Living the “green” life often starts with ditching plastic bottles in favor of reusable water bottles, reducing the amount of plastic you purchase and use, and finding ways to reuse the plastic that’s already in your life. When put under scrutiny, many everyday items are eco-nightmares – and that includes your dental floss. Here’s why silk floss is always the better choice, especially if you’re trying to reduce your impact on the environment.
Flossing is Important
The American Dental Association puts a great deal of focus on floss and interdental cleaners, citing that regular flossing is crucial for removing hard-to-reach plaque and food bits that your regular toothbrush might miss. Regular flossing reduces the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, which in turn reduces your risk for additional health problems – including heart disease – in the future. Flossing certainly is important for good oral health, but if you’re still buying the traditional stuff, your good oral health comes at a serious cost to the environment.
Why Your Normal Floss is a Bad Idea
There are two primary reasons why your current flossing product is an ecological nightmare. First, the packaging is a problem. Today’s floss comes packaged in one of two ways – either in a spool with a plastic housing, or as an individual flossing “pick” with a plastic handle that’s intended to be used once and then thrown away. This amounts to a lot of plastic in landfills. Second, the floss itself is not eco-friendly. Most of today’s affordable-brand dental floss is made from nylon, which is a type of plastic that is fibrous, flexible, and affordable. Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t biodegrade, and the floss you use daily will be around in landfills for thousands of years.
Chemicals in Floss Could be Bad for Your Health
A study published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology found that women who utilized specific types of floss had high levels of a specific chemical called PFHxS, or perfluorohexane sulfonic acid, in their blood. PFHxS is part of a large group of chemicals known as PFASs, which can be found in all kinds of consumer products and have been linked to liver damage, immune system damage, developmental issues, and even cancers. PFASs aren’t filtered out of the environment or the body, which means they continue to build up over time. Although these chemicals are considered safe when used in some products, such as cookware, their use in dental floss has come under fire because the chemicals are far more likely to enter the bloodstream.
Making the Switch to Silk
If you’re surprised by the problems created by something as simple as dental floss, you’re certainly not alone. Fortunately, WooBamboo’s silk dental floss is an eco-friendly alternative that’s easier than ever to find on store shelves and online. Rather than throwing away literal miles of plastic string (and the containers it comes in) over the course of your lifetime – all while exposing yourself to potentially carcinogenic chemicals – consider switching to silk. We at Woobamboo offer silk floss that is 100% biodegradable and comes in 100% zero-waste packaging so it’s completely plastic-free.
Becoming more environmentally-conscious is always a good thing, and more often than not, it’s as good for your body as it is for the planet. Taking a close look at the products you use every day can reveal some startling truths, but the good news is that you can replace those products one at a time – including your dental floss – with an eco-friendly, sustainable, and healthier alternative.