Do you know what toxins are in your floss? Teflon
! That's right Teflon! Think non-stick cookware coating ... in your dental floss. How in the heck does this sneaky little chemical make its way into your floss? Teflon is a tough synthetic resin used to coat nonstick cooking pans, pizza boxes, and waterproof clothing. This toxic chemical is used to help glide floss easily between your teeth. The American Dental Association
recommends daily between-teeth cleaning, by using floss or other interdental cleaners that may help prevent cavities and gum disease.
A new study
suggests certain types of floss and other behaviors may actually increase the amount of toxic chemicals in the body. For the study, scientists examined the blood samples of 178 California-based middle-aged women, half of whom were white or African American, and measured 11 different poly-fluoroalkyl substances (or PFAS)
. According to the study, women who flossed with a particular dental floss had higher levels of PFAS compared to women who did not. Teflon belongs to this group of chemicals, PFAS - Polyfluoroalkyl Substances.
Are you using one of these toxic floss brands?
- CVS Health Ease Between SuperSlip Dental Floss Waxed
- Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Mint and Glide Pro-Health Original
- Crest Glide Deep Clean Cool Mint Floss
- Safeway Signature Care Mint Waxed Comfort Floss
- Colgate Total Dental Floss Mint “single-strand Teflon fiber.”
*All tested positive for PFAS
What health effects are linked to Teflon/PFAS?
- Decreased sperm quality
- Linked to low birth weight
- Disrupted hormone function (thyroid)
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Increased risk of cancer
- Abnormal menstrual cycles
- Lower women's chance of getting pregnant
- Affect growth, learning, and behavior of infants and children
We have all been at the grocery store, strolling through the aisles, where we shop for our oral care needs. Have you ever stopped to read the label and ask yourself, "Is what I'm putting in my mouth, toxic?" Read the labels carefully. Along with Teflon, synthetic fragrances can sneak into your floss too. Even though it may take a little bit longer to read the fine print, YOU are worth it! Now, don't get me wrong. This doesn't mean you should stop flossing. It’s about being informed, learning about non-toxic alternatives and choosing the flossing product that is right for you.
Go-To Guide for Non-Toxic Floss
It’s time to step up your floss game. Below you will find some of my favorite types of floss and brands. Not only will your gums thank you, but your overall health will benefit from these non-toxic products as well.
Non-Toxic Ingredients to Look For
- Silk (Biodegradable)
- Beeswax (Biodegradable)
- Coconut oil (Natural, Vegan)
- Candelilla (Natural, Vegan)
- Dental Lace*
- Public Goods*
*Indicates silk floss, which is not cruelty-free secondary to the silk manufacturing process
1. Dental Lace - Shop on Amazon
2. Radius, Silk - Shop Amazon
3. Public Goods - Shop Website
4. Vomel - Shop Organic Beauty Supply EU
5. Boka - Shop Website
- Cocofloss Mint Flavor*
- Desert Essence*
- Eco-Dent Premium*
- Radius, Nylon*
*Indicates these brands are polyester or nylon floss, which is made from petroleum (not biodegradable)
Schedule an appointment with Reshma Patel, PA-C, MMS to test chemical toxins in your body or follow her on Instagram.