What tiny, innocuous product is more important to our health than a little strip of dental floss—perhaps only 12 inches long. Floss is a dentist’s best friend and your sure way to make your teeth happy. Floss is an enormously important part of our dental hygiene. Further, we can connect dental hygiene directly to our cardiovascular health, digestive health, and overall well-being. Read on as we make a case for eco-friendly floss and list 10 of the best.
If only floss were not such a biohazard. Unfortunately, it’s true. That inexpensive, cinnamon or mint-flavored unbreakable thread that does such an excellent job of cleaning between our teeth creates several different kinds of health and environmental hazards. The good news is that we have alternative types of floss that don’t carry the same risks and eco-burdens that floss does.
We’ll come back to a discussion of the downsides of traditional floss. First, however, let’s take a look at ten of the best alternative brands for eco-friendly dental floss options.
GOGRS is a natural eco-friendly silk floss sold in three packs that total 99 yards. Packed in a refillable glass container, the floss is 100% biodegradable. Even the box, made of Kraft paper, and inner wrapping, made of corn starch, are biodegradable and recyclable. GOGRS’ floss has a light, drug-free peppermint flavoring.
Because the cruelty-free silk is not synthetic, it is subject to breaking. This is particularly true if you use it between exceptionally tight teeth. So, there is a little learning curve—much like when you first learned to use floss. It is waxed with candelilla wax to make it glide between the teeth.
GOGRS is well-reviewed with 67% 5-Star ratings out of 313 reviews. Several reviewers remarked that the unexpectedly different texture of filament seemed better at removed tartar and food debris.
Others noted that the thicker texture was particularly effective for differently spaced teeth. Some reviewers remarked that the product seemed to have been comprehensively well-planned, from the reusable glass container to the recyclable packaging. Some users purchased the product for its eco-friendly, zero-waste value and were pleasantly surprised at how well it worked. As such, GOGRS tops our list of zero waste dental floss options.
Bootrybe makes this unique eco-friendly floss product from bamboo. It’s organic and vegan. The product is infused with activated charcoal, waxed with Candelilla Wax, and flavored with peppermint. All with the potential to transform your dental care routine. It’s truly a completely eco-friendly product. Like silk and corn, bamboo is an organic flossing fiber, though it is stronger than other natural fibers. It comes in a recyclable cardboard box and wax pouch. Once you purchase the Bootrybe glass bottle, you’ll never have to replace it. This is actually only one of a complete set of Bootrybe personal care items.
While it is a newer product, Bootrybe Bamboo Dental Floss has many good reviews. It has received 78% 5-star ratings from its 42 global reviewers. Some reviewers have pointed out that the floss is just the right size: small enough to glide between teeth but substantial enough to clean them at the gum line. Reviewers with bridgework and retainers have had good success in using the product around their appliances. Another reviewer commented that the floss’ texture made it much easier to grip than typical nylon floss. The Bootrybe bottle that comes with the floss may be breakable but not easily. In fact, some users have reported dropping it repeatedly without it breaking.
Me Mother Earth makes this eco-floss from bamboo charcoal fiber, vegan candelilla wax, and peppermint essential oil. It comes in a glass container with a compostable paper box. The floss is contained in a glass bottle and has one free refill. It is cruelty-free, unlike some other silk thread flosses. Once discarded, it breaks down in 60-90 days. One of the best features of the product is that it ships free from Las Vegas, Nevada. When the package arrives, you’ll find that it is packaged attractively and efficiently with no extra materials. This is truly a zero-waste product.
Me Mother Earth has several other eco-friendly products. In its commitment to safeguarding the environment, the company donates 10% of profits to oceanic and environmental conservation. This means that, as a consumer, a portion of the money you pay goes to protect mother earth as well. The company has received 50 5-star reviews for this product.
Reviewers have commented that they found this floss surprisingly easy to use. Often customers purchased this eco-friendly dental floss to reflect their environmental consciousness, only to discover how very well the floss performed. Many people remarked that the distinctive peppermint flavor is pleasing and not overwhelming. Several mentioned that the glass bottle makes it an easy traveler.
Other brands don’t always make silk ethically, but FLON uses peace silk. With many silk producers, they destroy silkworms as part of the process. FLON, however, uses Ahimsa silk, make from vacated cocoons. Despite the added wait time for peace silk production, FLON eco-friendly dental floss is still remarkably affordable.
Coming in the package is 30 meters of natural silk floss, a glass tube dispenser with a stainless steel top with a cutting tip, peppermint flavoring, vegan-friendly candelilla wax, and zero-waste packaging. Separate refill purchases are also available so that you can save and reuse the glass bottle. The product ships from the United Kingdom and arrives two to three weeks after being ordered. Shipping to the US is free with a minimum $35 order.
