As long as the dental floss you’ve been using seems to get the job done, you probably haven’t given it much thought. That may change once you read this, however. I hadn’t thought about my flossing product either, but once I did some investigating, I came up with 7 reasons to switch my brand of dental floss immediately. I want to share those reasons with you.
Flossing takes only a few minutes, but those are critical moments in your day. Daily flossing helps remove plaque from between your teeth and along the gum line, which in turn prevents tooth loss and gum disease. If using traditional dental floss is a challenge for you because you can’t reach properly and/or you have difficulty maneuvering the floss, you might try a Y-shaped flosser or interdental cleaners.
Why switch dental floss brands
But what if the dental floss you use day after day—that has intimate contact with your gums and mouth—contains or is made from potentially harmful ingredients? Could the very act of trying to prevent dental problems be jeopardizing your health and that of your family?
7. Perfluoroctanoic acid (PFOA). Some dental floss makers use PFOA to make their product glide effortlessly between your teeth. Even though PFOA has been viewed as safe by experts, a recent study indicates otherwise. At Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, investigators found that more than 10 percent of individuals who had been exposed to PFOA in drinking water had some type of thyroid disease. Although this study did not involve the use of dental floss, the risk seems worth mentioning given that dental floss does make contact with sensitive tissues and that PFOA doesn’t break down easily.
Waxed or unwaxed?
All this discussion about dental floss brings to mind a question: which is better, waxed or unwaxed? When it comes to effectiveness, the authors of a study published in the Journal of Periodontology came to the following conclusion after comparing the two types at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. When waxed and unwaxed were compared for removal of plaque, gingival response, and gum bleeding, they found no significant difference between the two types of floss.
Perhaps it’s time to take inventory of your dental floss to determine if you and your family are using a safe product. Check out the variety of natural brands on the market (e.g., Mercola Dental Floss, Dr. Tung’s , Tom’s of Maine, Desert Essence, Radius, among others) and make your own decision. Just don’t stop flossing!