Right now I’m using dental floss that doesn’t contain “wax.”
But in the past I’ve used waxy floss, sometimes flavored with peppermint.
I started avoiding the peppermint version a long time ago. I figured it contained some nasty chemicals I didn’t want in my body.
But I wasn’t too worried about the “wax.”
Until I read an article that explained how dental floss can be poisoning us.
Of all things to worry about. Add dental floss to the list.
Many “waxed” flosses are coated with perfluorinated chemicals, otherwise known as PFC’s.
These compounds make the floss glide easier. But this little convenience doesn’t seem worth it.
If you care about your health, PFC’s are something to avoid.
But you don’t have to stop flossing your teeth. There are alternatives, including natural dental floss coated with beeswax.
Unfortunately, PFC’s are widely used in manufacturing. So it’s difficult to avoid them altogether. But avoiding PFC-coated dental floss is an easy way to reduce your exposure.
Toxins In Your Dental Floss?
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So what’s so bad about PFC’s?
Well, for one, the type of PFC often used to make dental floss is toxic. The particular class of chemicals is known as PFA’s, and are found in nearly everyone’s bloodstream.
This class of chemicals has been widely studied. So far, according to the CDC, exposure to PFAS may lead to learning problems in children, reduced fertility, disrupt the hormones, raise cholesterol and possible increase your cancer risk.
As I mentioned earlier, I did know enough to avoid the flavored floss. Because I assumed it would contain chemicals I didn’t want.
But, until a few days ago, when I read an alarming article about dental floss, I had no idea it posed a health risk.
The chemicals in coated floss are from the same class of compounds as those nonstick coated pans we’re also supposed to avoid.
I’ve been scrupulous about getting rid of nonstick cookware. That’s because at high heat this type of cookware can emit toxic fumes, which contain PFAS.
However, little did I know that I was putting these toxic compounds right in my mouth.
I also should have known that even without PFAS, the “wax” on the floss wasn’t natural beeswax.
Beeswax is the only kind of wax I want to use, and certainly the only kind I want to burn. Regular candles are made from paraffin, a petroleum byproduct.
So going forward I’ll only use dental floss that’s not waxed.
Is Dental Floss Toxic?
Another problem with PFAS is that they last a long time, before breaking down. In the environment and also in your body.
Much more research is needed.
But the little we have is worrisome. One study published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology found that people who used a certain brand of dental floss had elevated levels of PFAS in their bloodstream.
Given these findings, it seems as if using non-coated dental floss is a relatively easy way to reduce PFAS exposure.
Where To Find Natural Dental Floss
I get my non-coated dental floss at the grocery store. It’s a cheap store brand. But I don’t see any ingredients listed on the container. I’ll have to check the package in the store to see what it says. It’s probably okay. However, to be 100 percent sure I’m going to have to reach out to the grocery store that carries this house brand floss.
But I may break down and order a natural brand online. The one shown here contains tea tree oil, a natural antimicrobial agent.
Out of the all the things we need to worry about, dental floss shouldn’t be one of them. But we do have to worry. Because PFAS don’t belong in our bodies.
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