Biodegradable Dental Floss Sets New Eco Trend of 2021

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

A close up shot of a woman’s smile with perfect teeth.

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:

Our Favorite Biodegradable Dental Floss Reviews

1

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.

2

Best Pure Silk Floss: Eco Floss Pure Silk

Made from pure silk, this floss feels great.

3

Best Biodegradable Dental Floss Container: Wowe Silk Dental Floss?

Steel container can be recycled like glass, but won't break.

4

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.

5

Best Vegan Dental Floss: Eco Roots Zero Waste Floss

Completely plant based, this floss gets great reviews.

6

Best Corn Fiber Floss: FLOSSPOT Gold Floss

Upscale product that features staple grain corn.

7

Best Activated Charcoal Floss: Georganics Vegan Compostable Floss 2.0

The added activated charcoal give this floss a powerful extra benefit for teeth.

8

Best Recycling Incentive: J&L Naturals Plant Based Biodegradable Floss

This floss offers discounts for recycling.

9

Best Compostable Floss: Life Without Plastic Dental Lace

This biodegradable floss can be added to your home compost pile or bin.

10

Bamboo Dental Floss Runner Up: SmileBoutiques Zero Waste Biodegradable Dental Floss

Two great options for bamboo or corn.

11

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.

1
Best Floss that Plants Trees: 8 Billion Trees Biodegradable Dental Floss

Close up image of bottle of biodegradable dental floss in glass container 8 Billion Trees
Eco-friendly Floss Ingredients: Corn fiber, vegan friendly
Sustainable Initiatives: Each floss package sold plants two trees in the Amazon and protects another 20 existing trees.
Price: $
Cons: Glass container is breakable.
Why We Love This Biodegradable Dental Floss: Planting trees is what we're all about, so naturally, a floss that plants trees, restores habitats, and protests extisting forests ranks high on our list.
Rating: 5 out of 5

2
Best Pure Silk Floss: Eco Floss Pure Silk

An image of the TreeBird Pure Silk Eco Floss against a white background.
Eco-friendly Floss Ingredients: Silk Fibers and Candelilla Wax
Sustainable Initiatives: Eco-friendly packaging
Price: $$
Cons: Silk can snap in tightly spaced teeth
Why We Love This Biodegradable Dental Floss: Made out of silk, so it's compostable, and a refillable container.
Rating: 5 out of 5

3
Best Biodegradable Dental Floss Container: Wowe Silk Dental Floss

An image of the WOWE Silk Dental Floss with Refillable Stainless Steel Container against a white background..
Eco-friendly Floss Ingredients: Silk, Candelilla Wax, Essential Oils
Sustainable Initiatives: Biodegradable product and eco-friendly packaging
Price: $$$
Cons: Pricey for the quality
Why We Love This Biodegradable Dental Floss: This high quality floss is designed much more plaque than regular weights, and the stainless steel container is eco-friendly but won't break.
Rating: 5 out of 5

4
Best Waxed Biodegradable Dental Floss: Etee Gently Minted Waxed Silk

An image of the Etee Gently Minted Waxed Silk Dental Floss against a blue background.
Eco-friendly Floss Ingredients: Mulberry Silk, Candelilla Wax, Natural Mint Flavoring
Sustainable Initiatives: he packaging used is all biodegradable, the ink used for labeling is soy-based
Price: $$$ (for two Spools, 300 m each)
Cons: Thinner weight makes it easier to break
Why We Love This Biodegradable Dental Floss: It's plastic-free and made from 100% pure mulberry silk
Rating: 5 out of 5

5
Best Vegan Dental Floss: Eco Roots Zero Waste Floss

An image of the Eco Roots Zero Waste Floss against a yellow background.
Eco-friendly Floss Ingredients: Organic Bamboo Fiber with Activated Charcoal, Candelilla Plant Vegan Wax, Biodegradable Polymer, Organic Peppermint Oil, Organic Tea Tree Oil
Sustainable Initiatives: Sales raise money for Ocean Conservancy Inc.
Price: $$ (one spool 33 yrd)
Cons: On the thicker side, not suitable for tightly spaced teeth
Why We Love This Biodegradable Dental Floss: Made with activated charcoal that can whiten teeth and is compostable and deodorizing with a great mint flavormint flavored
Rating: 5 out of 5

