Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Dental Floss is Irish

Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland - Home of my dental floss.


The other day I was flossing my teeth. A bit personal, yes, but I have a point. As I placed the floss back in my medicine cabinet, the bottom of the container caught my eye: Made in Ireland. Really? Who knew? I was intrigued to say the least.

Now, most people might not care, but I do. I often wonder where things are made and more importantly WHO makes all of these items we use. WHO in Ireland is making my dental floss? Who makes the umbrellas that go in fruity drinks? Who makes the staples in the stapler? Or paperclips? Or the soap we use? EVERYTHING we use is made by someone. And, I hope this someone gets treated with respect and makes a living wage....that's a whole other post.


There are people who get up in the morning, shower, dress, eat, kiss their loved ones and head out to the dental floss factory. They call out a "see you tonight" and drive off to make rubber bands all day. The carpool picks them up and heads to the factory to assemble shoe laces until the 5 o'clock whistle. These things fascinate me. Every time I use a simple product I think: SOMEONE has made this. SOMEONE makes their living from making this.


So, I did a little research and came upon an entry titled: Dental Floss: Trends and Prospects in International Trade Is Essential Reading for Relevant Strategic Planners, Senior Company Officials and Importers/Exporters. The report examines international trade and worldwide market trends for dental floss. Dental Floss is apparently serious business.


But WHO is making the floss? Oral-B Laboratories Ireland, Ltd. THAT'S who. Located in Newbridge, County Kildare to be specific. A town 40 km from Dublin that dates back to the 12th century. They have a strong industrial background in making rope and carpet. So there you go. THAT'S a bit about who is making my dental floss.





22 comments:

Shannon said...

OMG. If I ever get to Ireland, I will go to the factory and take a picture to send to you.

Anonymous said...

You should come up here to Wenatchee, WA during cherry season & get a tour of the orchards while they're picking then get a tour of the packing plant while they're packing them. We don't make the cherries, but it's still really interesting.

Krista said...

Oh my goodness! I should've had dental floss from Ireland out at the Irish party! :) You can bring it as your dish next year.

Anonymous said...

I noticed the "Made in Ireland", too. The last thing I had that said that was a cable knit sweater. It made me wonder so much that I did a search and found your posting, which I enjoyed a lot because I also think about these things a lot.

Oh, and good job on the flossing...it's supposed to be a really healthy practice.

Roland Deschain said...

Hi there, I just noticed the second time that the dental floss I bought was made in ireland and I googled "dental floss ireland" the 2nd result was your site (and the 1st one was an ad). Thank you for investigating in this issue before me. If I get any more info, I'll let you know. Keep up the good work..

Anonymous said...

Hi! I had also noticed "made in Ireland" stamped on the bottom of my floss. I googled it, as well. Thank you for answering my question. I, too, wonder about these things. Thanks for making the world a little smaller :)

The Good Twin said...

OK, I love that this post has gotten some many comments. (so many beging 6, but hey I'm not picky)
The Irish party is coming up...I know what my contribution will be. :-)

John said...

haha, I noticed this on my floss about a year ago and finally got around to trying to find the factory online. Just so you know, if anyone searches "dental floss factory ireland" on Google, you're the first hit! Happy St. Patrick's Day :)

Nick - O said...

A glance at my floss and a google search landed me here as well. Very cool article. I too am fascinated by people who make these things. Similarly I am also often struck by the realization that there are factories out there cranking out these mundane things 24/7. That's a lot of little paper umbrellas.

Anonymous said...

Yup - here in NY I just googled dental floss made in Ireland and your blog came up. I found it odd when I saw it on the bottom of the container. Hey, it's June 2011 and people are still finding your post!

Aurea Robillard said...

I'm just as surprised as you! I never knew they also export dental flosses for our use! You know, I also asked myself that question too. I always wonder which country makes which product.

sillionshine said...

A very enjoyable read. I too had noticed the Irish connection with my dental floss, and Google led me here. I blogged about it too, and quoted you. I love the idea of this factory, a little slice of Ireland improving oral hygiene all around the world.

Christian said...

I actually saw the "made in Ireland" Oral-B floss sold in Singapore last year too :)

Anonymous said...

Well, here it is November 2012 and I just noticed the "made in Ireland" stamp on my Oral B dental floss and 'lo and behold if this blog isn't the first hit on Google! Loved the story, loved the comments! Ireland seemed like such an obscure location to be manufacturing dental floss, the last time I saw anything "made in Ireland" was my bottle of Irish whiskey! Go green!

Anonymous said...

Yes! This blog is still the definitive on the randomness of dental floss bring manufactured in Ireland.
Crazy.
I love flossing with my Irish dental products :)

Anonymous said...

This... This is why I love The Internet. For a while I have been wondering why Ireland and today I went to get a new pack and its still there,reassuringly in all its dot matrix printed glory, MADE IN IRELAND. You understand how liberating it is to scratch a mental itch. Thank you. Keep learning and keep informing.

Anonymous said...

complete agree with the last person's comment. someone in '09 wrote about a question I myself became to wonder about four years later.

Anonymous said...

Happy Festivus all! I just grabbed the floss, saw "Made in Ireland" and thought, "what the...?". Thanks for the info! Makes perfect sense. But don't the Chinese make rope, too? ;0)

Atlanta

Sue Bauman said...

I love how everything that ever on the internet is still on the internet. I too saw the 'made in Ireland' stamp on my much-loved Oral B dental floss and wondered how the Irish came to be the makers of such fine floss. Never looked it up until now. I was having a very difficult time trying to find my favorite floss in Southern California, for a couple months in 2014. Finally, I found some and when I got it home and began using it, I noticed that each night the floss smelled like fire. Today, finally, I got around to Googling 'Oral B dental floss smells like fire' and one of the items was your fascinating post. I didn't find out how my floss came to be smelling like a fire, but I did get to read your article and all the nice comments. Thank you for posting your thoughts for all to see and enjoy.

jonathan kernaghan said...

Hey this is awesome, I am from Ireland and live in Canada, i was so proud to see on my dental floss, Made in Ireland. Every time i brush my teeth I get a reminder of home, I loved your post, welcome to Ireland when you visit, céad míle fáilte, the traditional Irish greeting to the Emerald Isle, meaning One hundred thousand welcomes, Ireland is renowned for its world famous hospitality as mentioned by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh when they made a state visit to the Republic of Ireland from 17 May to 20 May 2011, at the invitation of the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese.

Valerie O'Neil said...

LOL I just noticed tonight mine said made in Ireland. Googled it and this popped up!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I bought Oral B Dental Floss for the second time and was surprised to see "Made in Ireland" printed up the side of the plastic dispenser.

As I come from Ireland, but live and work near Berlin, I was really excited to find a product in Germany which was produced in my "Heimland". Being curious about where exactly in Ireland (I thought it could be close to where I was born and grew up) I googled "Where is Oral B dental floss manufactured in Ireland? Your Blog featured second, after a Wikipedia entry.

I didn't open the Wikipedia entry but went for yours. Although the factory is not near my hometown (as I come from the north of the island) I am still really exited that the dental floss I use in Germany comes from our small island!