The origin of Glide (which is what the brand was called prior to the P&G acquisition) dates to 1971, when Bill Gore first used a Gore-Tex fiber to floss his own teeth; Gore-Tex was the PTFE-based fiber he had invented as a "waterproof laminate." The company failed to market the product for more than three decades. Ultimately, it succeeded by marketing to dentists rather than selling the floss as a consumer product. It was widely adopted, and grew to be the #1 brand of floss in dental office use, and #2 floss in retail.
Sale to Procter & Gamble
In September 2003, Gore sold the brand to Procter & Gamble, who at the time announced its intention to brand the product under the Crest product line. The terms of the sale provided that Gore would continue to manufacture and develop the product. In 2010, Procter & Gamble rebranded the product as Oral-B Glide.
Popularity and sales
In 2006, Crest Glide was the second-ranked brand of dental floss in the United States, with sales (in supermarkets and drug stores) of $22 million and a market share of 18.8%, just behind J&J Reach. Environmentalists have recommended non-PTFE brands, discouraging the use of the environmentally unfriendly Teflon, and given the use of Perfluorooctanoic acid, a possible carcinogen, in the making of Teflon.
Oral-B Glide uses PTFE, which is an extremely persistent environmental contaminant and is linked to cancers, hormone disruption, brain and liver problems, and low birth weights.
The Environmental Working Group recommends against using dental floss made with PTFE. The group states that "Exposure to PFCs has been associated with kidney and testicular cancer, high cholesterol, abnormal thyroid hormone levels, pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia, obesity and low birth weight . . . . PFCs pollute water, are persistent in the environment and remain in the body for years. Leading manufacturers of PFCs have agreed to phase out some of these chemicals by the end of 2015, including PFOA, the most notorious, which used to be a key ingredient in making Teflon. Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that the chemicals that have replaced PFOA are much safer."
- Thatchenkery, Tojo; Metzker, Carol (2006). Appreciative intelligence: seeing the mighty oak in the acorn. Berrett-Koehler Publishers. p. 18. ISBN 978-1-57675-353-8.
- Ellison, Sarah (September 17, 2003). "P&G Is to Buy Glide Dental Floss, A Popular Brand". The Wall Street Journal.
- "Procter & Gamble to buy Glide floss business". Reuters. September 17, 2003.
- Lazich, Robert S. (2007). Market Share Reporter 2007: An Annual Compilation of Reported Market Share Data on Companies, Products, and Services. Gale Group. p. 309. ISBN 978-0-7876-9462-3. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
- Vasil, Adria (September 1, 2005). "All things dental Brush, gargle and floss your way to a naturally clean smile". Now. Toronto. Retrieved 20 February 2010.
- Vasial, Adria (2009). Ecoholic: Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products, and Services. New York: Norton. pp. 21–22. ISBN 978-0-393-33428-9.