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

6
Best Corn Fiber Floss: FLOSSPOT Gold Floss

An image of the FLOSSPOT Gold Floss Refill against a white background.
Eco-friendly Floss Ingredients: Corn Fiber and Candelilla Wax
Sustainable Initiatives: Gold Standard Natural Floss Accredited
Price: $$$$$ for 1 stainless steel case and 3 spools (50m each)
Cons: A little pricey for the amount.
Why We Love This Biodegradable Dental Floss: This floss is completely vegan and compostable, but also comes in larger quantities.
Rating: 5 out of 5

7
Best Activated Charcoal Floss: Georganics Vegan Compostable Floss 2.0

An image of the Georganics Vegan Compostable Floss 2.0 against a white background.
Eco-friendly Floss Ingredients: Corn Fiber, Activated Charcoal, Spearmint Oil
Sustainable Initiatives: PETA certified cruelty free, Zero to Landfill initiative wherein UK residents can send their used products to Georganics for recycling free of charge.
Price: $$ for 1 glass container and 1 spool (54 yrd)
Cons: Must be dipped in water before use
Why We Love This Biodegradable Dental Floss: Compostable vegan floss that is formulated with activated charcoal
Rating: 5 out of 5

8
Best Recycling Incentive: J&L Naturals Plant Based Biodegradable Floss

An image of the JnL Naturals Plant Based Biodegradable Floss against a gray background.
Eco-friendly Floss Ingredients: Corn Fiber and Mint Flavored Candelilla Wax
Sustainable Initiatives: Their recycle incentive gives $10 off for every 5 bottles recycled
Price: $$ (30m)
Cons: Container is breakable
Why We Love This Biodegradable Dental Floss: Completely plastic free, biodegradable floss
Rating: 5 out of 5

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.

9
Best Compostable Floss: Life Without Plastic Dental Lace

An image of the Life Without Plastic Dental Lace Floss against a white background.
Eco-friendly Floss Ingredients: Mulberry Silk, Candelilla Wax, Mint-flavored
Sustainable Initiatives: All sustainable materials and eco-friendly packaging
Price: $$ for 2 (30m) spools
Cons: Ships from China
Why We Love This Biodegradable Dental Floss: Biodegradable material, strengthened and lubricated and decomposed naturally in your compost pile or bin.
Rating: 5 out of 5

10
Runner Up: SmileBoutiques Zero Waste Biodegradable Dental Floss

An image of the SmileBoutiques Zero Waste Biodegradable Dental Floss against a white background.
Eco-friendly Floss Ingredients: Bamboo or Corn Fiber, Candelilla Wax
Sustainable Initiatives: Eco-friendly packaging
Price: $$ for 2 (30m) spools
Cons: Container is breakable
Why We Love This Biodegradable Dental Floss: Chemical-free and vegan-friendly, can glide through with crowded teeth without breaking easily and can choose between Bamboo or Corn fiber.
Rating: 5 out of 5

11
Best Biodegradable Floss Picks: Happy Eco PLant Based Floss Picks

An image of the Happy Eco Plant Based Floss Picks against a white background.
Eco-friendly Floss Ingredients: Made with PLA or Cornstarch Plastic
Sustainable Initiatives: Supports One Tree Planted
Price: $$$ for 50 picks
Cons: More production is needed to create them
Why We Love This Biodegradable Dental Floss: It's handy to take on trips or to throw in your bag
Rating: 5 out of 5

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
  • Cancer
  • 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 holds doctorate and masters degress in environmental science and works as a contributor for 8 Billion Trees.

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.


References

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