Does Dental Floss Contain Plastic?
This question came about when I was researching whether there were alternatives to buying dental floss in plastic containers. I didn’t assume there would be plastic in the floss itself. But I guess I’m not surprised.
So the answer to the question about whether dental floss contains plastic is yes, unfortunately. In some cases, it can contain PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) which can also be found in household items like cookware and clothing. These potentially harmful materials can be found in the floss itself, as well as some of the flavouring used to make the floss seem “fresher”. Yum.
So irritating. You think you’re doing a good thing by taking care of your body. And then you find out you’re shoving plastic particles into your gums.
Of course, not all dental flosses are made equal. These days, there are far more natural, healthier alternatives. For example, you can order plastic-free floss from Etee, among other online zero-waste shops.
A wonderful post by the very inspiring Beth Terry outlines a series of plastic-free floss alternatives in this post from 2010.
Despite all the existing alternatives, people still buy floss made of plastic, flavoured with plastic, that comes in plastic cases, packaged in plastic. Myself included. Until now. I pledge after writing this article that I will no longer purchase this type of floss. If my dentist offers it, I will refuse. I’ll also ask them if they’ve ever considered being a member of the Eco-Dentistry Association which I didn’t even know was a thing until writing this post.
And even though I realize only one family refusing to buy plastic dental floss doesn’t make that much of a difference, I’m hoping that raising awareness with you all about the alternatives will make a bigger impact.
As usual, things that are good for your body are also good for the planet. Funny how that works.