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Title:
DENTAL FLOSS BASED ON ROBUST SEGMENTED ELASTOMER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1995/024167
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A dental hygiene product, and more particularly dental floss, is composed of a fiber (618) having a core of a segmented polymer. The segments of the polymer are a combination of soft segments, preferably of polyether or polyester type, and of hard segments of polyurethane, polyamide, polyimide, or a mixture thereof. The content of hard segments is 5 % - 40 % of the polymer by weight. The dental floss of this invention is characterized by exceptionally robust elastic properties, which are necessary to ensure effective and efficient cleaning of teeth.

Inventors:
BURCH ROBERT RAY
Application Number:
PCT/US1995/002766
Publication Date:
September 14, 1995
Filing Date:
March 06, 1995
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DELTA DENTAL HYGIENICS LLC (US)
International Classes:
A61C15/04; (IPC1-7): A61C15/00
Foreign References:
US5353820A1994-10-11
US3800812A1974-04-02
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Claims:
CLAIMSClaim
1. A dental hygiene article comprising a fiber having a core, characterized in that the fiber is elastomeric and the core is a segmented polymer, the polymer having soft segments and hard segments; wherein the hard segments are linked occasionally to the soft segments by covalent bonds.
2. Claim.
3. The dental hygiene article of Claim 1 wherein the elastomeric fiber has: a denier value in the range of 40 to 4,000; a tensile strength higher than 0.5 grams per denier; and a break elongation of at least 400%; the fiber requiring a stress to elongate selected from the range group consisting of the range of 0.03 to 0.40 grams per denier in order to develop an elongation of 200%; and the range of 0.07 to 0.60 grams per denier in order to develop an elongation of 300%.
4. Claim.
5. The dental hygiene article of Claim 1 or 2 wherein the hard segments are selected from a group consisting of urethane, amide, imide, and mixtures thereof.
6. Claim.
7. The dental hygiene article of Claim 1, 2 or 3 wherein the core has a content of hard segments in the range of 540% by weight. Claim.
8. The dental hygiene article of Claim 1, 2 or 3 wherein the soft segments are selected from a group consisting of polyester, polyether, and a mixture thereof. Claim.
9. The dental hygiene article of Claim 1, 2 or 3 wherein the hard segments consists substantially of urethane, and the soft segments are selected from a group consisting of polyether and polyester in an amount of 75 85% by weight of the segmented polymer.
10. Claim.
11. The dental hygiene article of any of Claims 1 to 6 wherein the core of the fiber is selected from a group consisting of primary monofilament, primary multifilament, primary coalesced monafilament, and a combination thereof.
12. Claim.
13. The dental hygiene article of any of Claims 1 to 6 wherein the core of the fiber is selected from a group consisting of uncovered core, core covered with a secondary filament, and a combination thereof. Claim.
14. The dental hygiene article of Claim 8 wherein the secondary filament is selected from the group consisting of secondary monofilament, secondary multifilament, spun filament, and a combination thereof.
15. Claim.
16. The dental hygiene article of any of Claims 1 to 9 wherein the fiber comprises abrasive matter in a form selected from a group consisting of inclusion of the abrasive matter within the fiber, coating the abrasive matter on the surface of the fiber and a combination thereof. Claim.
17. The dental hygiene article of any of Claims 1 to 10 wherein the fiber is in the form selected from a group consisting of continuous strand and strand cut into adequately long pieces for flossing the teeth of a person. Claim.
18. The dental hygiene article of any of Claims 1 to 11 wherein the dental hygiene article is a dental floss.
19. Claim.
20. The dental hygiene article of any of Claims 1 to 11 wherein the dental hygiene article is an assembly of a box and a dental floss at least partially enclosed in the box.
21. Claim.
22. The dental hygiene article of any of Claims 1 to 11 wherein the dental hygiene article is an assembly of a dental instrument and the fiber supported on said instrument in a manner to allow flossing of a person's teeth.
Description:
TITLE OF THE INVENTION

DENTAL FLOSS BASED ON ROBUST SEGMENTED ELASTOMER

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention.

