Safer Kind of Floss: Making the Switch
Most floss is made from nylon, a petroleum-based product coated with Teflon synthetic resin – similar to nonstick cookware material – called PTFE (a.k.a. polytetrafluoroethylene). Both are known to be carcinogenic and attribute to cancer, arthritis, altered immune responses, and thyroid/hormone imbalances.
When I first heard this, I thought “how can floss cause this many issues” … here’s the short version; floss with PTFE leaves chemical traces in the mouth that are inevitably swallowed or absorbed into the bloodstream through the thin mucosa lining of the mouth. This raises concern for those of us who diligently floss once or twice a day, year-round.
Going a step further. When you throw away floss, like disposable dental flossers, containing PTFE, this toxin goes into the environment through landfills and waterways. Basically, if you use conventional waxed floss, it is likely coated with synthetic, petroleum-based wax.
Lessen your toxic load by switching to floss with no PTFE Teflon:
- Tom’s of Maine spearmint floss
- Desert Essence tea tree oil waxed floss
- Eco-Dent dental care floss
- Radius cranberry vegan xylitol floss
I was hesitant to try any version of healthy floss. I grew up with a fanatic of a mother who insisted we use natural floss and I detested the feel of how thick that floss was in-between my teeth; like someone scratching a nail down the chalkboard. It was also fennel flavor which I was not a fan. By high school I liked Johnson & Johnson best as that is what my father kept hidden in his drawer and later I used Oral-B Glide.
Recently, I started hearing once again how PTFE floss harms. Since I had thus far stuck to conventional floss, I found myself resisting change, yet in time the voice of my inner nutritionist (+ my health-conscious colleagues) overcame my stubborn streak and I did the research (links below) and made the switch for my health and the environment.
Here is the natural floss I ended up going with.
I like cranberry floss best. Though natural, this one has a smooth feel in-between my teeth with classy ingredients like organic silk spun in beeswax coated in cranberry essence. Good as sounds and feels good too! No weird feeling or overly sweet taste like other xylitol-based floss. This one glides in ‘n out of tight spaces and the only comment I’ll leave with is it falls apart more than I like, yet tends to be towards the end so not a big deal.
The best part about the safer kinds of floss above are they are also safe for the environment as they are biodegradable.
Happy flossing 🙂
May all bellies be happy!