Zero waste dental floss is a fantastic alternative to traditional dental floss that is not only better for the environment, but also improves your oral hygiene and quality of life.
Traditional dental floss comes in plastic packaging with a piece of waxed string inside that has nylon filament wrapped around a thin wooden stick. The packaging for this type of item produces significantly more plastic waste than is needed.
Zero waste dental floss, on the other hand, does not come packaged in plastic or produce any type of waste. The bamboo, corn, cotton, or silk fabric that comprises most zero waste dental floss is coated with wax and rolled into a spool. It’s as easy to use as traditional dental floss you’d purchase, except it’s completely biodegradable.
All zero waste floss brands are typically sold in spools or by the foot. They’re often packaged in glass or bamboo bottles, and the spool refills are available for purchase. Additionally, you can buy enough refills in one go to last you the next decade, which can help minimize transportation costs and other environmental impacts of capitalism.
Why You Should Be Using Zero Waste Floss
Zero waste dental floss is the simple, effective choice for people looking to minimize their environmental impact without changing their quality of life. There’s really no need to house or create floss in plastic, so choosing zero waste dental floss is more of a pragmatic decision than anything else.
Since plastic waste is extremely harmful to the environment, it's important that consumers are aware of the zero waste alternatives that are available, and floss is a very low hanging fruit in the grand scheme of zero waste bathroom swaps.
Most zero waste dental floss is made from all-natural, biodegradable, and non-toxic materials. This is better for the environment and your oral health. Not only this, but many zero waste floss brands also taste significantly better and are easier to use, spool, and unspool.
They’re much more affordable than their plastic counterparts over the long-term, especially considering the average package size of plastic floss and how often you need to buy more (pretty much every month!).
It’s easy to make the switch to zero waste dental floss. We’ve curated a short list of highly effective zero waste floss brands below that you can purchase in minutes.
9 Zero Waste Dental Floss Options
Let’s explore some specific types of zero waste floss currently available! We’ll provide quick descriptions of every product, as well as any potential benefits or pitfalls that we’ve found when dealing with these zero waste dental floss brands.
1. allBambu Mint Plant-Based Floss
allBambu has been killing it with their plant-based products recently, and this mint dental floss is no exception! It's 100% plant-based eco dental floss that is made from organic corn and lightly waxed with candelilla for strength and ease of use between tight teeth.
Its natural mint flavor offers a pleasant flossing experience, and the product is Vegan, PETA & Leaping Bunny Certified.
2. Earth Era Biodegradable Dental Floss with Bamboo Holder
This affordable product comes in a sustainable, bamboo container that can withstand damage. Its natural silk dental floss is superior to bamboo charcoal floss and cornstarch floss. As a resilient thread, it easily slides between your teeth. Plus, its mint flavor is delicious!
3. Bambaw Vegan Dental Floss
Bambaw’s vegan dental floss contains plant-based dental tape coated with candelilla wax, making it the best option for vegans (unlike other alternatives like silk floss or beeswax coated dental floss). The eco-friendly floss dispenser contains 50 meters of plant-based dental lace that has a fresh minty flavor.
4. Bambaw Natural Silk Dental Floss
This great, effective dental floss comes in a zero waste floss container made of sturdy stainless steel, which enables consumers to reuse the tooth floss dispenser for years. This is ideal for travel and having your floss always at hand. This biodegradable floss is made from 100% pure silk and will fully biodegrade in your backyard compost.
5. Laboos Natural Woven Dental Floss
This product is biodegradable and compostable, making it a premium product to help care for the environment. For all you world travelers out there, this floss comes in high-quality, travel-friendly glass jars that are small enough to fit in a pocket or keep in a toiletry pack for home or vacation use.
6. The Humble Co. Dental Floss
This product is brought to you by dentists who care about your health, our environment and children in need of oral care products. Their eco-friendly products help fund oral health projects for children around the world. It is coated with a mint, cinnamon or lemon flavoring as well as xylitol to ensure that your flossing experience is as efficient, pleasant and effective as possible.
