eco friendly floss

Eco-friendly living means thinking about all of the products you buy and how they affect the environment. Some of the worst offenders are the products we use every day such as toothpaste, deodorant, and not forgetting dental floss.

Here are the best eco friendly dental floss products you should swap with your regular old supermarket floss.

Top 8 eco friendly floss products to look out for

These sustainable and ethical dental floss, tape, and floss picks will let you look after your oral health and the environment at the same time.

1. Radius Green Tea Jasmine Silk Floss

Radius Green Tea Jasmine Eco Friendly Floss

This dental floss comes in 100% plastic-free cardboard packaging that is also recyclable. It is also shipped in packaging that is both recycled and recyclable.

Made from silk, the floss is free from BPA, phthalates, and parabens. Instead, it is coated in organic carnauba wax, with coconut oil and erythritol to remove plaque and avoid cavities.

What we like:

  • Promotes better dental health – contains coconut oil and erythritol for cavity reduction and plaque removal.
  • Natural carnauba wax – helps the floss to glide through your teeth without harmful chemicals.

What we don’t like:

  • Contains xylitol – this common sweetener is safe for humans but toxic for dogs, so make sure you keep it away from your pets.

This natural silk floss comes in plastic-free, recyclable cardboard packaging to help you protect your dental health and the planet at the same time!

2. EcoFox Bamboo Charcoal Floss

EcoFox floss is biodegradable and comes in a refillable glass holder for zero waste! Designed for people with sensitive gums, the floss is soft and non-abrasive.

Made from natural ingredients, the floss is waxed with candelilla and flavored with refreshing mint essential oil.

What we like:

  • Sustainable packaging – along with the reusable glass container, the outer packaging is made from paper with biodegradable soybean ink.
  • Mint taste – the floss is flavored with natural mint oil for a refreshing taste.

What we don’t like:

  • Fragile – according to some online reviewers, the floss tears and shreds easily.

Sensitive teeth and gums will love this minty, non-abrasive dental floss in a zero-waste glass container.

3. Georganics Vegan Compostable Floss

Georganics Vegan Compostable Floss

This Georganics floss is fully compostable, as well as coming in a reusable glass container that you can fill up with their refills.

The floss is made from activated charcoal, vegetable waxes, and essential oils, so not only is it compostable, but it will help to freshen your breath and promote healthy teeth and gums.

What we like:

  • Corn-based – the floss is made from plant materials and completely vegan.
  • Compostable – the corn fibers are coated in vegetable waxes and essential oils, so the floss is 100% biodegradable.

What we don’t like:

  • Won’t fit old containers – Georganics recently changed their reusable containers, so new refills won’t fit the previous refillable containers.

Made from corn-based plant materials, you won’t need to worry about this biodegradable floss clogging up landfill – or worse! As an extra bonus, it is made from activated charcoal to promote your dental and digestive health.

4. Happy Eco Natural Floss Picks

If you prefer to use a floss pick to clean between the teeth, Happy Eco has a sustainable choice. The floss picks are primarily cornstarch and come in a recyclable, paper package.

Although fully biodegradable, the floss is strong enough to clean between your teeth without shredding.

What we like:

  • Sustainable and ethical – the floss picks are cruelty-free, vegan, and free from chemicals.
  • Double thread ­– for a more thorough clean.

What we don’t like:

  • Very sharp point – some online reviewers say the pick is extremely sharp, and could be a hazard.

These floss picks are a sustainable alternative to dental floss, being made from compostable corn starch.

5. Humble Co. Dental Floss

Humble Co. Dental Floss

Humble Co. floss is a good option if you only want to use nylon floss, but want to minimize your impact on the environment as much as possible. This floss is made from non-toxic nylon that doesn’t contain BPA, and comes in a cardboard container.

The container is not only recyclable, but is also made from recycled content, and ships in packaging that is also both recycled and recyclable.

What we like:

  • Non-toxic wax – the floss is coated in candelilla wax that is BPA-free and won’t harm your health.
  • Gives back – Humble Co. support the Humble Smile Foundation that works to improve oral health for disadvantaged people world wide.

What we don’t like:

  • Nylon floss – although the coating and packaging is eco-friendly, the floss itself is non-biodegradable nylon.

Humble Co. is about as eco-friendly as nylon floss gets, being coated in natural candelilla wax and comes in recycled and recyclable packaging.

6. TreeBird Silk Eco Floss

This silk dental floss from TreeBird is completely biodegradable, made from natural silk, plant-based candelilla wax, and mint essential oils.

The pack comes with three spools of floss and a reusable steel dispenser. When you run out, refills are available online.

What we like:

  • Reusable container – meaning no waste.
  • Natural ingredients – the floss is made from all-natural, non-toxic ingredients.

What we don’t like:

  • Not vegan – being made from silk, this product uses animal products.

7. Doctors Dental Floss

One of the biggest issues with floss made from natural materials is that it can break or shred under too much force. This product seeks to address this issue, being designed for people with tight teeth, made from nylon lightly coated in wax to glide through snug gaps.

The floss comes in a zero-waste, reusable and recyclable tin container.

What we like:

  • Strong – this floss is designed to get in tight gaps, so won’t break or shred when you use it.
  • Bulk volume – the refillable pack comes with 110 yards of floss.

What we don’t like:

  • Non-compostable – although it comes in a zero-waste container, the floss itself is nylon.

Another sustainable nylon floss option, you can reuse the recyclable container repeatedly, cutting down on waste.

8. CareDent Floss in a Box Dental Tape

Rather than a floss, this is a vegan dental tape in a flat shape designed to glide easily between your teeth and not shred. Made from biodegradable silk, it comes in a recyclable box and is shipped in recyclable packaging.

