As much as we hate “that question” at the dentist’s office, it’s probably safe to say that most of us don’t floss as much as we should. Take a look at these Best Zero Waste Floss.
It can be a pain, but it’s pretty essential to keeping cavities at bay, especially if you have a diet high in sugar. However, even if the task is relatively easy on you, you might be concerned about how easy plastic floss is on the environment.
If that’s the case, you can actually find solutions. But, of course, plastic isn’t the only material out there, so we’re going to go over some natural dental floss alternatives you can feel good about when taking care of your pearly whites.
Keep reading for the best biodegradable dental floss to keep your smile bright and the planet clean.
What Does Biodegradable Mean?
The first thing we need to be clear about when discussing sustainability is the definitions of the terms we use because they’re not as interchangeable as you might think.
If something is biodegradable, that generally means it will break down into smaller pieces over time due to natural processes found in the environment. Scientifically though, there’s no specification for how long this is supposed to take. So technically, some plastics are biodegradable, even if they take thousands of years to break down.
That might make you think all hope is lost when buying biodegradable products, but luckily US legal standards are a little more strict.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, one can only claim a product is biodegradable if it can be proven that “the entire product or package will completely break down and return to nature within a reasonably short period of time after customary disposal.” Specifically, one year is designated as a reasonable amount of time after disposal.
Sometimes you will run into products that will biodegrade with some industrial help but can’t in your average environment. In that case, the Federal Trade Commission requires that a company make a qualifying statement about the biodegradability of their products. This statement might include phrases such as “in industrial conditions” or “at optimal temperatures.”
You may have to do some digging to figure out whether a particular company uses qualifying statements. Still, unqualified biodegradability claims imply that a product will break down in one year without help from a recycling plant or incineration facility.
We use this definition when we talk about biodegradable products in this list, so keep that in mind when you’re shopping.
Zero Waste Floss
Georganics offers their dental floss in three options: spearmint, orange, and activated charcoal.
It’s made with biodegradable, corn-based PLA and comes in a reusable glass jar.
Public Goods offers 100% silk dental floss coated in candelilla wax. The floss itself is biodegradable, and you can get refills instead of buying a new glass container.
This particular floss has peppermint flavoring, so use caution if you have an allergy.
If you want biodegradable floss but silk causes concerns, this bamboo charcoal variety will work perfectly for you.
The floss breaks down in 60 to 90 days, and their kraft and parchment paper packaging can be recycled or composted.
It is still coated in candelilla wax and peppermint, though, so again use with caution.
This dental floss checks off everything we could want and more in a zero-waste floss: biodegradable, compostable, and vegan.
Plus, you can choose from floss made from bamboo, peace silk, or vegan corn PLA!
This one isn’t vegan, but it is suitable for you if you happen to have an allergy or sensitivity to peppermint.
It’s 100% biodegradable silk coated in candelilla wax with no added scent.
As for the box it comes in, you can compost it as long as you remove the steel cutter and put that in recycling.
As far as options are concerned, Dental Lace is one of the best options here. You can get silk or vegan corn floss, and there’s no peppermint oil. They also come in adorably patterned cases, which doesn’t hurt.
Our only qualm is that the bamboo charcoal floss is made with polyester, so that particular variety is not biodegradable. Stick with corn or silk.
The packaging isn’t as cute, and these do contain peppermint oil and candelilla wax, but Life UNpacked is an excellent source for corn and silk dental floss.
The same rule applies to their bamboo floss; it contains 2% polyester, so you should avoid using it.
Last but not least is TreeBird, which you’ve probably seen some good reviews for already.
It’s 100% silk coated in candelilla wax with some tea tree and peppermint oil. Again, use caution if you have allergies. But if not, a great option.
Plastic floss has been the norm for a while, but it doesn’t have to be. Even if you have concerns about animal products, there are plenty of eco-friendly options for your dental care routine.
Just make sure whatever brand you’re buying from doesn’t put a qualifier on biodegradable claims, and you’ll be good to go!