This invention relates to articles of dental hygiene, and more particularly to dental floss.

2. Description of Related Art. Dental floss is a very well known and broadly used article of dental hygiene. There are many benefits attributed to dental flossing, and especially daily dental flossing. Dental flossing removes residual food particles, which cannot be removed by brushing, from in between teeth, and in general maintains the gums in good health. Thus, among other benefits, it decreases the incidence of dental caries, gingivitis, halitosis, and dysgeusia (bad taste). It may also reduce the incidence of plaque formation. The effect of using dental floss on plaque and gingivitis has also been described by Lobene et al. in "Clinical Preventive Dentistry", Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 5-8, January-February 1982.

There are different reasons why many people do not floss with presently available dental floss. Among them: discomfort when flossing; time required to floss; difficulty in inserting floss between teeth; floss often fragments or breaks; and floss fragments lodge between teeth and are difficult to remove. Furthermore, the spacing between teeth is not uniform, and it varies considerably not only from one place to another place between the same pair of teeth, but also from one pair of teeth to another pair of teeth. The medial 50% portion of a tooth has a greater diameter than the proximal and distal portions of that tooth. The spacing varies in the same individual, among different individuals, and especially in the case of twisted teeth. The spacing is greatest at the gum line. The type of dental floss found

extensively in the marketplace is a substantially non- elastic strand, which is cut into segments by the user. These segments are forced between teeth in order to remove plaque and foreign objects from the spaces in between teeth. This fact is one of the major reasons why the non- elastic strand of dental floss , which inherently has a constant diameter, cannot perform the cleaning act effectively. For some regions of the spacing to be cleaned between one tooth and another tooth adjacent to it, the diameter of the presently used dental floss may be suitable, but in some other regions may be too small, and still for other regions may be too large.

Many attempts have been made in vain to correct this problem. Elastic or elastomeric strands have been proposed in a variety of configurations. However, none of these approaches confronted the problem successfully, since in attempting to resolve the problem of how to deal with the spacing variability, they created even more severe problems, without resolving the initial problem, anyway. U.S. Patent 3,838,702 (Standish et al. ) discloses a dental floss having improved cleaning and polishing action obtained by coating the floss with a coating agent comprising a resilient wax, polymer, or elastomer, having embedded therein a finely divided particulate polishing agent.

U.S. Patent 5,353,280 (Suhonen et al. ) discloses a dental floss which uses a first coating of a soft polymer on a fiber and a second coating of a hard polymer applied on the first coating. However, Shuonen's configuration does not provide a dental floss with a robust elastomeric behavior.

European Patent Application 0 292 673 A2 discloses an elastic dental floss, such as a rubber band, for cleaning contact points between teeth and interdental spaces, which contains an annular extensible and contractible elastic member. The elastic member is normally stored in a contracted state and brought to an extended state at any

time of cleaning the contact points and the interdental spaces. The elastic member, when in the extended state, has a cross-sectional dimension suited to clean the contact points and the interdental space and elastify sufficiently not to injure teeth, periodontal ligament and tooth gum.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The instant invention is directed to articles of dental hygiene, such as dental floss for example. More particularly, the present invention pertains to a dental hygiene article comprising a fiber having a core of a segmented polymer, the polymer having soft segments and hard segments selected from a group consisting of urethane, amide, imide, and a mixture thereof. Urethane hard segments are, however, highly preferable. In the fiber core of the present invention, the hard and soft segments belong to the same polymer and they are linked chemically by covalent bonds. The core of the fiber has preferably a content of hard segment of 5-40% by weight, while the soft segments are preferably selected from a group consisting of polyester, polyether, and a mixture thereof. The structure of the core of the fiber is preferably selected from a group consisting of primary monofilament , primary multifilament, primary coalesced monofilament, and a combination thereof. The core of the fiber may be uncovered or bare core, core covered with a secondary filament, or a combination thereof. The secondary filament may be a secondary monofilament, secondary multifilament, spun filament, or a combination thereof. The fiber may also comprise abrasive matter included within the fiber, on the surface of the fiber, or a combination thereof. The fiber may also be in the form of a continuous strand, or a strand cut into adequately long pieces for flossing the teeth of a person.

