies on the efficacy of flossing used outdated methods and tested few people for short periods of time. By law, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans must be based on scientific evidence.

Today’s market size represents the estimated global market for dental floss in 2017, half of that market is in the United States.

Geographic reference: World
Year: 2017
Market size: $2 billion
Sources: “Little Proof Flossing Really Helps, Study Shows,” Lansing State Journal, August 8, 2016 available online here. “Flossing,” Mouth Healthy, 2016 available online here. Manchir, Michelle, “Government, ADA Recognize Importance of Flossing,” ADA News, August 2, 2016 available online here.
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