The dental floss is also completely unwaxed and unflavored, keeping the product natural and chemical free.

What we like:

  • Dental tape structure – this flat shape glides between teeth and removes plaque without a need for wax.
  • Biodegradable – the tape is 100% compostable and comes in recyclable packaging.

What we don’t like:

  • No flavoring – although a plus for some people, if you’re used to minty-fresh floss this may take some getting used to.

Specially shaped to glide through your teeth without shredding, this biodegradable tape works well without wax, so is completely natural, uncoated, and unflavored.

Eco-friendly dental floss: a buyer’s guide

It can be hard enough to motivate yourself to floss as often as you should, without having to worry about the environmental concerns of using dental floss. We’ve put together this guide to help you keep your oral health in peak condition without harming the planet.

What’s wrong with regular dental floss?

Like many beauty and personal care products, regular dental floss is an environmental nightmare. As with products we use every day, the issue is not only the type of waste that is produced, but also the volume of that waste.

1. Floss creates a lot of plastic waste

If you pay attention to your dentist, you floss your teeth every day, which can add up to create a lot of waste over time. This waste includes the floss itself and the container it comes in, as well any waste produced in the manufacturing process.

dental floss in a plastic case

Regular dental floss almost always comes in a plastic container and these containers are generally not recyclable. A plastic dental floss container takes hundreds of years to decompose and in the meantime, will take up space in landfill, or pollute the planet’s land or waterways.

When you think about the number of floss containers you use every year, and then extend that to your lifetime, it’s a scary thought!

2. Floss is non-biodegradable

However, it is not just the floss containers that are problematic: the floss itself is an eco-nightmare. Regular dental floss is usually made of nylon, a non-biodegradable type of plastic. A piece of nylon floss will take at least 80 years to break down, and can be much longer.

Worse still, small and light pieces of trash such as floss are particularly prone to not making it into landfill and ending up in the ocean instead. We know that plastic waste of any kind is devastating to marine life, and this is particularly true when it comes to dental floss.

Floss is designed to be extremely durable and not tear or break. This characteristic means it can easily suffocate fish and other marine animals or accumulate in their stomachs with disastrous consequences.

3. Floss contains harmful chemicals

If all this wasn’t enough, there are also issues with the wax often used to coat dental floss. Manufacturers include a range of chemicals in the wax, including perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), which help the floss to glide more easily between your teeth.

However, studies have linked PFCs to health problems from liver toxicity to developmental issues and immune system changes.

What to look for in an eco-friendly dental floss

When buying eco-friendly floss, it is important to consider a variety of factors. Not only does it need to be compostable and come in recyclable or reusable packaging, but you should also pay attention to all materials used in their manufacture.

Sustainable dental floss should be compostable

There are two main aspects to look at to ensure that the floss you buy is truly eco-friendly: the dental floss itself, and packaging it comes in.

In terms of the floss, you should look for materials that are compostable, or at the very least recyclable. Floss can be made of materials such as bamboo fiber and silk which are completely biodegradable.

Look for floss that is made from one of these materials or another compostable fiber, and be sure to check that it is not coated in a way that will make it difficult to biodegrade effectively.

Ethical shoppers may also want to look for products that are cruelty-free and vegan. To be strictly vegan, you’ll need to avoid products that contain silk as this is an animal product.

Ensure floss comes in recyclable packages

Of course, there is little benefit to buying sustainable dental floss if it comes in a non-recyclable plastic container. If you want to be greener in your lifestyle, it is important to buy eco-friendly dental floss that comes in a zero-waste container.

eco friendly floss in a glass container

A container cannot be considered zero-waste unless it is recyclable, or better yet, reusable. Excellent examples of sustainable floss containers are cardboard that is made from both recycled and recyclable cardboard (like Radius Green Tea Jasmine Silk Floss, Humble Co. Dental Floss, and CareDent Floss In A Box Dental Tape) or refillable tins or glass containers (products EcoFox Bamboo Charcoal Floss, Georganics Vegan Compostable Floss, TreeBird Silk Eco Floss, and Doctors Dental Floss).

If refills are available, this will also help you to reduce the waste you produce, as you will be able to reuse the container repeatedly.

It is also important to consider other packaging associated with the product: for example, if you buy refills, do these come in a sustainable container?

Avoid toxic materials like PFCs

Along with the sustainability, there are other concerns to consider regarding the materials your floss is made from. After all, this is something that you put in your mouth, so you want to make sure it is safe for your health!

This means checking all ingredients to make sure that they are non-toxic. We’ve already seen that one ingredient commonly found in regular dental floss, PFCs, has been linked to a number of health concerns.

Many eco-friendly floss products are coated in natural candelilla wax instead, to avoid this problem.

It is also important to check that the floss and its coating is free from chemicals such as phthalates, which have been linked to endocrine problems. Look for floss which is made from natural materials and flavored with natural essential oils.

One the positive side, some zero-waste floss contains activated charcoal, which is believed to aid with digestion, lower cholesterol, and improve kidney function.

Key takeaways

Regular dental floss is an eco-nightmare: not only does it come in plastic containers, but the floss itself is non-biodegradable and represents risks to marine life. Regular floss can be hazardous not only to the planet but to our health too, thanks to the toxic ingredients often used in the wax.

By switching to an eco-friendly, zero-waste dental floss product, you’ll be better looking after your oral health, your general health, and the planet too!

If you’d like your friends and family to learn how to live more eco-friendly lifestyles, go ahead and share this article!

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