Georganics dental floss

All dentists recommend that we floss our teeth (easier said than done for people with crowded teeth, and it’s quite fiddly and apparently most people don’t floss properly, having plaque between teeth removed by dental hygienists instead every 6 months or so). Some dentists say that flossing is as important as brushing our teeth, while cynics claim there is very little evidence, for an industry that makes billions worldwide by selling plastic pots of nylon string, which then end up on landfills.

If just 1% of people on earth use single-use floss picks daily, that’s 29 billion pieces of plastic each yera going to landfill (even before the plastic packaging). Dental floss is ‘designed to break’ so (as one eco floss company puts it) creates ‘a nightmare situation when it wraps around marine life’, when it inevitably washes into the oceans. Although some biodegradable brands use silk and beeswax, these are not suitable for vegans.

So in this post we’ll look at the benefits of flossing (and recommend some biodegradable zero waste  options), plus also look at alternatives, if you really really hate to floss your teeth!

Use unscented floss for pregnancy/nursing, allergies and affected medical conditions. Some brands are sweetened with xylitol (also used in some toothpastes, mouthwash and dental gums) which is lethal to pets if even a tiny amount if licked from around your mouth or sink. So choose xylitol-free brands, if you live with animal friends.

georganics dental floss

Georganic Dental Floss (use code AWIN15 for 15% discount) is made from a blend of charcoal fibres and compostable corn-based PLA (kind of a like a greener version of polyester), then coated with vegetable wax and essential oils. The 50 metre roll gives around 150 applications, and is sold in a reusable glass dispenser with metal cap, and sent in a compostable PLA pouch. One of the few brands without Teflon, it does have slightly less resistance, but it’s a small price to pay. Choose from spearmint, orange or charcoal (whitening).

To use, gently pull around 30 centimetres (the length of a ruler) of floss and roll it around your thumb to control strength and position. Then slowly floss between each tooth, reaching close to the gum line.

So what does dental floss do? It simply ‘brushes your teeth sides’ where a standard brush can’t reach, helping to remove food debris and therefore prevents bacteria and plaque, to stop you getting gum disease, and all your teeth falling out! You should floss before brushing your teeth (so the brush removes the particles removed) although you only really need to floss once daily (ideally at night before bed).

wild and stone dental floss

Wild & Stone Dental Floss is made from natural candelilla wax with natural mint flavour, packed in a glass and stainless steel container. Sold with refills.

zero waste interndental floss brushes

georganics flossing brushes

The beechwood interdental brushes source the wood from Switzerland (rather than importing bamboo from China). Each tree harvested is replaced by another (with excess materials used to heat the factory). Designed to fit various inter-dental spaces (sold in 3 sizes), each cardboard box contains a pack of 6 brushes (just remove the bristles with pliers after use, and compost the handles). To use, brush the bristles vertically between tooth gaps (not horizontally as this can harm gums). Repeat for all gaps, and replace brush weekly (so one pack lasts 6 weeks).

a reusable flossing tool

friendly floss

Friendly Floss was created after the founder cut a plastic bag from around a pigeon’s neck. knowing that 1% of the world’s population that use single use floss picks (this is 29 billion pieces of plastic litter), this was created to use with biodegradable floss, using a pencil-light grip to gently fit in your mouth with your hand holding it. You also end up using less floss than using your fingers.

Beautifully crafted with no moving parts, you can clean this in a sink or dishwasher to use again. It all sounds a bit complicated to us non-techy people but the company has kindly offered a 15-second video that makes it much easier to understand!  It’s made from metal so take care not to bang it against your teeth (it’s important to use the correct floss, to avoid forcing it through contact points between our teeth).

travel-friendly eco floss picks 

eco floss picks

These eco floss picks are ideal alternatives to plastic ones. Useful for people who get food stuck between their teeth after eating, these are made from biodegradable cornstarch and sold in plastic-free packaging, with 5% of every sale going to a charity providing free dental care worldwide.

hate flossing? try a water flosser

water flosser

People who can’t get on with floss may be best with a one-time purchase of a water flosser. This removes 99.9% of plaque and is better for braces and people whose teeth are very close together. It has 3 flossing modes to suit all conditions and comes with 7 nozzles and a travel bag. Recommended by dentists, just fill the reservoir with warm water, place the tip in your mouth and start ‘flossing’. It’s waterproof so can even be used in the shower, and is sold with a USB cable and rechargeable lithium battery.

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