If you use dental floss to remove plaque between your teeth, here are some better options than nylon (plastic) that is often sold in plastic packaging with artificial flavours. These versions are also plant-based, so free from beeswax and silk (usually involves gassing silkworms). Some brands are coated with the sweetener xylitol that is bad for your stomach and lethal to pets (also found in sweet foods, toothpastes and gum).
The Happy Place Dental Floss is sold in a mini glass mason jar with a cork lid (cork does not require trees to be chopped down, the industry helps to preserve Mediterranean forests and native wildlife). The 50m of floss is made from cornstarch (a byproduct of the food industry).
Avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing and medical conditions like epilepsy and asthma (avoid rosemary and citrus oils for high blood pressure). Don’t ‘donate’ biodegradable (or any) floss in the garden for nests, as baby birds can choke and tangle. Just bin to naturally biodegrade.
Wild & Stone Cornstarch Dental Floss is made from cornstarch, coated in candelilla wax, and has a natural mint flavour.
Georganics Natural Corn Floss is made from corn-based PLA and charcoal fibres, coated with vegetable wax and flavoured with organic peppermint oil. It’s sold in a glass dispenser that can be topped up with refill packs. Also in spearmint and sweet orange .
Zero Waste Tooth Picks
The White Teeth Box Floss Picks include an interdental brush and angled bamboo handle for hard-to-reach areas. The floss brush is held on with a small amount of metal, and the brush fibres are made from nylon (pull out with pliers, before composting).
Bamboo Interdental Brushes
Not everyone uses interdental brushes. But if you do, choose ones with renewable materials. If food keeps getting stuck in your teeth, it’s best to visit the dentist. These bamboo interdental brushes have comfortable bamboo handles. Sold in a pack of 5, industrial bamboo is not taken from panda habitats. Do not leave these in water.
Organically Epic Interdental Brushes are made with bamboo handles and carnauba wax, and synthetic bristles. Each brush lasts up to a week, even if you’re using them twice a day.
Can’t Stand Flossing?
So all dentists say you should floss, to remove plaque and improve your health and breath. But the truth is, many people just can’t stand to floss their teeth, as it’s cumbersome, uncomfortable and can be expensive. The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry writes that ‘flossing may not be an actual virtue, but it’s certainly high on the list of qualities of people who ‘have it together!’
- Don’t bother. This is a possibility, especially if you have large gaps between your teeth. Your dentist won’t be happy, but there is no rule that you have to floss. The medical evidence seems to suggest that flossing is good to prevent cavities and other issues. But most people don’t know how to floss properly, as it’s pretty complicated.You have to pull it into C shape at the gum tooth base. Unless you’re a hygienist, it’s likely you’ll never floss properly anyway.
- Visit your dental hygienist. For around £50 every 6 months, your dental hygienist can do a full floss of your mouth in minutes, and scrape away any tartar (old plaque) at the same time.
- Water flossers are easier to use. One purchase should last a long time, and jets water inbetween your teeth, for the same effect. These are expensive and need batteries, but are good for people with arthritis, who find flossing difficult. Dentists recommend them, but more to ‘flush the mouth’ after using traditional dental floss.
This peppermint vegan dental floss is an alternative to conventional dental floss, which tends to be made from nylon (plastic) and packed in plastic too. And unlike some natural dental floss (made with silk or beeswax), this one is made with biodegradable corn and candelilla wax, so is vegan-friendly. Avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing.
The floss is sold in a plastic-free glass container, then use the metal dispensing lid to let you easily cut the floss. After that, you can just buy refills, without the dispenser. Sent in a cardboard box with recycled paper filling.