Green your dental routine with this guide to the best eco-friendly dental floss. From vegan floss to biodegradable and compostable options, right through to refillable options and even eco replacements for single-use plastic floss picks. There might just be something out there that matches your sustainability ethics.
Some brands have paid a fee to be featured here (denoted by AD) – we only feature brands making sustainable choices.
So you’ve swapped to a plastic-free toothbrush, sustainable toothpaste, and eco-friendly mouthwash. You might be thinking that your dental routine couldn’t get any kinder to the environment. Think again. The dental floss market has also had a green makeover.
In saying that, I have personally found that finding eco-friendly dental floss is one of the hardest plastic-free bathroom swaps to make. Many eco-brands aren’t vegan-friendly and use silk and/or beeswax to make their floss. Silk is particularly problematic, so it’s understandable why so many people want to avoid using silk-based products.
The other issue is that many other eco-brands package their floss in plastic boxes or containers. This feels like it defeats the purpose of using a greener type of floss.
Meanwhile, other dental brands tout their dental floss as being eco-friendly. Yet when you look at the small print, their floss actually contains polyester or nylon – both non-compostable plastics.
It’s certainly been a frustrating time for those of us who care about the health of our teeth and gums, and the environment.
The Best Eco-Friendly Dental Floss
In saying that, there are some brands doing it right. Here are the sustainable dental brands offering eco-friendly dental floss options that are vegan-friendly, plastic-free, and zero-waste (or close to it!) – with some caveats.
Use these quick links or keep scrolling to discover the best brands:
Brushd Eco-Friendly Dental Floss
Instead of silk, Brushd natural eco-friendly dental floss is made from corn-based PLA.
PLA stands for Polylactic Acid. PLA dental floss is technically not plastic-free, as it is made from plant-based plastics. It is often referred to as a bio-plastic. This simply means the plastic does not come from a fossil fuel-based source.
PLA is industrially compostable. However, the big issue with PLA is that it is not home-compostable. This is because standard home compost bins don’t get to a consistently high enough temperature to break down PLA.
It’s therefore important to dispose of your used floss in your food waste or garden waste bin for industrial composting. If your local council does not collect your food waste, then you should dispose of your floss in your landfill bin.
PLA issues aside, this eco-friendly dental floss is coated in vegan-friendly candelilla wax, rather than beeswax. Brushd floss also comes in a recyclable and refillable glass jar with a metal dispenser lid. It comes in two sizes – the 30m size in the glass jar, or a Refill pack, comprising two 30m rolls.
My teeth overlap and are tightly packed together – I could really do with some orthodontic work on my bottom front teeth to correct the spacing. This means that personally, I find this floss too thick to use. However, if you have normal tooth spacing, without any overlapping teeth, then this could be a good choice for you.
Buy Brushd dental floss from Friendly Turtle, from £4.49.
The White Teeth Box
Similar to Brushd, White Teeth Box’s eco dental floss is made from corn-based PLA. Remember, PLA is not home compostable and should be disposed of in your food waste bin, or in your landfill bin if your local council does not collect your food waste.
The floss is coated with vegan-friendly candelilla wax for a smoother flossing action. And if you a like a fresh minty taste when you floss, then you are in luck. White Teeth Box’s floss uses mint essential oils for a cool minty finish.
The floss comes in a refillable glass jar, and refill packs are available.
Again, I found this floss a bit too thick for my dental care needs. I’ve come to think it’s a general issue with PLA-based flosses, that they need to be thicker to maintain strength.
Buy White Teeth Box’s dental floss from £4.49.
Acala’s eco-friendly dental floss is coated with candelilla wax and peppermint essential oil, for a vegan-friendly fresh taste. Again Acala’s floss is made from corn-based PLA, so isn’t home-compostable, but is industrially compostable.
You can opt to buy the floss in a refillable glass jar, with a metal lid, or you can buy refill packs. The refill packs come in recyclable kraft cardboard boxes – no plastic here.
Buy Acala dental floss from Trouva for £4.90.
