Green Lifestyle An arsenal of dental care

Published on April 5th, 2012 | by Vivian Nelson Melle

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Waterflossers Have it Over Traditional Floss

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I floss mostly because I’m horrified at the the idea of teeth scrapings at the dentist. It’s a great enough fear that flossing has become even more important than the actual brushing. Believe me, both are definitely an ingrained part of my daily hygiene practices. I recently began researching water flossers, though, and it’s been quite enlightening for an eco gal. When you think of the amount of floss and containers that find their way into landfills, it’s no surprise that the water flosser seems to bare its eco-banner pretty loudly.

I’ve found water flossers have it all over traditional dental floss.

an arsenal of dental care

An arsenal of dental care

How Much Waste?

Maybe you have already started making your own toothpaste and even mouthwash but when it comes to floss you may feel at the mercy of the oral care companies. The Sacramento District Dental Society reports, “Close to 3 million miles of dental floss is purchased in the United States every year.” Add that to all the other families around the world and you have some major trash clogging the landfills. While most would think that floss is biodegradable, many have added waxes and chemicals making them detrimental to the environment. Yes, they are fit for human consumption but that doesn’t always mean they are healthy for Mother Earth. Some are made with the same chemicals found in Teflon, the stuff used to make non-stick cooking pans. Once the floss finds its way into landfills it is easy for animals to become entangled in the floss or become sick after ingesting the string.
{dental care photo via Shutterstock}
You'll see a difference at your next dental check-up

Efficiency

In the world of oral care, water flossers are more efficient than floss. It’s a matter of water getting into the crevices that our big fingers just can’t seem to slice the floss down into. Proper use can help decrease and maybe even eliminate the need for costly dental care like filling caries, root canals and crowns. A little research returns some great recipes for making your own formulas. Even if you don’t suffer from this affliction, these formulas are great maintenance for dental upkeep. One of the most popular formulas requires items found in most medicine cabinets. Add peroxide, baking soda and peppermint essential oil and fill the basin to the appropriate line.  Run your flosser as you normally would. Many of the flossers on the market include a special attachment for those with periodontal disease which allows the gums to be pulled back enabling the solution to irrigate more thoroughly.
{Check-up photo via Shutterstock}
a waterflosser does use electricity

A water flosser does use electricity

What About the Carbon Footprint

If you’re living off the grid than this might not be an issue but for those of us still paying utility companies it’s important to acknowledge and necessary energy usage. That said, the amount needed to run the flosser is minimal. Realistically, most households will only use the flosser once a day per member. So the energy used compared to the pile up of plastic floss containers and actual floss is definitely worth it.
{electric plug photo via Shutterstock}
How good are you about flossing every day? Would you consider a water flosser or do you own one?



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About the Author

Vivian Nelson Melle is a former educator and community counselor who decided to follow her dream of writing. She balances work to home school her daughter and enjoy crafting, photography, gardening, natural healing, cooking and anything that helps heal the earth and its inhabitants. She also writes for Green Living Ideas, Ecolocalizer, Mamita’s Creations and Phoenix Neighborhood Blogger. She is a writer for hire with a soft spot in her heart for non-profits and indie businesses.



  • Anon

    Where are links to some recommended water flossers? Or websites to learn more about it?! I have never bought a water flosser, nor do I know anything about them, but this article is not giving me any leads about how to go about finding one or picking one out for myself. Are there different kinds of water flossers? What do they look like?! Really disappointed in this article.

    • http://importantmedia.org/members/nelsonmelle/ Vivian Nelson Melle

      Sorry for your disappointment, Anon. The article is meant to discuss why water flossers are a good choice over traditional flossing. Perhaps we can do a follow up with comparisons if that would be of interest to our readers.

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