Non-Toxic Natural Floss Reviews

Are there toxins in your floss? We tried 11 brands of natural dental floss and found some winners. Whether you’re looking for a thin or thick floss or one that’s biodegradable, read our reviews to find the right natural floss for you.

Nine brands of natural floss

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

It all started when I ran out of floss. I went to my local Target and discovered they were cleared out of most brands of floss, including the one I was searching for. I then went to Walgreens and CVS only to run into the same problem. Totally puzzled, I googled “floss recall”.

Every article I came across had PFAS in the title (I found no floss recalls, but the mention of PFAS in floss shocked me). PFAS is the same chemical found in Teflon, used to coat non-stick pans. Apparently it also makes floss glide easily in and out of your teeth. Seriously? I’ve probably been flossing with Teflon-coated dental floss all these years without knowing it. Ugh!

I’m the daughter of a former dentist, so I floss several times a day (I’m not exaggerating). Floss is one of the last things I ever thought I’d have to worry about being harmful to my health. That made switching to natural floss a no-brainer.

BUT, if you go and grab the first brand of natural floss on the shelf, it just may be the thickest, most rope-like substance that you’ve ever come across. Who wants to feel like all of their teeth are going to fall out every time they floss? Not me!

I tested eleven brands of natural floss to see if there were any brands that I would actually use without feeling like my teeth were being displaced. I found four brands that I love, and I have a clear favorite out of those. First, I want to go over why flossing is SO important, and why you should be concerned that PFAS is found in some brands of dental floss.

WHY FLOSS?

Aside from the most glaring reason of having broccoli or cream cheese lodged in the impossible to reach spaces in between your teeth, flossing every day is just plain good for the overall health of your mouth. Brushing alone can’t reach between your teeth where plaque and destructive bacteria hide out.

Gingivitis and periodontal disease are two dental problems that can arise from not flossing. When bacteria from periodontitis enters the circulatory system, it can trigger an inflammatory response throughout the rest of the body.

This inflammation is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (1, 2). In a 2010 study, patients with established coronary heart disease were more likely to have a coronary event if periodontal disease was also present (3). And research has found a link between periodontitis and other diseases such as Alzheimer’s (4) and diabetes (5). So let’s all get that floss out, shall we?

HARMFUL CHEMICALS TO AVOID IN FLOSS

If you look on a package of floss, chances are you won’t find a list of ingredients. That’s because Dental floss manufacturers aren’t required to list the ingredients. In a 2019 study, researchers tested 18 brands of dental floss and found that 6 of the brands contained the chemical PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) (6).

PFAS has strong chemical bonds, so it’s super powerful at repelling water and oil, even at high temperatures. The drawback is that PFAS does not break down in our bodies. That’s concerning, since PFAS has been linked to certain types of cancer (7, 8). PFAS is also associated with autoimmune diseases (9), neurotoxicity, thyroid disease, reproductive issues, and other scary health effects (10, 11).

DON’T PURCHASE THESE BRANDS OF FLOSS

Remember the 2019 study I mentioned above that found some floss brands testing positive for PFAS (6)?  I’ve listed those six floss brands below, along with one brand that states they use a non-stick coating in their product. If any of these brands of floss are in your medicine cabinet, throw them out now!

  • Colgate Total Dental Floss Mint
  • Crest Glide Deep Clean Cool Mint Floss
  • CVS Health SuperSlip Ease Between Waxed
  • Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Mint
  • Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Original
  • Signature Care Mint Waxed Comfort Floss
  • GUM Eez-Thru Mint Floss (lists non-stick coating in description)

On the upside, there are dental products out there that don’t contain PFAS or other harmful chemicals. Health forward companies also list ingredients, even though it’s not required by law.

Nine brands of natural floss with floss strands

HOW I TESTED

Luckily I floss twice a day, so I had plenty of opportunities to test out each brand of floss. My front teeth are fairly close together, so if any of the floss brands that I tested took effort to get in the spaces between my teeth or if the floss made my teeth hurt, I sent it to the “thick” floss pile.

