The market for biodegradable dental floss is expanding rapidly… and perhaps one of the reasons this eco-trend is flourishing is that flossing everyday can actually help you fight diseases and viruses like COVID-19.
Many traditional dental floss products on the market are made with plastics and toxic materials, which are harming our planet.6
But the good news is that you don’t have to settle for traditional floss, healthier, more sustainable options are now readily available.
Check out these eco-friendly, biodegradable dental floss options for 2023:
Our Favorite Biodegradable Dental Floss Reviews
Best Floss that Plants Trees: 8 Billion Trees Biodegradable Dental Floss
Naturally, we love our floss because for every one sold, we plant trees in the Amazon rainforest.
Best Pure Silk Floss: Eco Floss Pure Silk
Made from pure silk, this floss feels great.
Best Biodegradable Dental Floss Container: Wowe Silk Dental Floss?
Steel container can be recycled like glass, but won't break.
Best Waxed Biodegradable Dental Floss: Etee Gently Minted Waxed Silk
The additional layer of wax does help this biodegradable floss get between tightly spaced teeth.
Best Vegan Dental Floss: Eco Roots Zero Waste Floss
Completely plant based, this floss gets great reviews.
Best Corn Fiber Floss: FLOSSPOT Gold Floss
Upscale product that features staple grain corn.
Best Activated Charcoal Floss: Georganics Vegan Compostable Floss 2.0
The added activated charcoal give this floss a powerful extra benefit for teeth.
Best Recycling Incentive: J&L Naturals Plant Based Biodegradable Floss
This floss offers discounts for recycling.
Best Compostable Floss: Life Without Plastic Dental Lace
This biodegradable floss can be added to your home compost pile or bin.
Bamboo Dental Floss Runner Up: SmileBoutiques Zero Waste Biodegradable Dental Floss
Two great options for bamboo or corn.
Best Biodegradable Floss Picks: Happy Eco Plant Based Floss Picks
Plant based and easy to use, these picks are great for throwing in your purse or backpack (for floss emergencies).
Organic Corn Fiber Floss
Other companies are crafting biodegradable, vegan, and compostable floss from corn fiber. Like bamboo, corn fiber comes from a renewable resource whose production requires much less water, energy and produces less waste than nylon and plastic. Not to mention it is completely biodegradable and compostable in appropriate facilities.
Look for brands offering corn fiber floss derived from organic, non-GMO sources and your smile and the planet will be much healthier. Also keep in mind that some companies go beyond and sell biodegradable floss that supports tree-planting, forest conservation, and the rehabilitation of wild animals impacted by deforestation.
Silk-, bamboo-, and corn-based floss are usually coated with organic candelilla wax, coconut oil, carnauba wax, mint, tea tree oil, or activated charcoal – all of which are natural, non-toxic ingredients.
Of course, you can also offset the eco-damage of regular floss using some of the best carbon offset programs, but with biodegradable options available, it’s not ideal.
1Best Floss that Plants Trees: 8 Billion Trees Biodegradable Dental Floss
2Best Pure Silk Floss: Eco Floss Pure Silk
3Best Biodegradable Dental Floss Container: Wowe Silk Dental Floss
4Best Waxed Biodegradable Dental Floss: Etee Gently Minted Waxed Silk
5Best Vegan Dental Floss: Eco Roots Zero Waste Floss
Bamboo Fiber Floss
A vegan and more ethical alternative to make biodegradable floss is bamboo fiber. Bamboo plants are well-known for their many environmental benefits, which include:
- Promoting better soil health and protection
- Reducing pollution, absorbing carbon dioxide, and delivering a lot of oxygen in their development process
- Growing very fast without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or other chemical inputs5
6Best Corn Fiber Floss: FLOSSPOT Gold Floss
7Best Activated Charcoal Floss: Georganics Vegan Compostable Floss 2.0
8Best Recycling Incentive: J&L Naturals Plant Based Biodegradable Floss
Silk Floss Options
Many brands are selling silk floss, which can even be composted at home. But, as you know, silk is a controversial material. It is made from the cocoon filaments of silkworms, which are harvested via boiling the animals while these are still alive.
