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Sustainable Flossing

Zero Waste Bathroom

Last Updated on July 12, 2022

Sustainable flossing is super important, not only for your teeth but our environment too! Your teeth and gums will be healthier with regular flossing, so using a sustainable flosser is a must.

reusable floss pick

sustainable flossing

Let’s talk about flossing. Flossing is important. Gum health is important. Taking care of your teeth and your health is super important! That’s why I went on a personal mission to find a sustainable flossing method for me!

Regular floss is typically plastic. Beyond just being plastic, it’s toxic. It’s coated with PFC’s which is a chemical that’s found in teflon.

The PFC’s are added to make the floss glide better. PFC has been linked to thyroid disease, dementia, cancer, fertility issues, and birth defects. You can read more about the study here

When you floss, your gums might bleed. As you can imagine, the PFC’s have pretty much immediate access to your blood stream. So, let’s look at some better options. 

First of all, a slew of studies have come out showing that flossing isn’t really necessary. You can read more about that here. I think flossing is important, but I don’t think it’s the MOST important. 

I think it’s most important to have a consistent routine down. Here’s a glance into my oral care routine which includes tooth powder, a sustainable flosser, and mouthwash. Healthy teeth are a vital part of well-being. 

tooth powder: 

I personally brush twice a day with this toothpowder. I worked on that recipe with a dentist to make sure that I wasn’t going to harm my teeth. The last thing I want is to ruin my enamel. Honestly, pairing it with using my reusable floss pick has been a game changer for me.

portable water pik: 

Then I use my portable water pik every other day. I LOVE my reusable flosser water pik. I have a cordless one which makes it a breeze to use in the shower. My dentist personally recommends water piking over flossing. (Keep in mind, your dentist may have a different opinion and that’s okay!!!!!!)

A water pik is an electronic reusable floss pick with water. It uses a powerful jet stream, much like you receive at the dentist. The one I have has a setting that alternates between air and water.

As a bonus, if you have any dental hardware, having a portable water pik is amazing! I have a bar on my bottom teeth from when I had my braces removed, and haven’t been able to successfully clean it until the reusable flosser water pik came along. 

water flosser and silk floss

sustainable flossing:

Once or twice a week I still use dental floss, because I personally don’t think you can be too careful. Thankfully, there are a lot of options for plastic and PFC free floss. 

Eco dent makes a vegan brand, but the floss does come in a small plastic pack which is a bummer. Radius offers a silk version, but it has the same plastic pack. 

I’ve heard some people use strings from an old piece of silk to floss. That sounds like a great plastic-free method, but it seems like a little too much work for me. Flossing is already a chore — another reason why I like water piking… it’s almost, dare I say it, kind of fun! 

But, this completely plastic-free floss takes the cake. The refills come in cellulose which is compostable. No more plastic packaging. Just the way I like it! Plus the floss container is actually pretty. 


Last, but not least, I use homemade mouthwash regularly. In fact, this study found that mouthwash delivers better results than conventional flossing. Albeit, I’m still a firm believer in using a little bit of everything for the most successful results. I like to pair the mouthwash with my reusable flosser, floss, and toothpowder for a super clean mouth.

This mouthwash is super soothing and is amazing at freshening your breath. You should just read the study about how AMAZING aloe vera is for your gums. 

I think aloe vera can cure pretty much anything. It’s definitely one of nature’s miracles. 

homemade mouthwash, DIY mouthwash

What does your zero waste/plastic free oral care routine look like? 

This post may contain affiliate links — you can read more on my disclosure page. Thank you for your support.

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  1. I’ve really been considering getting one of these for a while. I’m definitely going to buy one now – it sounds too good! What is the remineralising toothpaste you use? I’ve been making my own for a while, but I’m not completely satisfied with it. 🙂

  2. Like your blog! Slowly transitioning to a minimalist/zero waste lifestyle. I was looking for alternatives for dental floss but I couldn’t find a more organic one here in my country (Philippines). But then I discovered this portable water flosser, called Pocket Flosser, in Kickstarter and I think it’s a great alternative! What’s great about this is that it doesn’t need any electricity or even batteries so you don’t have to worry about energy. It only requires easy manual hand pump to accumulate pressure then it’s just as good. While this doesn’t necessarily fit in your pockets (as the name may suggest, the pocket actually refers to spaces in between the teeth), I still think it’s a better alternative to those pricey and stationary water flossers, and it’s very still handy when traveling. If you love this idea, you can get them here and help the developer produce this awesome invention: 🙂

  3. Unfortunately I’ve worked in a Dental office and Waterpiks do NOT replace floss. They do a much better job than not flossing at all, but will not get out all of the gunk between teeth unless you have fairly widely spaced teeth. If you have to try at all when you use floss to get it in you don’t have widely spaced teeth and a Waterpik will not get all of the gunk out, which is a problem as most dentists consider flossing even more vital to dental health than brushing, though both are important to do. If you want to go zero waste other options include buying silk thread or locally sourced threads like cotton sewing thread coated in wax or local wool thread, preferably a slightly thicker thread like a strand of embroidery thread so it’s not too thin and cuts your gums. Others buy compostable floss picks and you can reuse them for hundreds of uses even though they are sold as disposable. I fully support a zero waste lifestyle but it’s important to make switches that support your best health.

  4. I was looking to buy one and read a comment that mold develops in the hose and other parts, how do you prevent this in yours? Thanks!