Friendly Floss Reusable Dental Pick | AD
If you prefer to floss with a dental pick then you might feel like you are stuck using disposable plastic picks. The good news is, that, thanks to Friendly Floss, it’s now possible to ditch single-use picks and switch to an infinitely reusable and recyclable pick.
The Friendly Floss metal pick is cleverly designed to work with any type of dental floss – whether you favour eco-friendly types of floss or not. The pick can be threaded in four different ways, to suit your preferences. Meanwhile, the pencil-style grip provides close control for accurately flossing your teeth and gums.
When you’re done flossing, the reusable pick can be washed in your dishwasher or in your sink to keep it
Friendly Floss has thought of everything – even its packaging is fully plastic-free.
I tried out Friendly Floss, and really rate it. It took me a short while to get used to how to loop the floss correctly (thankfully Friendly Floss has uploaded some handy YouTube tutorials to help you out), but once I mastered that I loved how I could control the tension of the floss, and easily get into all the nooks and crannies of my teeth. I’ve always used my fingers – but I think I’m a convert to the pick now!
Buy direct from Friendly Floss for £15.99.
Which Brand Is The Best For Me?
These are the only eco-friendly dental floss brands that I can find that don’t contain nylon, polyester, silk, or beeswax. As I mentioned at the start of this article, some brands market themselves as eco-friendly. Yet when you look closer at their ingredients the floss contains polyester or nylon.
So far I’ve found that both the Humble Co and Organically Epic brands of dental floss contain either nylon or polyester, but I will update here as I find more. This is definitely something to be wary of.
However, as you can see, I have obviously had some quite big issues with the effectiveness of PLA-based flosses. I would say if you don’t have any issues with the spacing of your teeth then buy one jar of eco-friendly dental floss and see how you get on with it. Don’t invest in refills until you are happy with the performance of the floss.
The Brands I Don’t Rate
I used to really love Georganic’s eco-friendly dental floss. It was a mainstay in my bathroom cabinet and managed to glide through my teeth with ease. No mean feat!
Then a couple of years ago they launched their new and improved dental floss. The refills don’t fit in the old jars – leaving the old jars redundant.
And what’s worse is that the improved floss now snaps and frays really easily and leaves tiny bits of floss caught between your teeth. You end up having to use loads more floss, making it much more wasteful and much less economical.
I remain in hope that Georganics can find a new solution for their dental floss, as all their other eco dental care products are great. Just not this one.
What About Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Satin Tape or Super Floss?
Some people need to use satin tape because they have very tightly packed teeth. Others need to use super floss because of wearing dental appliances, such as braces or bridges.
If this is you, then the bad news is that I haven’t been able to find an eco alternative to these types of dental tape/floss. I would keep using these products until an effective eco-alternative comes onto the market.
I will update here should I find something – I currently have to use satin tape to maintain my teeth and gum health, so I am always on the lookout for something eco-friendlier.
What About a Water Pick?
I’ve heard a few people recommending a water pick as an eco-friendly alternative to dental floss. As such I spoke to both my dentist and dental hygienist about water picks. Particularly as I am currently using a not particularly eco-friendly type of dental floss.
Neither of them recommended a water pick or water flosser. Whilst these will do a decent enough job if you don’t have the mobility to manually floss, a water pick isn’t as effective as regular flossing. Their advice? If you are able to, stick to flossing manually.
What About Interdental Brushes?
I have tried interdental brushes made from bamboo, and I am sceptical about their eco-credentials, to be honest. The ones I have tried just feel like greenwash to me.
Interdental brushes are made of mixed materials that don’t easily come apart. This means they will have to be sent to landfill, where biodegradable materials do not break down.
Another point to bear in mind is that bamboo isn’t native to Europe. It has to be shipped from Asia. This possibly gives it a larger carbon footprint than a plastic interdental brush.
All in all, I feel that it is a more expensive “eco” swap that may not make a discernible difference to the environment. It’s certainly something to think about and decide if it’s the best option for you or not.
If you want to read more you can read about why plastic-free isn’t always better for the environment.