The dental floss strand of the present invention may

comprise an elastomeric fiber, with or without urethane, amide, or imide moieties, having: a denier value in the range of 40 - 4,000, preferably in the range of 200 - 2,500, and more preferably in the range of 800 - 2,400; a tensile strength higher than 0.5 grams per denier; and a break elongation of at least 200%, and preferably of at least 300%; the fiber requiring a stress to elongate selected from the range-group consisting of the range of 0.03 to 0.40 grams per denier in order to develop an elongation of 200%, and the range of 0.07 to 0.60 grams per denier in order to develop an elongation of 300%. The dental floss or strand or fiber of the present invention may be assembled in a dispensing box, in a manner that the fiber is at least partially enclosed in the box for purposes of cleanliness and convenience. The fiber may also be assembled in combination with a dental instrument, so that the fiber is supported by the dental instrument in a manner to facilitate flossing of a person's teeth.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The understanding of the present invention will be enhanced by reference to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings described as follows.

Figure 1 is a schematic diagram illustrating the stress-strain behavior of conventional non-elastic dental floss, a rubber dental floss, and dental floss according to the present invention.

Figure 2 is a schematic diagram illustrating a portion of a core of a dental floss fiber according to one embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 3 is a schematic diagram illustrating a portion of a core of a dental floss fiber according to

another embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 4 is a schematic diagram illustrating a portion of a core of a dental floss fiber covered with a secondary filament according to a different embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 5 is a schematic diagram illustrating a portion of a core of a dental floss fiber covered with two secondary filaments according to another embodiment of the present invention. Figure 6 is a schematic diagram illustrating a portion of a core of a dental floss fiber covered with spun filament according to still another embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 7 is a schematic diagram of dental floss supported on a dental instrument according to an alternate embodiment of this invention.

Figure 8 is a schematic diagram illustrating one aspect of the operation of the floss of the present invention. Figure 9 is a schematic diagram illustrating a pair of teeth, with upper and lower spacings in between the teeth.

Figure 10 is a schematic diagram illustrating a dispensing box in which the fiber or strand of the present invention is at least partially enclosed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The instant invention is directed to dental hygiene products and more particularly to a dental floss comprising a fiber having a core of a segmented polymer, the polymer having soft segments and hard urethane segments. This polymer configuration results in a fiber of very robust structure suitable for dental floss, as Applicant has discovered. As discussed previously, the conventional strand of dental floss, which inherently has a constant diameter, cannot perform the cleaning act effectively. For some

regions of the spacing to be cleaned between one tooth and another tooth adjacent to it, the diameter of the presently used dental floss may be suitable, but in some other regions may be too small, and still for other regions may be too large. The spacing between teeth is not uniform, and it varies considerably not only from one place to another within the same pair of teeth, but also from one pair of teeth to another pair of teeth, which makes the problem even more severe. As it has also been aforementioned, many attempts have been made in vein to correct this problem, especially by using elastic or elastomeric strands in a variety of configurations. The motive behind most of these unsuccessful attempts has been to introduce a strand of variable diameter in order to accommodate and clean the spacings of different dimensions in between teeth. Thus, elastic strands were proposed, among other types of strands, since upon stretching the diameter of an elastic strand decreases as the stretched length increases. One of the biggest problems that was created by the use of elastic strands of conventional type as dental floss, was the weakness of the proposed floss resulting in premature failure and in not performing the function which it was supposed to perform. Natural rubber, as well as artificial rubbers, are weak in the very small diameters which are necessary in the case of dental floss. Thus, although the diameter of a rubbery or elastic or elastomeric material is variable with stretching, the low tensile strength and the excessively high elongation observed with relatively little force, make these dental flosses, which are based on conventional elastic strands, impractical.

