Healthy You

Toxic Flossing—Know Your Risk

Most dental professionals recommend flossing after meals, or at least once a day, to protect against plaque and periodontal disease.  But a recent article in USA Today lays out some stunning information from a new study that found higher levels of the PFAS (perfluorohexanesulfonic acid) in women who flossed with Oral-B Glide compared to those who didn’t. The study showed that certain types of floss may actually be exposing you to potentially toxic chemicals and severely impacting your health!

(The research was conducted by the Silent Spring Institute in Newton, Massachusetts, and Public Health Institute in Berkeley, California.)


PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) is one of the Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), which are said to have toxic effects when ingested. Many popular dental flosses, including Oral-B Glide and others, are made from PTFE.

 Study Findings

Researchers found higher levels of the PFAS perfluorohexanesulfonic acid in women who flossed with Oral-B Glide compared to those who didn’t.

“This is the first study to show that using dental floss containing PFAS is associated with a higher body burden of these toxic chemicals,” lead author Katie Boronow, a scientist at Silent Spring, said in a statement.1 

The Centers for Disease Control lists floss, stain-resistant carpet or furniture, certain non-stick cookware, fast-food wrappers and microwave popcorn bags as potentially containing PFASs. The EPA warns that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects.

One of the goals of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization (WHO), is to identify causes of cancer.  IARC has classified PFOA as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B), based on limited evidence in humans that it can cause testicular and kidney cancer, and limited evidence in lab animals.2 

Dr Mercola shares the following information with his readers:  Floss produced with Teflon may be coated with waxes and flavors to change its quality. However, using PTFE on a daily basis in your mouth is a highly questionable practice as chemicals are easily absorbed through the oral mucosa,3 

Safer Floss Options

“The good news is, based on our findings, consumers can choose flosses that don’t contain PFAS,” Boronow said.  And this is why DrTungs is sharing this information with our readers—so that you can be fully aware of these potential health risks when considering your floss options.  As many know, our company is based on a deep understanding of the mouth-body connection recognized in the science of Ayurveda. And we offer innovative, eco-friendly and extraordinary oral care products to contribute to improved overall health, enhanced well-being and a happier balance in life.

Aside from potential health risks, the non-stick quality of PTFE flosses such as Oral-B Glide doesn’t do a great job of removing plaque. (Which is the prime reason for flossing!) Although the material easily slides up and down between teeth, it is in fact also the worst performing floss as far as plaque removal goes, according to our detailed research study.

If you are using another floss brand and are not sure whether or not it contains PTFE or PFAS, here a simple way to know.  If it says something like ‘Oral-B Glide’, ‘similar to Glide’, ‘compare to Glide’, then it is almost certain to be made with PTFE.

DrTung’s Smart Floss 

Users agree! There’s no other floss quite like Smart Floss! It expands into interdental spaces for better removal of plaque and food particles. This high-performance floss is suitable for everyone – people with tight spaces, wider spaces…even braces.

* Natural cardamom flavor for a vibrant fresh feeling!
* No petrochemical wax
* Gluten-free. PTFE-free. BPA-free (Made of polyester)
* Container, made with EcoPure, will biodegrade faster in a landfill than regular plastic (which can take up to 100 years)

If you’re flossing, you should be using the most effective and non-toxic floss available. What’s more, some ingredients in our flosses – such as cardamom (Smart Floss), and curcuma xanthorrhiza (Activated Charcoal Floss) are said to have antibacterial effects. So switch to DrTung’s for comfortable, safe and effective flossing!

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