There's a new floss - Knotty-floss - which has knots at 1 inch intervals.
It costs about 50 cents per piece and comes individually wrapped for use once a day.
Looking at the web site, Elizabeth Martens, the dental hygienist who created the product, makes some good points.
Here are two of the most important:
1. For some people having knots in the floss will stop them from sawing and encourage them to use an up and down motion when flossing.
2. When teeth have some space between them a knot can be a useful way to dislodge food that a smooth piece of floss can miss. (See our recent blog entry from Relieved Reader.)
Those are good points that are made on different pages of the web site.
What we wonder about is how some naive user, handed knotty floss, might wind up using it.
Dr. Jay Friedman, a West Coast Dentist and Educator, tells this story in his excellent book*:
“...there was a young man who never had a cavity. His gums were healthy, but the tissue between the teeth was “punched out.” He had been advised to use dental floss. Figuring if a little floss was good, a lot was better, he tied knots in the string and pulled them through the teeth, destroying the interdental papilla, the triangular-shaped gum tissue that normally fills the space between teeth. On cessation of this destructive flossing, the gum tissue gradually grew back to its normal shape.” (excerpt from Chapter 7)
Knotty-floss may prove useful for some flossers, but not everyone needs knots!
The website doesn't show the actual floss or what instructions come with the product.
Without those details, we can only hope that the manufacturer does include some brief instructions with their knotty-floss to assure that it is less likely to be misused.
If you have any experience with knotty-floss, please leave a comment!