Could Some Dental Floss Be Harmful?

Some flosses may increase your exposure to toxic chemicals. Pre- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are waterproof and greaseproof substances are used in many products. Products include fast food containers (coated cardboard packaging), certain types of clothing, stain-resistant rugs/carpets and furniture, and some brands of dental dental floss - sm - free image - dreamstimefree 259779floss. In addition to our contact with them in these and other products, PFAS are also present in some contaminated water and some dust.

Most important, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is that these manmade chemicals continue to build up in the body and never break down. Some studies have shown a link of PFAS and high cholesterol, kidney cancer, testicular cancer, and thyroid disease.

The biggest surprise in the study (by scientists from the Silent Spring Institute and the Public Health Institute in Berkeley, CA), was the discovery that some brands of dental floss result in elevated levels of PFAs: Glide flosses and three non-Glide flosses were positive for fluorine.

What can you do? Buy and use dental floss that does not contain PFAS. When buying carryout meals, try to avoid the coated cardboard containers. Ask me when you come in for your next dental appointment about any additional research or any other actions that may help you restrict these chemicals.