FLON has only been on Etsy for a few months. FLON’s floss has thus far received 14 5-star reviews for its silk floss. Prompt service is a FLON hallmark. There were also a number of comments on the pleasant nature of the peppermint flavor. The company also offers an eco-friendly, zero waste, unisex safety razor—a perfect accompaniment to plastic-free floss.
Another highly rated natural fiber floss is TreeBird Biodegradable Dental Floss. This filament is waxed with candelilla wax and is 100% compostable. The floss is made of natural silk and activated charcoal. It comes with a refillable glass container and has a natural mint flavor with no artificial colors or fragrances. They manufacture this floss to slide easily between the teeth and it provides a strong, pliable filament for cleaning.
You can purchase refills for the reusable glass container. Meanwhile, they make the packaging itself using a compostable Kraft paper box, printed with soybean ink. Stickers on the package are also plant-based and compostable. The manufacturers have gone out of the way to produce a totally guilt-free package that is plastic-free and zero waste.
Doctors floss is highly rated, with 710 reviewers giving it 5-stars. Reviewers lingered on the highly effective nature of the product, which cleans around the gum and teeth without cutting. It is thicker than traditional floss, and some users reported a learning curve in understanding how to use it between closely wedged teeth. Some vegan users said they had decided to use the product despite it coming from silkworms; with the results validating their decisions.
Isshah offers a different sort of dental floss product: the eco-friendly dental floss pick. Floss picks are real culprits in the eco-friendly world because they are single-use plastics. They make these Isshah picks, however, from cornstarch. As such, making them an excellent floss alternative. They are also BPA free, vegan, and in every respect, sustainable. They package these picks in compostable paper packaging. The filament used in the pick is nylon, however, so whereas better that can’t claim to be 100% plastic-free. All the same, the filament is thick, strong, and will not shred, unlike traditional dental floss. Designed to glide easily between teeth, your mouth will taste fresh due to the cool mint flavor.
These dental picks are particularly highly regarded, with 80% of 736 reviewers rating the picks with 5-Stars. Among the frequent comments is that the picks themselves are stronger than many flimsy plastic dental floss picks. Many users compare the picks favorably to plastic dental floss applications. You’ll easily get to those difficult to reach places as part of your dental care routine using the pointed handle end. And the handle is long enough to make it easy to reach back teeth. The filament is sturdily glued to the pick and does not come loose as with plastic picks.
For another eco-friendly dental floss pick choice, check out activated charcoal Knotty Pick with a plastic-free cornstarch pick. Made with a black filament, these picks do a super job of producing visible results. They coat them with grapeseed extract, which has bacteria-fighting properties used against tooth plaque. The activated charcoal is highly effective in cleaning your teeth as part of your eco-oral care routine.
The pick and filament are 100% plastic-free and registered vegan by the Vegan Society. The picks come 30 per pack, with three packs included with each order. The packages themselves are free from plastic, made of compostable paper. Rather than cellophane, you’ll find a window in the box made of Reverte, a biodegradable polyester made of vegetables. This vegan floss product ships free in the US from Newberry Park, California.
The Knotty Pick has received 128 ratings on Etsy. Reviewers were extremely complimentary about the customer service they’ve received upon contacting the merchant. Reviewers report the picks easy to use with children as well as adults. Some users said that the floss was brittle and snapped during use. Others found it durable, commenting on how they could single picks more than once.
Simple tastes and effective uses are the epitomai of RDHopes glass jar floss holder filled with bamboo charcoal floss. This eco-friendly, zero-waste product comes in a refillable container with an aluminum top.
What about the floss? It’s covered in candelilla wax and made of activated charcoal for outstanding efficacy at cleaning debris from teeth and gums and removing stains from teeth. Activated bamboo charcoal is porous and absorbs several different contaminants. Floss made of bamboo charcoal has a greater surface area, allowing better removal of food debris. They derive candelilla wax from plants and you'll often find it used in vegan-friendly cosmetic skin products.
RDHopes bamboo floss kit comes with zero-plastic content. Britany, the merchant and owner of RDHopes, works in the dental industry. She creates and presents this product as a way of protecting the environment, saying, “Working in the dental field and seeing the amount of waste from just one office is astounding. My goal is to shift dental products in the direction of reuse. If you can reuse this jar for the whole year, that’s an estimated 12 floss containers you save from being thrown out!”
This zero-waste alternative to traditional floss ships free in the US from Wilbraham, MA. Grab one now for plant-based dental care essential. And look out for your package of zero waste vegan floss, great for your oral hygiene routine and better for the planet.