7. ME.MOTHEREARTH Vegan Biodegradable Bamboo Charcoal Dental Floss Refill
This product is 100% biodegradable, made from bamboo charcoal fiber so it breaks down in approximately 60-90 days. As expected, the packaging is all recyclable, and it comes in a range of nicely sized containers for any usage.
8. BURST Oral Care Refillable Dental Floss Set
This product is a textured filament floss that expands in your mouth to clean deep and remove up to 85% more plaque than other varieties. The charcoal coating helps absorb coffee, wine and other hard to remove stains from your teeth.
9. The Humble Co. Natural Dental Floss Picks
This product features double threading that ensures food debris is effectively removed, whilst the shape of the pick promotes easy access to those hard-to-reach places. These vegan, cruelty-free dental picks also promote gum health and clean breath.
More Zero Waste Dental Care Alternatives
Beyond dental floss, other zero waste dental hygiene options include mouthwash, zero waste floss picks, and zero waste floss holders (included with some items mentioned above).
Zero Waste Floss Picks
Zero waste floss picks are simple, effective ways to get into hard-to-reach corners of our mouth, and they’re preferable to many in lieu of traditional floss because of their high reusability potential. Simply clean or boil your zero waste floss picks for a few minutes between uses, and you’re good to go!
Mouthwash is a quick and easy way to clean your breath, and is a fantastic alternative to plastic-based gums that can end up in landfills or the ocean. Zero waste mouthwashes are often powdered, and come in recyclable or biodegradable packaging. Carry some with you in your purse or pocket for convenience and ease-of-use!
Over a billion toothbrushes are thrown away in the US alone every single year, with the majority of them being plastic. Be a part of the solution and choose a more environmentally friendly option.
Bamboo toothbrushes are completely biodegradable (some require you to remove the bristles before composting) and affordable to boot. Many retailers are beginning to catch on and carry these toothbrushes, so you may be able to find one locally.
Zero Waste Toothpaste
Like toothbrushes, plastic toothpaste tubes create so much waste. Around 1.5 billion plastic toothpaste tubes are discarded every year.
There are plenty of zero waste toothpaste options. Refilleries carry traditional toothpaste in a refillable form, and you can also find toothpaste tablets or even powder.
Plastic Dental Floss: Wasteful & Unnecessary
Unfortunately, dental floss is one of those single-use products that are instantly discarded and thrown in the garbage. Naturally, dental offices and dental hygienists are not always as eco-conscious as they should be, and they often throw out hundreds of yards of dental floss in just a single day of operation.
If every dental office in the world switched to zero waste dental floss, they would save millions of pounds of waste from entering landfills each year, and there would be virtually no difference in quality of care and oral health.
As stated above, a major problem with traditional dental floss is that it is made with plastic. To make regular dental floss, manufacturers take thin strands of plastic and wax, melt them together, extrude the hot goo through holes in a metal plate, and wind the strands into large spools.
This process produces an enormous amount of plastic waste in addition to the pure packaging cost alone and it ends up in landfills or oceanic gyres.
Zero waste dental floss counteracts this through biodegradable packaging and through recycling old floss packets from other, less environmentally-friendly companies. They then turn these into new materials for their products. Many zero waste brands use excess cardboard that has been recycled for their packaging and materials like raffia, corn, hemp, or silk to create their floss.
9 Zero Waste Floss Brands for Sustainable Dental Health
Ultimately, there are many reasons why zero waste dental floss is a better option than traditional plastic dental floss. It’s better for the environment, often biodegradable, and easily reusable. It can be easier on your gums and teeth if you have sensitivities to certain materials, and it can be more affordable than plastic dental floss over the long run.
If you want to step up your oral hygiene game while looking out for the environment, grab yourself some zero waste dental floss, dental picks, or mouthwash today!