Applicant has now discovered that there is one type of elastomeric material , called robust elastomer for the purposes of the present invention, which does not have these pitfalls, and it may be used in the construction of practically effective and efficient dental floss.

The robust elastomer of this invention, as will be

explained in detail hereinbelow, is a polymer having soft segments, preferably of polyester or polyether, and hard segments of urethane, or amide, or imide, or a mixture thereof. In this invention, the hard and soft segments belong to the same polymer and are linked chemically by covalent bonds. The content in hard segments is preferably in the range of 5-40% by weight of the total polymer, and more preferably in the range of 15-25% by weight of the total polymer. The content of the soft segment is preferably in the range of 60-95% by weight of the total polymer, and more preferably in the range of 75-85% by weight of the total polymer. Examples of such polymers are polymers having the generic name "spandex". A review of spandex elastomeric fibers is given by L. Rose in the Reprints, Progress in Applied Chemistry (London) , Vol. 51, p. 609, 1966. Meredith and Fyfe in Text . Inst . Ind . , Vol. 2, p. 154, 1964, and Bamford in Text . Inst . Ind. , Vol. 55, p. 73, 1965, discuss the structural aspects of spandex, and give suggestions about its elastomeric properties. The soft segments in the case of spandex, which are preferably polyethers, polyesters, or a combination thereof, have preferably low internal cohesion, and they are analogous to the hydrocarbon chains in the case of natural rubber. The hard segments of preferably aromatic polyurea are linked occasionally to the soft segments through urethane bonds, and these bonds are analogous to the covalent sulfide bonds of vulcanized rubber. U.S. Patents 2,692,873, 2,751,363, 2,751,419, 3,061,574, 3,071,557, 3,133,036, and 3,149,998, British Patents 934,519 and 1,040,055, as well as Canadian Patent 692,058, give examples of making spandex compositions and fibers. An example of a series of commercial products, which are suitable for the practice of this invention, and which come under the registered name LYCRA ® synthetic fiber, are available from DuPont, Wilmington, Delaware. The structure and properties of LYCRA ® are briefly discussed by Hicks in the American Dyestuff Reporter, pp.

33-35, January 7, 1963. A number of bulletins describing different aspects of LYCRA ® are also available from DuPont.

Important properties of LYCRA ® or other spandex fibers include, but are not limited to: outstanding tensile strength as compared to natural or other synthetic rubbers or elastomeric materials; diameter decreases with stretch; percent decrease in diameter related to the degree of stretch; returns to original diameter with release of stretch; diameter not increased with wetting; water acts as lubricant; durable over time without loss of properties; excellent cut-resistance; and inexpensive. The advantages of LYCRA ® or other spandex fibers as a dental floss include, but are not limited to: Easy and safe to use, i.e., the variable diameter with stretch enables use in variable teeth spacing; because of its good tensile strength, it does not break easily, as compared to rubber dental flosses as referenced above, which are prone to break easily and injure the gums of the dental floss user; in contrast to rubber floss, it does not become brittle with time, thus avoiding premature breaking due to aging and gum injury during flossing; once wrapped around the index finger for use, the stretch release anchors the spandex fiber with less chance of slipping, when compared to regular floss; and considerably more comfortable to the gums. Its wet smooth surface avoids gum injury. It is hypo-allergenic, and it does not have the tackiness, stickiness and unpleasant odor of rubber. It is inexpensive. It is believed to be in general more conducive to widespread flossing as compared to flossing with either non-elastic or rubber made dental floss. In contrast to rubber, it does not become brittle with time, so it may be stored for indefinite periods of time. It is readily available in a variety of deniers to accommodate various interdental spacings.

