Sustainability made simple

Floss Alternatives: 3 Eco-Friendly Swaps

floss alternatives
Foto: CC0 / Unsplash / Oana Cristina

Flossing is an essential part of maintaining dental health, but floss itself is not very eco-friendly. Fortunately, there are many sustainable floss alternatives.

Dental floss is made of waxed nylon and then packaged in a plastic box. As plastics take thousands of years to decompose, it’s always better to avoid them when possible. Plastic nylon floss, especially, poses a risk to the environment because it often ends as plastic pollution in the ocean. This can be dangerous for wildlife creatures if they get caught or tied up in plastic floss. Dental picks are another single-use plastic product that can be dangerous to animals due to their sharp points. 

Traditional dental floss has also been found to have some chemicals which are dangerous for your health. Some companies produce floss with perfuoroalkyl substances, which is a compound which can cause fertility problems, weight gain, and even cancer.

Floss which is made of natural materials and packaged using paper, metal or glass, is much less threatening to the environment. While it may seem like an insignificant change, switching over to eco-friendly floss alternative has an impact over time. It’s a great example of a baby step on the road to living a zero waste lifestyle. Read on for a few sustainable and non-toxic floss alternatives.

1. Silk Floss

Silk provides an excellent floss alternative.
Silk provides an excellent floss alternative.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / songpon)

Silk is a naturally created fiber, and the strength of the thread makes it suitable for flossing. It’s a popular floss alternative as it is biodegradable and plastic-free. Silk floss is made by spinning silk into thread, and coating it with a natural wax such as beeswax or plant-based wax, making it a fully compostable option. 

  • Wowe (available on Amazon**) offers a candelilla waxed silk dental floss which is sold in a refillable container. Made from stainless steel, the container is built to last a lifetime, and you can purchase refills for it.  
  • Treebird also offers a naturally waxed silk dental floss alternative. It is compostable, sustainably packaged, and comes with a reusable glass container. You can find it for purchase on Amazon**.

If you’re looking for a vegan floss alternative, silk isn’t for you. You may be more interested in bamboo or corn floss alternatives.

2. Bamboo Fiber Floss

Bamboo floss is a vegan floss alternative.
Bamboo floss is a vegan floss alternative.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Pexels)

Bamboo fiber is a great vegan floss alternative to conventional nylon floss, and several companies have started producing zero waste bamboo-based floss for those looking for a more sustainable option. Bamboo is a fast growing plant that requires little water, making it a sustainable crop. Floss is made from bamboo fiber turned into thread, and then coated with a wax. 

  • EcoRoots offers a sustainable bamboo floss alternative using charcoal, tea tree oil and peppermint oil. There are no sweeteners or artificial flavorings, and it’s packaged in a refillable glass container which you can use over and over. The floss itself is vegan and biodegradable, so you can toss it in your compost after use. You can find it on Amazon**.
  • Mother Earth Bamboo Charcoal floss is another great option. It is made with candelilla wax and peppermint essential oil, and the floss is biodegradable. Mother Earth uses recyclable packaging, and donates ten percent of profits to ocean and environmental conservation. Add it to your cart Amazon**. 

3. Corn Fiber Floss

Corn and maize straw are popular floss alternatives.
Corn and maize straw are popular floss alternatives.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Larisa-K)

Corn floss is plastic-free, cruelty-free and vegan. It is made by converting fermented corn starch into a polymer, giving it the look and feel of plastic. You can compost it after use, and it will break down quickly.

  • Fresh Labs offers a biodegradable, all natural corn floss flavored with ginger and peppermint. It is stored in a refillable glass container and refills are shipped in a corn starch bag. All packaging is 100% compostable, and it’s available for purchase on Amazon**.
  • KMH’s Flosspot Gold is a fantastic floss alternative. It is made from corn fiber and coated in candelilla wax. The floss comes in a durable and refillable stainless steel container. Refills are then shipped in compostable packaging, using non-toxic ink and glue. Find it on the KMH website. 
  • Georganics also makes a corn fiber dental floss alternative. Their flavor options include spearmint and orange, which is a great option for children. This corn-based floss is coated with vegetable wax and is 100% compostable. They use plastic-free packaging and provides refills for the glass container. You can find this floss available to purchase directly on the Georganics website

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