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.
By Natalia Mello | Updated on October 7, 2021
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 2021:
Naturally, we love our floss because for every one sold, we plant trees in the Amazon rainforest.
Made from pure silk, this floss feels great.
Steel container can be recycled like glass, but won't break.
The additional layer of wax does help this biodegradable floss get between tightly spaced teeth.
Completely plant based, this floss gets great reviews.
Upscale product that features staple grain corn.
The added activated charcoal give this floss a powerful extra benefit for teeth.
This floss offers discounts for recycling.
This biodegradable floss can be added to your home compost pile or bin.
Two great options for bamboo or corn.
Plant based and easy to use, these picks are great for throwing in your purse or backpack (for floss emergencies).
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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:
With these impacts, it’s no wonder biodegradable dental floss has become a fast growing eco-trend!
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.
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.
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
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