There’s nothing wrong with the “thick” floss pile, but I personally can’t use thick floss. Hopefully it’s a good reference point for those of you starting on your natural floss journey. I also had Jeremy test each floss brand. He isn’t quite at the Olympic level of flossing that I am, but he agreed with my assessment of each brand of floss, and he stands behind my favorite brand.

FLOSS BRANDS I TESTED

I listed the floss that I tested in order from thinnest to thickest below. From the research that I’ve done, all of the floss brands that I tested do not use PFAS in their products. Some of the brands specifically state this on their website, while others provide ingredient lists, or both. Desert Essence was the only brand that did not state whether they used PFAS on their website, and did not provide an ingredient list for their floss. However, Desert Essence is a company that’s been around for over 35 years and is dedicated to bringing its customers quality products, listing all ingredients used in their products here. On to the reviews…

Eco-Dent GentleFloss

  • Is it biodegradable? No, it’s made with nylon material. However, the package is biodegradable.
  • Cost: $0.06 per meter
  • My take: This floss is the “skinniest” of all the floss brands that I tested. I had no problem getting it through my front teeth, which are really close together. It glided well when using, and I never experienced breakage of the floss. My one complaint is that the floss tasted medicinal. After looking at the ingredient list, I can see that 11 different essential oils were added. Maybe that’s overkill? I would prefer a basic mint flavor. The floss comes in a biodegradable container that is supposed to house the floss as you use it. It has a little metal piece for cutting off pieces of floss. The container ripped immediately, and I luckily had an old plastic floss container that I am using to house the Ecodent floss.
  • From the Ecodent website: Vegan waxed using rice bran. The only floss waxed with 100% vegetable waxes. no beeswax. This lighter and smoother wax helps GentleFloss glide more easily between tight teeth contacts. Nylon, not silk. Silk production involves chemical sterilization and can be dangerous and involve child labor. Nylon is clean and effective as a floss, without these problems. Refreshing, long-lasting clean mint taste.
  • Ingredients: Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba seed) oil,  Euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, Oryza sativa (rice bran) oil, Oryza sativa (rice bran) wax, menthol, Mentha piperita (peppermint) oil, anethole, Citrus aurantium  dulcis (orange) oil, Citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) oil, Illicium verum (anise) oil, Pelargonium graveolens (geranium) flower oil, Citrus aurantium bergamia (bergamot) fruit oil, Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil, Ocimum basilicum (basil) oil, Rosa damascene (rose) flower oil.

Georganics Natural Silk Floss

  • Is it biodegradable? Yes, the floss is made with silk fibers. UPDATE: Georganics has just started manufacturing their floss with corn fibers instead of silk. It is not yet available in the US, but I have some on order from the UK and will review this product again once it arrives. The container is made of glass, so it’s reusable. You can purchase individual spools of floss after purchasing the glass container.
  • Cost: $0.13 per meter
  • My take: I absolutely love this floss! It’s from the UK, so I can only imagine Kate Middleton is flossing with this brand as I write. Cherrio Kate! It has a mint flavor that is the perfect amount of mintiness for me. It’s on the thin side of all the floss brands I tested, coming in at just a little thicker than the Ecodent, so it easily gets through all the spaces between my teeth. I haven’t had any problems with the floss breaking, and I’ve done tons of flossing with it. I will definitely buy this floss again.
  • From the Georganics website: This natural floss is made from Ahimsa (Peace) silk, coated with Candelilla wax and flavoured with organic Spearmint oil. It comes in a reusable glass flint and a metal cap dispenser, to be used again and again with our 2×30 metres refills. Packed in a fully compostable, plastic-free kraft box. Made from 100% compostable silk. Ahimsa cruelty-free silk suitable to Vegetarians. 30 metres gives around 100 applications. Reusable glass dispenser & metal cap.
  • Ingredients: Ahimsa Silk^, Euphorbia Cerifera Wax*^, Mentha Spicata Herb Oil*^. *Organic, ^Natural.