Referring now to Figure 1, there is depicted a schematic diagram, in arbitrary stress units, illustrating

the behavior of a spandex fiber as compared to the behavior of natural rubber, and of a conventional non- elastic fiber, with regard to strain vs. stress. A strand or fiber made out of natural rubber follows the path 2a during a stretching period (as the stress is being increased) , while it follows the path of curve 2b during a release period (as the stress is being decreased). In the same manner, a LYCRA ® fiber follows the path la during a stretching period, while it follows the path of curve lb during a release period. A non-elastic fiber, such as Nylon for example, follows the path of curve 3. In the case of the non-elastic fiber, the curves followed by stretching and releasing are too close to each other to be shown in Figure 1, so that they are represented by the single curve 3. A stress decay 4 in the case of LYCRA ® is observed at an elongation of 300%, while a set value of 5 is observed at the beginning of stretching. One may realize immediately the large difference shown in the stress-strain behavior of the three classes of fibers. The non-elastic fiber, following the path of curve 3, is too rigid to serve the purposes of the present invention. At the other end, the rubber fiber, following the path of curves 2a and 2b is too sluggish, and therefore, also unsuitable for the purposes of this invention. Finally, the spandex fiber following the path of curves la and 1 b, is robust enough to serve the purposes of this invention. As shown in Figure 1, the spandex fiber is adequately elastic to reversibly stretch when subjected to a stress, but the stress required for further stretching increases considerably with elongations in the range of 200 to 400%. This, combined with the rather high tensile strength as compared to other elastomers, gives the spandex fiber the robust behavior needed for its use as dental floss according to this invention. In the context of the present invention, other than spandex-type elastomeric fibers may also be used as long as among other requirements, such as for example denier

value, texture, smoothness and the like, they fulfill three very important criteria. The first is for the fiber to have a tensile strength of more than 0.5 grams per denier, preferably more than 0.65 grams per denier, and even more preferably more than 0.75 grams per denier. The second is for the fiber to require a stress of either in the range of 0.03 to 0.40 grams per denier, more preferably in the range of 0.04 to 0.25 grams per denier, and even more preferably in the range of 0.04 to 0.20 grams per denier in order to develop an elongation of 200%; or in the range of 0.07 to 0.60 grams per denier, more preferably in the range of 0.08 to 0.50 grams per denier, and even more preferably in the range of 0.09 to 0.30 grams per denier in order to develop an elongation of 300%. The third is for the fiber to have a break elongation of at least 200%, and more preferably at least 300%; that is the fiber not to break before it elongates at least to that degree.

In addition to the above three criteria, the fiber should preferably be stable with age. Preferably, the fiber should not lose more than 20% of its original tensile strength in one year, and more preferably it should lose not more than 10% per year. The preferable denier value of the spandex, such as LYCRA ® for example, or other elastomeric fiber according to this invention should be in the range of 40 to 4,000, more preferably in the range of 200 to 2,500, and even more preferably in the range of 800 to 2,400.

As discussed above, a dental hygiene article, which may be in the form of dental floss, comprises a fiber having a core of a segmented polymer, which polymer has soft segments and hard segments selected from the group consisting of urethane, amide, imide, and a mixture thereof. Preferably the content of the polymer in hard segments should be in the range of 5-40% by weight, with the rest being polyether or polyester or a mixture of polyether and polyester segments. The terms "urethane",

"amide", "imide", include of course "polyurethane", "polyamide", and "polyimide". Similarly, the terms "polyether", and "polyester" include monoether and onoester moieties. It is important that the different segments are bound together with chemical bonds in the polymer.

The core of the fiber which is comprised in the dental hygiene article, which item may be dental floss, may be a primary monofilament as better shown in Figure 2. Figure 2 shows schematically just a portion of a primary monofilament for purposes of clarity. The primary monofilament 10 may have a round cross-section as shown in Figure 2, which constitutes the preferable configuration. However, the cross section may have any other shape, such as for example square, rectangular, polygonal, irregular, and the like. The diameter of the primary monofilament may also be variable.