Another unique sustainable, natural floss comes from Earth Era. Made of silk, it comes in an attractive bamboo cylinder. It is 100% plastic-free, a certified zero-waste product, and completely eco-friendly. The merchant has chosen silk filament in the belief that it’s superior to cornstarch or bamboo charcoal floss. Earth Era manufactures their floss to slide easily between the teeth and flavors each pack with mint.
Earth Era has created this product not merely as a form of merchandising but also as an environmental statement. They write, “Our goal is to bring awareness and encourage a transition to a more eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle. . . . With your purchase you are helping to grow our clean environment movement which will allow us to bring more eco-friendly products and help more people transition to a plastic-free lifestyle.”
They ship the floss container in biodegradable packaging. Orders are shipped from Ontario, Canada, with variable shipping options once an order is in the shopping cart.
Reviewers have expressed that they have tried several similar zero-waste dental floss options, only to find this one to be superior. It is convenient to carry the bamboo case with you wherever you travel. Others noted how refreshing and enjoyable they found the product when used regularly.
TEVRA makes our final selection, a vegan, eco-friendly dental floss flavored with mint and ginger. Free of plastic, the filament does not use silk and, as such, is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. They make this product's twine from natural cornstarch designed to clean teeth without making gums bleed for improved oral hygiene. The product is gluten-free and coated with candelilla wax. It comes in 30-meter lengths placed in a refillable, recyclable zero-waste glass container.
TEVRA Vegan Dental Floss has received 283 5-Star global ratings. Many users report a pleasant surprise when discovering many of the qualities of this floss. Its strength was a key positive quality for many buyers. Others loved the mint and ginger flavor of the floss. That it functioned precisely as promised was a massive factor for many reviewers. Others noted a generous portion of floss compared to other, similar products.
Others remarked that this floss was a perspective lesson regarding how wasteful traditional, plastic-based floss is. Many stated they had been searching for floss that was vegan, free from plastic, and eco-friendly. They love TEVRA’s zero waste dental care flosses.
It may be easy for us to become somewhat jaded about the ecological dangers posed by dental floss when we stop to think of the Texas-size island of waste plastic floating unassailably in the Pacific Ocean. It’s equally understandable to think that you are just one person and, in the face of the plastic-flossing habits of nearly eight billion people, what difference does it make if I use regular dental floss?
It makes a difference, first of all, because you are not alone. There is a growing movement to create a sustainable society—one that is environmentally conscious and with a net-zero carbon footprint. For each one of us who adopts a sustainable, zero-waste mindset, it’s that much less plastic to pollute our planet. One first, small step in living a zero-waste life is in forsaking plastic-based floss. The more you know about traditional dental floss, the easier it is to abandon in favor of eco-friendly flosses.
Traditionally they make traditional dental floss of nylon. It is not biodegradable. Well, more precisely, researchers estimate plastic to remain intact without breaking down for 500 years. It is not recyclable. Whereas we may find ourselves tempted to believe that floss, doled out and tossed in the trashcan or, often, into the toilet, isn’t really going to cause that much harm even if it isn’t biodegradable.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. First, regarding floss itself, Americans use about 3 million miles worth of floss a year to get to those hard to reach areas between our teeth. When it gets flushed, it is small enough to escape many capture points in the water reclamation grid and, thus, it frequently ends up on fresh and oceanic waterways. Aquatic wildlife frequently ingests pieces of floss. Because it does not break down in any creature’s digestive tract, it inhibits and can kill animals who consume it.
What about that minty flavor that comes with most types of standard floss? Manufacturers actually fuse the filament with plastics, often through perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Science has linked these chemicals to health issues, including certain cancers, elevated cholesterol, colitis, weight gain, and infertility. Through the use of regular floss for our oral care, we not only subject ourselves to PFAS but also our environment every time we toss aside a strand of floss.
So, they make plastic floss from a synthetic material coated with suspect chemical compounds. Only, we haven’t gotten to the outside packaging of teeth floss yet. Of course, they have to package floss in something. Typically it comes in a plastic container. Yes, it’s recyclable. Study’s have shown that between 8-9% of plastics get recycled. That means 91 or 92% of those little plastic containers don’t make it to recycling. Ultimately, they aren’t as pernicious as other plastic problems. Still, for perspective, it’s worth noting that in an average year, the number of plastic floss containers in the US that don’t make it to recycling would fill a football field to a height of six stories. Oh yes, that little plastic container—doesn’t it come wrapped in a plastic blister pack?
By moving to a sustainable, zero-waste, plastic-free form of eco-friendly dental floss, we each take one step toward saving our environment and ourselves.