Bambo Earth Pure Silk Eco Floss

  • Is it biodegradable? Yes, the floss is made with silk fibers. The container is made of glass, so it’s reusable. You can purchase individual spools of floss after purchasing the glass container.
  • Cost: $0.30 per meter
  • My take: I liked this floss, but it’s a little on the stiff side. It’s a little thicker than the Ecodent, but it still got through the close spaces between my teeth fairly easily. The main drawback is that the ingredients state “mint flavoring”, but give no detail on what that flavoring is.
  • From the Bambo Earth website: This pack comes with one 30m/33yrd pure eco floss and one reusable and refillable glass jar. The floss is made of the highest quality natural silk fiber and coated with candelilla wax to ensure easy and safe use. Featuring mint flavor for fresh and clean after-effect. The floss is made organic and natural high-quality silk and is waxed with candelilla wax and mint-flavored to achieve smoother cleaning and fresh feeling. The floss is PFAS free and biodegradable.
  • Ingredients: Organic silk (floss fiber), candelilla wax, mint flavoring.

Radius Natural Silk Floss

  • Is it biodegradable? Yes, the floss is made with silk fibers. The container is made of plastic.
  • Cost: $0.08 per meter
  • My take: This floss is on the medium thickness side. I could still get it between the spaces in my teeth, but it was thicker than both Ecodent, Georganics and Bambo Earth. The cashier at Natural Grocers mentioned that it was her favorite floss. I found it to be on the stiff and slightly knobby side as far as floss material goes.
  • From the Radius website: Radius Silk Floss® is free from the toxins found in similar products, RADIUS®’ silk floss glides easily between teeth for a meticulously clean finish. Plus, our silk floss is the only biodegradable and compostable floss on the market today.  Free from glutens, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, GMOs, unnatural coloring, phthalates, parabens.
  • Ingredients: Natural silk, candelilla plant wax.

Risewell Teflon-Free Floss

  • Is it biodegradable? No.
  • Cost: $0.16 per meter
  • My take: I really like this floss, especially the fact that it has benefits beyond just flossing. It’s infused with hydroxyapatite, a biocompatible mineral that remineralizes tooth enamel. The floss is grippy and flexible, so it does a great job at cleaning the spaces in between your teeth. I love that it’s doing double duty to remove food and plaque while it strengthens enamel in all of those hard to get to spots.
  • From the Risewell website: Flossing should feel good—simple as that. Introducing the world’s first hydroxyapatite-infused dental floss, designed to deliver remineralizing HA to the overlooked tight spots between your teeth. This innovative RiseWell floss glides smoothly and comfortably, and expands for effective cleaning. It’s honest, too: Unlike other flosses, all the ingredients are listed on the box, because we’re not afraid to hide what’s good.
  • Ingredients: Vegan wax, xylitol, stevia, hydroxyapatite, spearmint oil, polyester filament

drTung’s Smart Floss

  • Is it biodegradable? No, the floss is made with polyester fibers. However, the container is made with biodegradable plastic.
  • Cost: $0.18 per meter
  • My take: This floss has fairly grippy, flexible material. I liked it more the second time I used it.
  • From the drTung’s website: Free of PTFE & PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances). drTung’s smart floss is clinically proven to remove up to 55% MORE plaque than regular flosses. It stretches and expands into interdental spaces to clean better. This high-performance floss is suitable for everyone – people with tight spaces, wider spaces…even braces. This revolutionary floss is also  gentler on gums because it is cushion-soft and can stretch. Biodegradable container, made with EcoPure, will biodegrade faster in a landfill than regular plastic (which can take up to 100 years). Gluten-free. PTFE-free. BPA-free. Made of simple polyester fibers.
  • Ingredients: Natural blend of vegetable and beeswax (no petrochemical wax), natural cardamom flavor.

Cocofloss Dental Floss

  • Is it biodegradable? No, the floss is made of polyester filaments, and the container is plastic.
  • Cost: $0.31 per meter
  • My take: I like how grippy Cocofloss is between my teeth – it really cleaned out the spaces between my teeth. Target and Amazon both carry it, so it’s convenient to buy.
  • From the Cocofloss website: Coconut oil, a natural antimicrobial, soothes your gums while Cocofloss fibers scrub all that irritating plaque away. 500+ polyester filaments gently scrub plaque away. Vegan wax enables Cocofloss to coast elegantly between tight contacts. Coconut oil soothes your gums. Subtle, bright fruit notes make flossing a delight. Cruelty-free, vegan, gluten free, paraben free. Made in Italy. Cocofloss aromas are not all natural, except the mint flavor. Cocofloss aromas are made from a combination of synthetic and natural ingredients. Cocofloss is PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances) free. Cocofloss is not biodegradable.
  • Ingredients: Microcrystalline wax, coconut oil, spearmint oil, cornmint oil, anise camphor, menthol.