The core of the fiber may also be in the form of primary multifilament 110, as better shown in Figure 3, comprising a multiplicity of monofilaments 112. The monofila ents 112 may be woven together, twisted, and in general formed in any conventional manner that fibers are manufactured. Further, the monofilaments 112 may be coalesced into one primary coalesced monofilament, somewhat similar to the primary multifilament 110, with the difference that the monofilaments 112 have been fused together to a desired degree, at least at the contact regions of the monofilaments, to form the unitary primary coalesced monofilament. The core may be bare or covered partially or totally with a secondary monofilament or polyfilament. The core 210 may be covered by a single secondary mono- or multi- filament 214, as better shown in Figure 4. It may also be covered by more than one secondary mono- or multifilament. In Figure 5, the core 310 is covered by two secondary mono- or multi-filaments 314 and 316, which are twisted in opposite helical directions, in the case of Figure 5. In

addition, the core 410, as better shown in Figure 6, may be covered by a secondary spun filament 414.

The secondary filaments may be any conventional fibers, elastomeric or non-elastic. Examples include, but are not limited to, nylon, acrylic, acetate, cotton, wool, polyester, LYCRA ® , other natural or synthetic fibers, and the like.

The dental floss fiber of the present invention may comprise abrasive matter for better cleaning of the teeth. The abrasive matter may be incorporated into any part of the body of the fiber, such as for example the primary or secondary filaments or both. It may also be incorporated on the surface of any or all the primary or secondary filaments, by any well known to the art techniques. In the case of the core 410 surrounded by spun filament 414, as shown in Figure 6, the abrasive matter may be trapped within the fibrils of spun filament 414. When the abrasive matter is incorporated in the body of the filaments, and especially filaments of the core, care should be taken not to overfill the filament with abrasive matter to the point that it loses its strength and elasticity. Any conventional polishing matter, used for example for polishing teeth, may be employed as an abrasive matter for the purposes of the present invention. This includes, but is not limited to appropriate oxides, such as aluminum oxide and silicon dioxide for example, silicates, carbonates, phosphates, and the like. Preferable materials are pumice, talc, calcium silicate, calcium carbonate, and zirconium oxide. The average particle size is preferably lower than 50 micrometers, and more preferably in the range of 1 to 15 micrometers. The abrasive or polishing matter may be incorporated to the surface of one or more primary or secondary filaments by coating such filaments with a matrix containing the polishing matter, by well known to the art methods. Such matrices include but are not limited to waxes, polyethylene, polybutadiene, elastomers, acrylic or

methacrylic based polymers, polyurethanes, and the like. U.S. Patent 3,838,702, describes miscellaneous polishing agents, matrices containing such agents for coating dental floss, and methods of applying the matrices on dental floss.

The dental floss of the instant invention may also comprise ingredients which increase the resistance of teeth to dental caries. For example, U.S. Patents 2,667,443, 2,772,205, and 5,280,796, describe such ingredients and methods of applying them on dental floss. The floss of this invention may be in the form of a continuous strand or in pieces of a desired length. The floss should preferably be maintained in a box, where it should be at least partially enclosed. Such boxes containing dental floss are very well known to the art, and they usually have means for the user to cut a continuous strand to any desired length.

In a different embodiment, shown in Figure 7, the dental floss 518 of this invention is assembled in a dental instrument 520 for better handling and easier

of

3,236,247, 5,010,906, 5,267,579, and 5,280,797. It should be understood that any combination of the above configurations may be used to form the dental floss fiber or strand of the present invention.

In operation of the embodiments of the present invention, better shown in Figure 8, the user of the dental floss, stretches the fiber 618 to a desired degree and forces it through two adjacent teeth 622 and 624, having a spacing 626 to be cleaned. In sequence, the user reciprocates the floss of this invention back and forth.

