flossing is too important to skip—and safe dental floss can make you feel even better about your habit. in this article, discover what toxic ingredient may be hiding in your floss, which floss is bad for the planet, and what to try instead.
It might be a question you’ve never considered, but are you using safe dental floss?
Flossing your teeth is a key component to excellent dental health. But you may be surprised to know what some manufacturers use to make this important dental necessity more marketable.
Is dental floss toxic? Some types of floss are made with toxic chemicals like Teflon. I’m also concerned about the impact of nylon on the environment, though I don’t see it as a toxin in the same way as Teflon.
I want to tell you about the ways toxic floss is made and provide a few alternatives for safe dental floss for your entire family.
Let’s take a look.
Toxic Ingredients in Dental Floss
Yes, you are reading that word right: Teflon.
One of the ingredients used to make waxed floss is the same chemical group as the coating on many brands of non-stick pans.
Granted, you aren’t likely to swallow floss or ingest large amounts of Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). But PTFE and PFOA (a related chemical) have been linked to adverse health conditions such as thyroid disease.
This is important because the most dangerous ways you may be exposed to Teflon are food and floss. Even tiny particles making it into your system are likely to cause serious issues.
Teflon exposure has been linked to:
Autoimmune disease (2)
Neurotoxicity and Alzheimer’s disease (3, 4)
Before you feel overwhelmed by this information, let me encourage you: there are some quality alternatives to the popular brands we are used to seeing. I will recommend some of my favorites later in this post.
One of my personal favorites used to be Glide Pro-Health floss by Oral B. Once I discovered it was coated with Teflon, though, I quickly began looking for a healthier option.
See my top 3 options in the “Safe Dental Floss to Try” section below.
Not only is nylon floss made from petroleum, the wax on most conventional floss is also petroleum.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) gives petrolatum, or petroleum, a rating of 4/10 when used in personal care items.
I should start by saying that there isn’t much research at all when it comes to petroleum in floss.
What I can tell you is that topical petroleum seems to carry some risks.
The EWG estimates that 22% of personal care products that contain petroleum-based substances are contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and up to two dozen other toxins. (5) 1,4-dioxane is carcinogenic to animals when inhaled regularly. (6)
Using petroleum products with infants resulted in an increased chance for candidiasis, according to one study. (7) This is especially important because candidiasis of the mouth, called oral thrush, is a common problem for children.
Finally, petroleum products may behave as endocrine disruptors. (8)…