My Floss Friend Flossing Tool - The Idea That Wouldn't Go Away...

Everybody has ideas. They fall from the sky like raindrops, splatting on your head. Floss Friend is one of them. Usually I'll get an idea like this, shrug it off and move on with my day. I usually wouldn't give it a second thought. But Floss Friend just kept coming back again and again.

My four-year-old came home from the dentist with $1400 worth of dental work. She smiled proudly as she showed me the silver banding behind her baby teeth. Yes, baby teeth. The brace was temporary and would need to be removed as her teeth were replaced by their permanent siblings. How can a four-year-old need this extent of dental work? The dentist told us that the culprit was incomplete brushing and further cleaning between the teeth. Seems like a four-year-old just doesn't care too much about cleaning their teeth. I thought about how I hated flossing and would rarely take the time to do it properly, if at all. Do I really have to put my hands in my mouth to get this gunk out?

A buddy told me that he uses a water-jet device to clean his teeth. He literally pressure washed his teeth every day like you would pressure wash the driveway. I remembered something that the VP at a large hamburger bun operation had said years ago about cleaning dough processing equipment: pressure washing is no match for actual abrasive scrubbing contact to remove debris and biological film from a critical surface. While his sanitation crews used high temperature pressure washing equipment during the week, on the weekends they were instructed to clean using brushes and scouring pads. Seems like this was a good example of an old tried-and-true way being the better way.

Was there a flossing tool on the market that was as convenient as a toothbrush? I came across plastic handles with disposable floss inserts that cost as much as the holder. From time to time I see disposable plastic flossers in the parking lot at the gym that are barely long enough to reach to the incisors. I guess you have to bend them to get the correct angle too...

I decided that I would develop a flossing tool that would allow a long reach to the back molars and allow the use of one's own dental floss. It would be as simple to use as a toothbrush and encourage the user to take their time to do a proper job of cleaning between the teeth. I didn't want this tool to be fodder for landfills or something you would see on the ground when the user was done with it. It would not be disposable, but something as durable as the stainless steel flatware in the kitchen drawer. I couldn't remember when I ever threw a stainless steel fork away.

This was 2009 and I have so much other stuff to do...