Flossing is an important part of a healthy oral care routine. It may be surprising to think that conventional floss is not zero waste; however, it can be zero waste and sustainable if we choose to use the right products.
To help you make a conscious choice in oral healthcare, we researched various floss brands and picked the best that have a minimal environmental impact. Our recommendations are supported by customers’ experience to check if the products meet the claims made.
Best eco-friendly floss
- 100% compostable
- 2 in 1 - floss and pick
The sticks used in the floss pick are primarily made from corn starch, which is more eco-friendly than plastic. The sticks are designed in a way to serve as floss on one side and a pick on the other. The floss is made from bamboo charcoal, which is known for its extreme toughness, making it more durable.
The shape of the dental floss makes it easier to use and reach places for a deep clean. It is effective at removing excess residue and plaque. The convex design in the middle helps the user maintain a better grip and gives complete cleanliness.
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- 100% compostable and biodegradable
- Reusable glass container
- 100% plastic-free
Unlike traditional floss made with Teflon and petroleum, Better Eco floss is a durable silk floss that has a coating of ethically sourced candelilla wax. This ensures a better flossing experience without nasty chemicals and toxins.
The dental floss is made from 100% biodegradable and ethically sourced silk. It measures up to 10 meters in length, which translates to, approximately 100 applications. The packaging is made from 100% recyclable paper which can either be recycled or composted.
The packaging is simple, without prints and can be repurposed again with a refill. The silk wax has a mild mint flavor that adds a boost of freshness to the mouth. The cutting mechanism on the stainless steel cap is extremely satisfying to use.
You may find this floss a bit rougher in texture than the plastic one, but it is equally effective at removing the dirt and cleaning the gaps between the teeth with ease. It also gives better control during use and reduces the risk of slipping into a gum.
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- Vegan certified
- Plant-based formula
- Developed by dentists
- From Sweden with love
Made from the best quality bamboo, this plant-based picker is fused with a minty flavor. It is carefully designed to remove the residues between the teeth gently but effectively. It leaves the mouth refreshed and clean.
Plant-based materials do the trick with these floss picks. Some people find that floss picks or harps are easier for them to move between their teeth since they require less dexterity.
They have a pointed tip that acts as a toothpick is designed for one-time use. Earth-friendly versions are made from corn starch and come in biodegradable packaging.
- Climate pledge friendly certified
- 100% pure silk floss
- Strong and shred resistant
- Mint flavored
Bambo Earth’s floss slides in between your teeth with ease, has a lovely but not too strong mint flavor, and is eco-friendly. It does not shred or break. It is also not too smooth like some silky/satin non-eco flosses. This texture seems to get more debris out of your teeth while remaining enacted.
The compostable packaging, reusable glass and stainless steel container and biodegradable silk floss make the product altogether impressive. It comes with a mild mint flavor and is 20 meters in length.
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- No extra packaging
- One free refill
Mother Earth floss is made from bamboo charcoal fiber, vegan candelilla wax, and peppermint essential oil. It comes in a glass container, packed inside a biodegradable paper box. The box biodegrades within 60-90 days.
The company commits to safeguard the environment and donates 10% of the profit to oceanic and environmental conservation. Customers have stated that floss is very easy to use. Despite being eco friendly, it is in no way less effective than traditional floss - people have discovered that the floss performs very well. The peppermint flavor is subtle and not overwhelming.
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- Unique flavors
- Attractive packaging
Cocofloss feels like a thread, unlike traditional floss, which compresses and works perfectly between the teeth without pulling and tugging. It comes in a range of lovely flavors like strawberry, orange, vanilla and chocolate. The scent is aromatic and not overwhelming.
The floss itself is smooth and soft, coated with vegan wax - plus, it’s all cruelty-free! You can order a refill instead of buying the whole set, which makes it even more sustainable. However, it is not a zero-waste floss but is free from SLS and parabens.
It would almost feel like a relaxing routine rather than a compulsion. The pleasant aroma and the product’s simplicity make it easy to floss every day.
How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Floss - Buying Guide
While selecting an eco-friendly floss, it is essential to be conscious of the ingredients used in the floss, material of the container and packaging. We have used the following factors and assessed their pros and cons for our research and have listed them down for yours as well. There are additional factors that you might like to consider.
