The Dangers of Fluoride and PFAS
By Courtney Virden
Dental floss is a seemingly innocuous part of our oral hygiene routine, promoted for its ability to remove plaque and prevent gum disease. However, a closer look reveals a potential health concern – fluoride and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in certain dental floss products. This article will delve into the health impacts and dangers associated with fluoride and PFAS in dental floss, supported by scientific sources and expert opinions. Non-toxic products are something I have been passionate about for years, which is why my ebook contains a section on endocrine disruptors. So, what is the best dental floss for those wanting to avoid these ingredients? Keep reading to find out.
Understanding Fluoride and PFAS in Dental Floss
Fluoride, often used in dental care products for its cavity-fighting properties, and PFAS, known for its water and grease-resistant properties, have raised concerns in recent years. Dental floss with added fluoride and PFAS is marketed as offering an extra layer of protection against tooth decay and enhancing floss performance. However, the potential health risks associated with this practice are significant.
Health Impacts of Fluoride and PFAS in Dental Floss
- Fluorosis Risk: Dental fluorosis, a condition characterized by discoloration and pitting of tooth enamel, is a well-documented risk associated with excessive fluoride exposure. Dental floss with added fluoride contributes to the overall fluoride intake, increasing the likelihood of fluorosis, especially in children.
Source: American Dental Association (ADA)
2. Potential for Systemic Absorption: The oral mucosa can absorb substances, raising concerns about the systemic absorption of fluoride and PFAS from dental floss. Studies indicate that prolonged exposure may lead to elevated blood fluoride and PFAS levels, posing risks to various organs.
Source: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), Environmental Health Perspectives
3. Endocrine Disruption: Fluoride has been linked to endocrine-disrupting effects, affecting hormonal balance in the body. PFAS compounds may also disrupt endocrine function, compounding the potential risks.
Source: Environmental Health Perspectives
4. Neurological Concerns: Some studies suggest a potential connection between elevated fluoride levels and adverse effects on neurological development. Prenatal exposure and early childhood intake may pose risks to cognitive function. PFAS exposure has also been associated with neurological impacts.
Source: Environmental Research
5. Environmental Impact: Disposing of dental floss containing fluoride and PFAS contributes to environmental pollution. Fluoride and PFAS runoff can enter water systems, affecting aquatic ecosystems and wildlife.
Source: Journal of Environmental Management
Best Dental Floss Brands without Fluoride and PFAS & Popular Brands with It
Brands with Fluoride and PFAS:
1. Oral-B Glide Floss: Known for its cavity-fighting dental care range, including fluoride and PFAS-infused floss.
2. Colgate Total Mint Waxed Dental Floss: Advertised as providing extra enamel protection through fluoride and PFAS in its dental floss.
3. Reach Dental Floss: They have several varieties, including woven dental floss and several others with fluoride.
Fluoride-Free and PFAS-Free Dental Floss:
1. drTungs – Smart Floss: A rising star in oral care, offering natural expanding dental floss without PFAS and fluoride. This natural dental floss with essential oils is my favorite.
2. Cocofloss: Coco dental floss is eco-friendly and emphasizes natural ingredients without fluoride and PFAS.
3. Boka: No PFAS or fluoride, and this is the brand of delicious mint toothpaste we use.
Non-Toxic Dental Floss
As consumers, it is imperative to make informed choices about our oral care products. The potential health impacts of fluoride and PFAS in dental floss should not be overlooked. Your dental decisions aren’t just for today; they build a brighter, healthier tomorrow. Skip the fluoride and PFAS, and let your smile shine!