As a more ethical and sustainable alternative, some companies are producing Peace Silk® floss. Making peace silk does not require boiling the silkworms to death, but rather allows them to mature into moths.
However, you might want to keep in mind that in the process of domestication of silkworms, these have been deprived of their ability to see, fly, and react to predators.
Moreover, the process of harvesting the filaments needed to produce peace silk includes opening the cocoons and allowing moths to escape, and they usually die right after they emerge.
9Best Compostable Floss: Life Without Plastic Dental Lace
10Runner Up: SmileBoutiques Zero Waste Biodegradable Dental Floss
11Best Biodegradable Floss Picks: Happy Eco PLant Based Floss Picks
Benefits of Using Sustainable Biodegradable Dental Floss Vs Traditional Floss
You know that flossing everyday helps promote healthy teeth and guns, but you may be surprised to learn that flossing is a great weapon to help fight diseases.
Biodegradable Floss Benefits
Dental floss reaches spaces your toothbrush does not touch. If food debris remains between your teeth, bacteria reproduce very fast, attack the gums, and expel an acid that triggers tooth corrosion. When bacteria attack, your gums swell and recruit immune system cells. So, if you floss the right way every day, your immune system will have more energy left to fight issues in other places of your body.
For example, a recent study found that “COVID-19 patients with gum disease were 3.5 times more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit, 4.5 times more likely to need a ventilator, and 8.8 times more likely to die when compared to those without gum disease.”1
Flossing helps you fight other viral diseases, as well as preventing heart attacks.2
Problems With Traditional Floss
One problem with traditional dental floss is that it’s composed of toxic and unsustainable materials. Most are packaged in a plastic container. Plus, because many countries don’t have the appropriate infrastructure to recycle them, and many plastics cannot undergo the recycling process without losing performance anyway, 91% of the plastic humans generate is not recycled.3
That means loads of small plastic containers end up in landfills or accumulate (and break down into microplastics) in the environment, taking more than 400 years to decompose, in a process that emits loads of greenhouse gases (GHG).3
Plastic debris ends up in the stomach of birds, sea turtles, and many other marine and beach animals. It leaches toxic pollutants and, cycling through the atmosphere, invades all ecosystems, as well as the human body.
The material the dental floss itself is made of – nylon – is also non-biodegradable. That means the tiny pieces of floss accumulate in and cycle through the environment.
Because they are so tiny and light, pieces of floss easily find their way to the ocean, and because they are designed not to tear, they stay in marine and other environments, suffocating creatures that mistake them for food.
Besides nylon, traditional dental floss comes coated in Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAs). These man-made chemicals are used to manufacture many other things, including Teflon and food packaging. They grant floss its ability to move between teeth easily, but their cost is very high… they accumulate in the human body and are linked with several health issues, such as:
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Liver and kidney damage
- Reproductive and developmental disruption
- Low birthweight
- Impairments on the immune system4
With these impacts, it’s no wonder biodegradable dental floss has become a fast growing eco-trend!
Go a Step Further With Your Eco-Smile
When choosing an eco-friendly biodegradable dental floss, there are a few options that allow you to go even further to help the planet.
For example, choosing a product that also provides a way to reforest areas in the rainforest, as well as help rehabilitate wildlife, allows you to help your health, the planet’s health while you keep your smile healthy.
Of course, you can also go even farther an measure your emissions using an ecological footprint calculator, and then remove that footprint with tree planting offsets offered by one of the best carbon offset providers.
By avoiding materials that are noxious to both your own health and Earth ecosystems, you can tangibly contribute to combating climate change, plastic pollution, uncontrolled waste generation, the depletion of natural resources, and wildlife damage.