During this movement, for example in the direction indicated by the arrow A, the front part 628 of the floss is stretched and develops a small diameter, easily passing through the spacing 626. The back part 630 of the floss or

fiber 618 maintains at least the original unstretched diameter and as it passes through the spacing 626, it cleans it thoroughly. When the floss 618 is forced to move in a direction opposite to the one indicated by the arrow A, the former front part 628 becomes now a back part, maintaining at least the unstretched diameter, thus continuing to clean thoroughly the spacing 626 from the other side. After thorough cleaning has been achieved, the user removes the floss 618 from the spacing in between teeth 622 and 624, in order to clean a spacing of another pair of teeth.

It should be pointed out that, as better shown in Figure 9, since the dental floss of the present invention has variable diameter, it can pass easily through the upper spacing 734 between teeth 722 and 724, and still have adequately large diameter to clean the lower spacing 726 close to the gum 732, as described hereinabove. The well controlled stretchability combined with high tensile strength, among other attributes, as discussed hereinabove, make fibers having the behavior of spandex, outstanding material for use as dental floss. Non-elastic fibers in order to pass through the upper spacing 734, have to have an accordingly small diameter, and therefore they cannot clean the lower spacing 726 thoroughly. Dental flosses made of rubber or other elastomers referred to in the art so far, present excessive stretchability with unacceptably low tensile strength to serve the purposes of the present invention. They break easily with potential injury of the user, and they also present all the disadvantages, already discussed.

As shown in Figure 10, the floss 810 of this invention should preferably be at least partially enclosed in a box 850. Such boxes containing dental floss are very well known to the art, and they usually have means for the user to cut a continuous strand to any desired length. A number of different available dental floss versions, have been tested and compared with LYCRA ® as

dental floss, using a rating of 0 to 10, 0 being the worst overall and 10 the best overall, with the following results:

Brand 1. plain or minted

Rating: 5-6 - Rigid, poor for tight spaces, difficult to get between teeth or to remove, has a thick and thin end; above applies to both ends; mint flavor tastes good.

Brand 2. nylon waxed. multiple strands Rating: 7-8 - $ .99 per 100 yards; difficult to insert between tight teeth and to remove; strands break.

Brand 3. unwaxed, multiple strands

Rating: 5-6 - $1.19 per 50 yards; difficult to use between tight teeth; nicely packed. Brand 4, extra fine.unwaxed multiple strands

Rating: 7-8 - $1 .1 9 per 50 yards; not much thinner than no. 3 above; strands break easily; difficult to use between tight teeth.

Brand 5. waxed,multiple strands ,probably nylon Rating: 8-8.5 - $3.25 per 200 yds; difficult to use between tight teeth; strands break.

Brand 6. unwaxed. multiple strands . probably nylon

Rating: 5-6 - $2.49 per 50 cuts; thin and thick ends; thin end difficult to insert between tight teeth; thick end surface is frayed.

Brand 7 , unwaxed. multiple strands

Rating: 5-6 - Difficult to insert between tight teeth; strands break easily.

All of the above non-elasto eric floss-products were difficult to anchor around the finger.

LYCRA ® Synthetic Fiber 1: Denier 2240

Rating: 9 - Thick, strong, excellent for spaced teeth; too thick for most of my teeth. 2: Denier 1680 Rating: 9-10 - Excellent, easy to use, strong; slightly

tight with close teeth but with additional stretch inserts and removes with little effort. 3: Denier 840

Rating: 10 - Excellent strength, easy to insert and remove; best for my teeth. 4: Denier 280

Rating: 8-9 - Very thin, breaks easily; good for tight teeth spacing, but it breaks some times in use.

The above examples have been given for demonstration purposes only and should not be construed as limiting the scope of the present invention. Also, the embodiments described hereinabove have only been given to better clarify the present invention, and they should not be taken in a manner limiting the breadth of the claimed matter. The different aspects of the present invention, exemplified by the various aforegiven embodiments, may be used as described, but also after any modifications or in any combination resulting thereof. In the figures of the drawings, as well as in the description of the present invention, numbers differing by 100 intervals represent similar elements having similar functions.