Boka Ela Mint Floss

  • Is it biodegradable? Still waiting to hear back from the company.
  • Cost: $0.19 Per meter
  • My take: This floss is a little thicker than Ecodent, Georganics, Risewell, Cocofloss, drTung’s, Bambo Earth and Radius. It’s not quite as thick as the Tom’s of Maine, Desert Essence and Fresh Labs, but it’s still a little thicker than I like from a floss. If you have wide spaces between your teeth, this floss may work for you.
  • From the Boka website: Your mouth thanks you for your flossing habit, and so do your dental bills! Keep your good habit going strong with our natural floss. Made with vegetable wax, it’s Teflon-free, petroleum-free and provides a thorough, satisfying clean.
  • Ingredients: Still waiting to hear back from the company.

Fresh Labs Corn Dental Floss

  • Is it biodegradable? Yes, the floss is made with corn fibers. The container is made of glass, so it’s reusable. You can purchase individual spools of floss after purchasing the glass container.
  • Cost: $0.20 per meter
  • My take: This floss was too thick to get between the spaces in my teeth comfortably, but if you have wide spaces, it may work for you.
  • From the Fresh Labs website: Biodegradable floss. Truly Plastic Free – Say goodbye to plastic for your dental care! Organic Corn – Sustainably Sourced, Organic and Non-GMO. Vegan – With Candelilla Wax, 100% Organic and Plant Based and Ginger Extract to Improve the Circulation of the Gums TESTED – Just works! On tight gaps, sensitive gums and unpleasant breath. Fresh – Peppermint Flavored with Natural Essential Oils. Biodegradable and compostable.
  • Ingredients: Organic corn (floss fiber), natural candelilla wax (from an organic leaf), ginger extract, peppermint essential oil.

Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Floss

  • Is it biodegradable? No, the floss is made of polyester filaments, and the container is plastic.
  • Cost: $0.07 per meter
  • My take: This floss was too thick to get between the spaces in my teeth comfortably, but it may work if you have wide spaces between your teeth.
  • From the Desert Essence website: Keep your mouth healthy and your smile bright with this waxed floss that glides easily between teeth, gums and hard to reach spaces. Infused with Australian Tea Tree Oil and a sweet fusion of mint to keep your breath fresh and clean. Helps remove plaque with regular use. Nylon Floss coated with beeswax for easy glide. Infused with inherently cleansing Australian Tea Tree Oil. Does not contain alcohol. Vegetarian, no animal testing, no alcohol, artificial detergents, color or synthetic perfumes.
  • Ingredients: None listed except in the description. Desert Essence is a company that’s been around for over 35 years and is dedicated to bringing its customers quality products, listing all ingredients used in their products here.

Tom’s of Maine Antiplaque Flat Floss

  • Is it biodegradable? No, it’s made with nylon filaments. The container is plastic.
  • Cost: $0.13 per meter
  • My take: This floss was too thick to get through most of the spaces between my teeth, but if you have wide spaces between your teeth it may work for you.
  • From the Tom’s of Maine website: Strong between teeth, yet gentle on gums. Our easy glide naturally waxed nylon filaments prevent snapping or fraying while removing particles efficiently and thoroughly to help keep teeth and gums healthy. No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Not tested on animals.
  • Ingredients: Purified beeswax (Cera alba), Carnauba wax (Brazilian Wax Palm Tree), Spearmint (Mentha Viridis) Leave, Jojoba Wax, Acacia senegal gum, Commiphora myrrha (myrrh) resin extract, Propolis Cera.