Making the eco-trendy move to biodegradable dental floss will make your dentist, your smile, and the planet happier.
Natália G.R. de Mello
Environmental Science Contributor
Holding Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Environmental Science, Natalia is passionate about forest restoration. In addition to previously publishing academic papers and book chapters, she has offered her expertise to a number of electronic magazines and websites. She believes humans have all means to create more harmonious relationships with nature and is passionate about sharing information on sustainable life choices. Born in the heart of the Amazon, she loves movies, books, yoga, black and white photography, and treehouses, and is thrilled to help spread the word about all things environmental.
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Biodegradable Dental Floss Sets New Eco Trend of 2023
Organic Bamboo Washcloths that Plant Trees While You Wash
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The Secret Natural Ingredients of Activated Charcoal Tooth Powder Revealed
Wool Dryer Balls: Cruelty Free or an Eco Disaster? It Depends.
The Average Carbon Footprint Per Person Is Rising Fast: Is It Too Late? (10 Ways to Help Now)
Can Planting Trees Be Bad For The Environment? New Stanford Study Explains
Forestry Carbon Offsetting: Tree Planting to Offset Emissions for Companies Going Carbon Neutral
Carbon Offsets Don’t Work? Learn About Verified Climate Solutions (and More Explained)
1McGill University. (2021, August 17). Good oral health reduces risk of fatal outcomes from COVID-19. Retrieved August 17, 2021, from <https://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/channels/news/good-oral-health-reduces-risk-fatal-outcomes-covid-19-330275>
2Dental Dental of Illinois. (2021, August 13). The link between gum disease and heart disease – Delta Dental of Illinois. Retrieved August 17, 2021, from <https://www.deltadentalil.com/your-health/general-oral-health/gum-and-heart-disease-link/>
3National Geographic. (2018, December 20). A whopping 91% of plastic isn’t recycled. Retrieved August 17, 2021, from <https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment>
4United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2016, March 30). Basic Information on PFAS . Retrieved August 17, 2021, from <https://www.epa.gov/pfas/basic-information-pfas>
5Song, X., Zhou, G., Jiang, H., Yu, S., Fu, J., Li, W., Wang, W., Ma, Z., & Peng, C. (2011). Carbon sequestration by Chinese bamboo forests and their ecological benefits: assessment of potential, problems, and future challenges. Environmental Reviews, 19(NA), 418–428. <https://doi.org/10.1139/a11-015>
6GrrlScientist. (2018, April 23). Five Ways That Plastics Harm The Environment (And One Way They May Help). Retrieved August 17, 2021, from Forbes.com: <https://www.forbes.com/sites/grrlscientist/2018/04/23/five-ways-that-plastics-harm-the-environment-and-one-way-they-may-help/?sh=43c4f4bc67a0>
7Image Source: Treebird. <https://treebirdeco.com/collections/floss/products/compostable-pure-silk-eco-floss>
8Image Source: WOWE. <https://wowelifestyle.com/products/silk-floss-with-jar?sscid=91k5_v9w9t&>
9Image Source: Etee. <https://www.shopetee.com/collections/smile-care/products/gently-minted-waxed-silk-dental-floss>
10Image Source: Eco Roots. <https://ecoroots.us/products/zero-waste-floss>
11Image Source: Amazon. <https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PFYDDP1?tag=zerowastememoirs-20>
12Image Source: Georganics. <https://uk.georganics.com/collections/dental-floss>
13Image Source: J&L Naturals. <https://www.jnlnaturals.com/products/biodegradable-floss>
14Image Source: Life Without Plastic. <https://lifewithoutplastic.com/plastic-free-dental-lace-floss-from-natural-silk-in-refillable-glass-jar-berry-blue/>
15Image Source: SmileBoutiques. <https://www.smileboutiques.com/products/zero-waste-biodegradable-dental-floss>
16Image Source: Happy Eco. <https://www.happyeco.co/pages/floss-picks>