  5. Super helpful! I just bought some floss from dental lace! I’m trying to transition into an zero waste lifestyle. I’m definitely going to try the diy mouthwash and toothpaste. The oral irrigator is for my next paycheck. Your blog is so informative! Thank you!

  6. I have a permanent retainer. I usually use super floss that has a firm end to manoeuvre around the permanent wire. Other than waterpik, any suggestions for what I could use to floss?

    1. Did you find a less wasteful alternative to super floss? My husband uses this and I am researching our options. Thank you

  7. Love the suggestions. Will definitely try some of these out. Have a water pik already but was still on the lookout for tooth powder, floss and mouth wash alternatives. Will give these a try. Good to know you involved a dentist in the tooth powder mixing, as there are mixed reviews and cavities/bad gums are no fun! Thanks for sharing all the great ideas!! Ini

  8. So the brands of floss you recommended, those will create waste though right? It’s not like washable reusable floss? The floss still gets thrown out? Just want to clarify. Thanks!

  9. When I click on the waterpik links in your post, it takes me to a different brand of oral flosser, not waterpik.

  10. I was looking into the variety of silk dental flosses, including Dental Lace, and learned that the process of making silk requires killing the worms that make it. Seems like I should have known that already, but I didn’t. I don’t love it. Have you found any other floss that is biodegradable, not made of silk, and comes in eco-friendly packaging? I haven’t so far…

  11. What’s your source for this statement about the water pik: "It’s considered 3 times as effective as standard dental floss."
    I’m a dentist, and while I want to try to reduce my floss waste, from my research I have found other statements suggesting that the water pik is NOT a replacement for flossing because it cannot adequately remove very tenacious plaque buildup.

    1. I agree. I am a physician, recently focused on improved dental health and although we would love to use a water pik only, nothing we’ve read shows that a pik can replace flossing.

  12. Several countries have now come up with a non plastic dental floss. Always check your USDA CERTIFICATIONS for authenticity as labels can claim anything they like.??CANADA ‘s FLOSSPOT™️ is the first to have achieved The USDA Certification for 100% Pure Silk Floss with a Vegan option available soon.
    Available worldwide through
    And the closest to biodegradable we’ve found in a Toothbrush, is BRUSH WITH BAMBOO having earned a 95%biobased Certificate from USDA.

  13. I use just cotton thread! I wanted to look into eco=friendly versions of floss and then one day when I ran out of standard dental floss I tore off a bit of thread that was dangling down from my t-shirt. Then I was like "Hey, why didn’t I think of that sooner?!" I actually find that it cleans really well as it doesn’t have such a slippery edge, it seems to scrape my teeth edges clean a lot better. And it reaches further under my gums too so does a deeper clean. The bonus is it’s entirely compostable!

  14. You ONLY water floss every other day???
    With that disclosure I hesitate to read any further for additional oral care advice.
    I water floss after every brushing which is after every meal. My dentist finds virtually no plaque and my gums are excellent (and I am nearly 70). I really support and encourage zero waste but please have a conversation with your dentist about the best way to utilize your water floss.
    I do love your priorities ??

  15. A big non-biodegradable appliance is recommended to replace floss? Nope! As mentioned in another comment, use cotton thread. I’ve been flossing for decades. Every dentist who has seen my teeth notice the results of daily flossing. Initially, your teeth will bleed if they’re in bad shape. As you keep flossing, that all stops as your gums get healthier.

  16. This really is against dentists advice, better to find a biodegradable floss. A waterpik alone is not enough, I love my waterpik but you need to floss, dentists highly recommend the manual cleaning that comes from floss over a waterpik or airflossing, its just not as effective. Biodegradable floss exists!

    Also regarding the scaremongering about floss, if you don’t floss you are likely to get gum disease, which is scientifically linked to heart problems along with losing your teeth! Being scared floss will give you cancer is a little over the top. If you are conscious of it, there are more natural options but there is no need to be scared. So I think this post goes a little too far but contradicting what a dentist would recommend. Mouth wash, tooth powder, and even water flossing are equal to flossing.

  17. Good info!. I am a dental hygienist, it is nice to see that there is biodegradable dental floss and packaging available. I am not against a waterflosser, but agree it is powered and will eventually end up in a landfill, you also need something mechanical to loosen plaque and food debris between teeth and below the gum line. I also have a concern with cotton, in that if you research clothing production, cotton uses a huge quantity of water in its manufacturing.

  18. In doing research to purchase a water flosser, I’ve found they sell new "heads" or "tips" and often come with replacements. Do you know if this is something you should be replacing? I hate using plain old silk floss because it hurts my fingers, so I’m really considering a water pick to use most of the time like you. I just don’t want to create plastic waste if I have to replace the tip every so often.
    I appreciate you’re help!

  19. Does your dentist ever recommend that you add fluoride to your routine? I see thats missing from the DIY recipes. I’m attempting to change my routine to waste free but wondering if I need to find a waste-free mouthwash brand with fluoride.

  20. Thank you so much, I’m always looking for more ways to reduce my daily consumption. I have arthritis and can’t floss by hand so have been using a reusable floss holder from Get Flossed ( ), and it’s been a life changer. Hopefully this helps someone else too!

  21. Love your post! Just a heads up, the product you have isn’t a Waterpik. a Waterpik is a brand of water flosser/ oral irrigator 🙂

  22. Do you think a waterpik is more zerowaste than having a long term floss holder and using it with a zw floss? (Because of all the waste it produces once it stops working) I’m split between the options myself and since I really like flossing, I really dont know :/