Dental floss may prevent toothaches, but it is giving jailers plenty of headaches.
When a group of New York prisoners led by Santiago Gomez sued last month to get access to dental floss, officials said they had to consider the security issues.
They believe a Texas prisoner once used floss to cut his way out of his cell so he could kill a fellow inmate.
Ropes made of braided floss have been used in escapes or escape attempts in Maryland, Illinois, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
One inmate used floss to stitch together the dummy he left in his bed. Others used it to sew up their gunshot wounds after they escaped.
In New York, the state prison system permits floss, but only the unwaxed variety. A spokesman says waxed floss is much stronger.