#1 Choose your flossing method
There are two ways to floss your teeth: picks or loose floss and have eco friendly alternatives
Floss picks for single-use
Floss picks is a single-use tool that has a piece of floss on one end and a toothpick structure on the other. It is extremely easy to use compared to loose floss. But the downside is that the same bit of floss is used for entire mouth, which increases the chances of transferring bacteria in the mouth.
It is also more wasteful than regular floss because it needs to be discarded after every use. Also, most of the floss picks are made from a combination of cornstarch and plastic for stiffness. Even though they cannot be composted, they are way better than picks made only from plastic.
Some people find it difficult to use loose floss because it requires proper handling. However, it is more effective because the length can be customized and the floss can be bent to wrap around the teeth. It is also hygienic as you can cut off the floss once used.
#2 Learn About Common Eco-Friendly Floss Materials
The traditional floss is typically made from nylon or plastic. Common eco friendly options are silk and bamboo.
- Silk Floss is Natural and Renewable
Silk is an eco-friendly material that is sourced from silkworms. It is biodegradable, unlike typical nylon or plastic floss. It is also a renewable resource and is a fairly strong material but is more likely to break compared to typical floss.
- Bamboo is Natural and Vegan
Bamboo is another sustainable alternative and also vegan. Bamboo is a renewable resource as it quickly grows back and the brought made from it are also biodegradable. Moreover, bamboo flosses are also vegan! Bamboo farming uses less water and energy to grow.
Bamboo toothbrushes have gained popularity in the last few decades, people are looking forward to using bamboo as an alternative for various needs. Bamboo floss only takes around 90 days to be decomposed and can be flavored with essential oils like peppermint and tea tree oil.
- Activated Charcoal is a Common Addition
You will also come across many options that have activated charcoal. It is because they work well in removing toxins and whitening the teeth. The effectiveness of charcoal is significant in oral health care. Many people also find it easier to see plaque collected on a darker-colored floss.
Charcoal can remove bad odor and remove bacteria for better oral health. More research is essential on activated charcoal so that dentists promote their use confidently.
- Nylon is Not Biodegradable
Despite Nylon not being biodegradable, you can find many nylon floss products packed in compostable packaging. It is a great way to reduce plastic waste. Some people might restore to nylon due to less shedding and may want to opt for eco-friendly alternatives in packaging.
#3 Ensure that the Container is Eco-Friendly Too
The standard floss bottles and packaging are non-biodegradable. If you looking for a zero-waste option, it is equally important to consider the packaging into account.
Many eco-friendly alternatives come in reusable containers like glass and stainless steel. These are a great option that is sustainable where you can purchase the refills after purchasing the container once.
Now, have a look at how the refills are also packaged to avoid the chances of unnecessary plastic waste. Many brands package them either in biodegradable paper or compostable jute/soy bags.
#4 Choose Between Waxed or Unwaxed
You might come across wax as another ingredient used in floss. It comes down to your personal preference if you like your floss to be waxed or not.
Waxed floss has a thin layer of wax coating which sometimes contains flavor. It is slightly thicker than the unwaxed alternative. Wax works as a lubricant and makes it easier for the floss to glide between the teeth, especially if the floss is thick.
About the wax coating
Since unwaxed floss is slightly thinner, it becomes easier to slide it between the teeth. However, unwaxed options are prone to breakage and shredding as they don’t have a protective layer.
Candelilla wax is a vegan alternative to conventional wax used in floss. It is also safe to use as regarded by FDA. However, pregnant and nursing women are recommended to consult medical professionals before use.
#5 Decide if You Want Flavored or Unflavored
Decide if you want to go with flavored and unflavored floss. It doesn’t create any difference but many people prefer minty freshness after flossing. Standard flosses usually use a chemical coating for flavor. There are many options to choose from including bubblegum, mint and other fruit flavors.
Eco friendly alternatives usually include essential oils for flavoring, peppermint being the most common one. Since eco friendly options are new to the market, you might find it difficult to find other interesting flavors. Look for unflavored floss in case you don’t like the peppermint taste.
Peppermint helps to remove bacterial and soothe gum irritation. Tea tree oil is also effective in removing harmful germs and fungus.
Whether you choose bamboo or silk, a recyclable container, or a refillable container, buying eco friendly floss is a choice that has an impact beyond just oral health. Creating less waste and using sustainable material will help you get started with your sustainable journey in a better way.