Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mental Floss for Dental Floss?

The eco 'burban dad looooves dental floss. Seriously, if he forgets to pack it on a vacation or even a weekend away, he's frantic and must have his flossy fix. Me? Eh, I can take it our leave it. Not that I don't think it's important, because it really is. However I am usually happy I've gotten 5 minutes to brush my teeth, slap on some moisturizer and run a brush through my hair before someone knocks on the door, so if I don't get time to floss, I'm not too upset.
That said, the eco 'burban dad burns through enough floss for the both of us. And, yes, I'm sure it's a bit wasteful to use so much, though when he's 87 and still has beautiful chompers instead of dentures in a glass on the nightstand next to the bed, I won't mind so much.

We're just about out of the waxy string at the eco 'burban house and we're currently using the trial size packages we get from the dentist and as I added "dental floss" to this week's shopping list, I paused. Is there a better, more environmentally friendly floss? One without plastic packaging or chemical treatments? I'm betting the minty flavor is most likely derived in a laboratory, not nature! And how does that wax get stuck to the string anyway? We've already switched to Tom's toothpaste, but does Tom make a floss too? If so, I haven't seen it...

So, anyone with a better alternative and has a moment to weigh in, please do. I need a little mental floss before I buy more dental floss.

5 comments:

Jamie Lynn said...

Actually I have found an alternative, its called bryton pick. It looks like a little boomerang, and is somewhat different from regular floss. It says reusable for 30 days on the package, so the waste stream is much less than regular floss – waste stream is a concern for me also. I have come to use it more than regular floss…I carry it everywhere because I can use it in a pinch after I eat, so it’s great for during the day. Check it out it may be useful to you, I understand your pain, I barely have time to get myself to together most mornings!

Green Bean said...

My dad's a dentist and we do have tons of those bryton picks. Actually, my dad has oodles of them at home. I should ask my mom to send me some and I can forward them along to you. Email me if you want some.

I still use floss though. I got all kinds of cavities and then I started flossing REALLY well and haven't had one since. Knock on wood.

I use Eco Dent. You can get it at Whole Foods. It comes in recycled paper packaging instead of the traditional hard plastic, non recyclable case. Inside, the floss is wrapped in a very small plastic bag. It is vegan waxed. I'm not sure I would call it eco-friendly but I think it is the friendliest dental floss you'll find.

Also, gum chewing dramtically reduces plaque and all that other gunk around your teeth. My husband chews gum like a mad man, never flosses and has the healthiest teeth you'll ever see. Of course, I've yet to find any true green gum but just throwing it out there.

Sabine said...

I am a fan of the bryton pick, I got one from my hygienist and got hooked to them. I ended up buying more online because I cant find them in my area. My husband thinks they are the coolest things since sliced bread!LoL! He is always stealing my supply, but at least it gets the nasty toothpick out of his mouth.
I will have to try that floss you mentioned I haven't seen that at whole foods so I will have to look for it.

Donna said...

There's a type of floss made out of gore-tex (sorry, I can't remember the name) that can be reused many times before it shreds. I just keep rinsing it off and I can make a roll of it last for months.

Anonymous said...

Ann said...

The dental office that I go to is launching a new website to help dental offices "Go Green". Their names are Sonja & Kathy. They are taking any requests to help patients and doctors save the environment. They really roll out the "Green Carpet". I recently asked them if I could order through them the dental floss that the Hygienist uses. She has a roll that she cuts off of for each patient (8 patients a day). It lasts the office for a year so imagine how long it will last us. It wasn't too expensive and then for future use you just buy the refills (a spool of floss fits into the original container). Their email is gblift@comcast.net and website is gblift.com (I think it is still in construction).
Good Luck!