Dental floss: ecological alternatives – OrniTeam

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Dental floss is one of the most effective hygienic aids for oral health.

Although most people use it just before bedtime, experts recommend using it after the two main meals. This reduces the possibility of formation of bacterial plaque.

In fact, many dentists consider the correct use of dental floss more important than same brushing.

In addition to preventing the decayhelps to maintainfresh breath and prevents gum problems such as periodontal disease, which is a risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.

But we must also consider the other side of the coin: its environmental impacts are worrying.

Why is dental floss bad for the environment?

Dental floss is a real threat to the ecosystem.

Below you can see why.

According to expert estimates, if each of us flossed just once a day, around 2.5 billion packages would go to landfill in a year.

It should be noted that the plastic used in these packs is not reusable, recyclable or biodegradable.

To make matters worse, this material often doesn’t even make it to landfills, as it ends up directly in the oceans, like most disposable plastics.

Dental floss is usually made from nylon or in other plastic filaments. The waxed versions, appreciated for the delicacy with which they exert their action, are coated with a petroleum-based treatment.

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Even nylon is neither recyclable nor biodegradable and has a degradation time in nature similar to that of plastic: around 400 years.

As if that weren’t enough, many people floss in toilets, further compounding its environmental impact and the possibility of killing animals living in ponds.

And dental floss, specially designed not to tear, is a real problem for the oceans: like other plastics, it can suffocate marine animals or enter their stomachs, where it stays for years, causing serious health problems. .

In short: dental floss is not durable at all!

Waxed dental floss and health

The nylon floss is often waxed, to move easily in the interdental spaces.

And this has both advantages and disadvantages.

the waxed dental floss it resists stains and moves more easily between teeth.

It is also available in pleasant flavors, such as mint.

To provide all these benefits, manufacturers use perfluorinated chemicals or PFCs.

PFCs are found in a variety of products, including clothing, tableware and furniture.

The problem is that PFCs have been the subject of many health studies in recent years. Although the science is not yet definitive, PFCs seem to be much more problematic than you might think.

Additionally, general dental floss may also contain traces of toxic chemicals such as PFAS, BPA, and cadmium.

These substances are potentially carcinogenic and can accumulate in the environment for years.

What alternatives to normal dental floss?

There are already several vegan, natural and/or biodegradable products on the market. We recommend that you check the product information to make sure that it actually poses less risk to your health and the environment.

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dental floss

Also check the packaging material and, if possible, opt for plastic-free versions.

Unfortunately, there is still no completely environmentally friendly alternative, but some options may be less harmful.

Silk

Compostable, the silk thread is natural and biodegradable, but not vegan.

Additionally, the harvesting of silk is not always humane. There are also beeswax versions.

Bamboo

Bamboo dental floss is natural, biodegradable and vegan. It is also free of preservatives, gluten, and artificial colors and sweeteners.

Many bamboo threads also contain activated charcoal, which is a trending ingredient in the oral care industry.

Cornstarch

Cornstarch dental floss is another biodegradable vegan alternative that has the same benefits as bamboo.

Metallic packaging

Metal packaging reduces the use of plastic and is fully recyclable, thus avoiding waste.

How to get rid of dental floss?

Do not flush used dental floss down the toilet for any reason.

Whatever material you use, dispose of the product in the regular trash.

One way to reduce the problem of floss disposal is to collect all the used pieces in a container and only throw them away when it’s full.

In this way you prevent the detached fragments from being scattered in the environment, with the risk of damaging animals and plants.

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