1001 Uses For Dental Floss #16- Romance

Valentine’s Day is long gone but spring is around the corner. Romance is always in the air.

I got a hot tip from someone I know (who will remain unnamed) who went onto a dating site called OkCupid. Since I’m happily married and want to stay that way, I didn’t sign up at this site so I could confirm this information, but, believe me, it’s from a very reliable source.

Apparently, when the term “dental floss” is entered as a search term, it comes up with 6100 users who claim this as part of their profile. The related term “flossing” returns 2668 members. There have been about 3.5 million active users in 2010 (but only 1.3 active users by 2011 at this site – I suppose a lot of them must have found someone to love and no longer felt the need to stay.) (Thanks to Wikipedia for helping with this.) It’s heart-warming to see that flossing is becoming a part of what some perceive makes them attractive, although with so many members, I would have hoped for more.

So, if you are looking for the love of your life, here’s some advice from someone who knows. Floss! And – talk about it.

(Illustration courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)

1001 Uses For Dental Floss #15- When It’s Really Over

Well, at least he kept flossing.

Kevin Cotter, in his book “101 Uses For My Ex-Wife’s Wedding Dress”, documents many innovative uses to which he put his ex-wife’s wedding gown. One of these uses was as dental floss (as in his photo.) It didn’t work very well, according to him, so don’t try this at home, jilted guys.

He got his revenge by writing a blog listing all these imaginative uses, with photos, which was later turned into the book. Of course, his ex-wife wasn’t very pleased, which was really the point of the exercise. One would hope that he will eventually reconcile himself to the split.


Don’t forget to click the Floss Archives to the right for previous months’ posts.

1001 Uses For Dental Floss #14: Flossacadabra


1899 poster (Wikimedia image) of magician Zan Zig

Professional magician Jonathan Levey (http://www.maxmagician.com) pulled some floss out of a hat for this week’s Use: magic tricks.

The magic trick, called “Gypsy Thread”, involves cutting a piece of floss into several smaller pieces, then magically fusing these together to restore the original piece of intact floss. Watch carefully to see this trick transpire before your very eyes. Pay close attention!

1001 Uses For Dental Floss #13- Paranoia


It was almost inevitable. Evil people have used water bottles filled with inflammable (or flammable, if you prefer) liquids, carbonized their underwear, and burnt their shoes on commercial aircraft, generally with embarrassing and painful results for the would-be bad guy. Recently, according to a CNN report, the U.S. government warned that sinister toothpaste tubes were a possible way of damaging aircraft flying to the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. This would be funny if it wasn’t so scary. And the picture? – not what you imagine. My question is: Edward Snowden, can Sarah Palin see you flossing from her back porch?

1001 Uses For Dental Floss #12- Too Much Of A Good Thing

Floss every day. That’s what your dentist tells you, but what she (or more rarely, lately, he, because there are fewer men engaging in the profession than ever before) doesn’t say is how to dispose of the used floss. Not in the toilet, according to a the people who manage Toronto’s sewage treatment. It lodges in the equipment, causing breakdowns and crashing the system. So be a good citizen, floss every day, and then drop it into the garbage can. By the way, the image is a photo of graffiti featuring floss, in, where else? – Brazil. (Notice: This is not a paid ad.)

1001 Uses For Dental Floss #11 – Surviving A Shark Attack

Today’s blog is a bit gruesome, but no ugly pictures with this one, Stephanie. As reported in The Los Angeles Times (May 28, 1997) Gail Brooks, a quick-thinking nurse, saved her boyfriend’s life after he had his right arm badly bitten by a shark while spearfishing in the Bahamas. She used dental floss, which everyone there carries when swimming (just in case), to tie off an artery in his arm in order to control the bleeding. Her boyfriend was brought to a hospital in Miami, where he was in serious but stable condition.


You too can be a hero – carry floss wherever you go. You never know when it might come in handy. 


1001 Uses For Dental Floss #10- Monkeys Are Flossing


If a monkey can learn to floss, so can you. Macaque monkeys in Thailand have been observed by researchers at Japan’s Kyoto University Primate Research Institute flossing their teeth with strands of human hair. Not only do they do that, but they also teach the good habit to their children, by exaggerating and slowing the movements involved when they see they’re being watched. Why the monkeys choose to use human hair is a mystery. Do they pull hair from their handlers heads? Maybe they like the smell of human hair after it’s been shampooed. Maybe they couldn’t get to their pharmacy or other source to buy dental floss.

So, act like a monkey. Floss.


1001 Uses For Dental Floss #6 – Floss in Engineering – The Troitsky Bridge Building Competition

Post#5- Building model bridges

Concordia Society of Civil Engineers

Concordia Society of Civil Engineers

Every year since the 1980s, engineering students across Canada, and lately even from the U.S. take part in a bridge-building competition, constructing a model bridge using only toothpicks, Popsicle® sticks, dental floss and white glue. The bridges are then subjected to the CRUSHER which applies a force to test each bridge’s strength. The 2010 winning bridge supported an astounding 2733 kilograms before breaking.

Annual bridge-building challenge by Concordia University Civil Engineering Students

1001 Uses For Dental Floss #5 – Nicotine-containing Dental Floss ®

Post#6- Floss with Nicotine Added- Yum!:
In 1991, a U.S. patent (#5,035,252) was issued for dental floss containing nicotine, which would kill two birds with one stone: improve oral hygiene and provide a substitute for cigarettes without the risk of cancer that comes from smoking or chewing tobacco. The introduction of nicotine chewing gum and the nicotine patch seem to have taken the wind out of the sails of this product. I haven’t seen any ads for this great idea. Can you imagine people getting up from their desks and pulling out a length of floss every half hour, just after getting that wild look in their eyes? Or, if co-workers objected, would the addicted ones gather outside in winter and floss their cold teeth? I wonder if they would need a prescription from a physician or would it be the dentist who would give it to them? Would they still have smoker’s bad breath and yellow fingers?


1001 Uses For dental Floss #4 – Neanderthal Oral Hygiene

Post #4- Neanderthal Oral HygieneImage
Despite the title of this post’s link, the reason Christina Warinner gives for it being a good thing that our ancestors didn’t floss their teeth is completely selfish on her part, because if they had flossed, there wouldn’t be any calcified dental plaque on the teeth of the human fossils she studies, and she might have to get a different job. In fact, Paleontology Professor Juan Luis Asuarga of Spain has found evidence that our Neanderthal cousins about 63,400 years ago (not our Homo sapiens direct ancestors, who may have thought that flossing was too tedious) had grooves on the adjoining surfaces of their teeth, possibly caused by the use of a stick passed between the teeth as a cleaning aid. Not floss, but close.