Non-Toxic Floss

SHOP NON-TOXIC DENTAL FLOSS

TIPS WHEN SHOPPING FOR DENTAL FLOSS

  • When shopping for a coated floss, opt for a coating made of beeswax, carnauba wax, cerifera or natural candelilla wax.
  • Avoid “nonstick” or “glides easily” when buying floss, as they are red flags for PFAS coating. PFAS coatings do not have to be disclosed.
  • Look for natural fiber dental floss made from biodegradable materials like silk, as opposed to plastic.
  • For flavored floss, look for essential oils and extracts on the ingredient list. Try to avoid ingredients listed as “flavor”, “natural flavors” or “artificial flavor”
  • You can contact the floss company to ask if a specific product contains PFAS, plastic, or flavors.

WHY I DON’T USE CHARCOAL DENTAL PRODUCTS

I’ve noticed that several brands of dental products now carry charcoal floss and toothpaste. It’s black, which weirds me out as far as dental products go, but beyond that, charcoal dental products can erode tooth enamel if used on a daily basis (12). A 2017 review found insufficient evidence to back up charcoal’s so-called teeth-beautifying benefits (13). I don’t feel the need to buy and test any floss or toothpaste that has the potential to erode the enamel on my teeth and has no proven benefits. This is a personal preference, but I thought I’d mention it.

REFERENCES

  1. Kebschull M, Demmer R, Papapanou P. “Gum bug, leave my heart alone!”—epidemiologic and mechanistic evidence linking periodontal infections and atherosclerosis. J Dent Res. 2010;89(9):879–902.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20639510
  2. Loos B. G., Teeuw W. J., & Nicu E. A. Plausible Mechanisms Explaining the Association of Periodontitis with Cardiovascular Diseases In Pedersen A. M. L. (Ed.), Oral Infections and General Health (pp. 19–33). The Netherlands: Springer International; 2016.
    https://dare.uva.nl/search?identifier=61463817-7841-47b2-ad5c-818fedb01d99
  3. Dorn JM, Genco RJ, Grossi SG, Falkner KL, Hovey KM, Iacoviello L, et al. Periodontal disease and recurrent cardiovascular events in survivors of myocardial infarction (MI): the Western New York Acute MI Study. J Periodontol. 2010;81(4):502–11.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20367093
  4. Teixeira, F. et al. Periodontitis and Alzheimer’s Disease: A Possible Comorbidity between Oral Chronic Inflammatory Condition and Neuroinflammation. Front Aging Neurosci. 2017; 9: 327.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5649154/
  5. Preshaw, P.M. et al. Periodontitis and diabetes: a two-way relationship. Diabetologia. 2012 Jan; 55(1): 21–31.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3228943/
  6. Boronow, K.E. et al. Serum concentrations of PFASs and exposure-related behaviors in African American and non-Hispanic white women. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology volume 29, pages206–217(2019).
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41370-018-0109-y
  7. Nicole, W. PFOA and Cancer in a Highly Exposed Community: New Findings from the C8 Science Panel. Environ Health Perspect. 2013 Nov-Dec; 121(11-12): A340.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3855507/
  8. Hurley, S. et al. Breast cancer risk and serum levels of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances: a case-control study nested in the California Teachers Study. Environ Health. 2018; 17: 83.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6260688/
  9. Ulcerative colitis PFOA
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3734500/
  10. Schaider, L. Everyday Exposures to PFAS Chemicals. Silent Spring Institute.
    https://silentspring.org/project/everyday-exposures-pfas-chemicals
  11. Environmental Working Group. EWG Assessment of EPA Draft Human Health Risk Assessment for the Teflon Chemical PFOA. Nov. 2007.
    https://www.ewg.org/research/ewg-assessment-epa-draft-human-health-risk-assessment-teflon-chemical-pfoa#.WkVkolQ-eCQ
  12. Linda H. Greenwall, Joseph Greenwall-Cohen & Nairn H. F. Wilson. Charcoal-containing dentifrices. British Dental Journal volume 226, pages 697–700(2019).
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41415-019-0232-8
  13. Brooks, J et al. Charcoal and charcoal-based dentifrices: A literature review. JADA. September 2017 Volume 148, Issue 9, Pages 661–670.
    https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(17)30412-9/fulltext

11 brands of non-toxic dental floss