There Are Many Options
Many people give little thought to their dental floss, even if they use it regularly. They use the free sample containers they get from their Sacramento dentist, or they buy whatever floss is handy at the market or pharmacy. Is Costco selling a multi-pack? Fine, buy that.
For other people, however, their choice of dental floss is carefully made to fit their preferences. Even within one family, members may like waxed or unwaxed, flavored or unflavored, woven, ribbon, or string floss. It points to the wide variety of flosses available, designed to make sure that everyone can find a floss that they enjoy using every day. But did you know that you may also choose a vegan dental floss? What’s different about it and how might something as simple as dental floss offend some people’s sensibilities?
Vegetarians, Vegans and More
Most of us are familiar with the concept of vegetarianism as a diet that does not feature meat. There are various levels of vegetarians, with some eating eggs, dairy, or fish, and others refusing to do so. The strictest level of vegetarian diet is veganism, where you eat no animal products at all. Another subset of vegans even refuses to use products made by bees, such as honey or beeswax. And those who won’t consume honey also tend to avoid silk, made by silkworms. With both of these products, dental floss may enter the picture.
Why Wax on Dental Floss?
Any vegan avoiding bee products can simply buy unwaxed floss and also avoid the use of silk strands. (Most flosses use synthetic fibers anyway, so from here we will focus on waxed floss only.) Waxed floss does have various benefits, however, and for many people there is no other floss they want to use. Here are some reasons for using waxed floss:
- Wax lets the floss slip easily between the teeth.
- Wax helps prevent floss from breaking.
- Waxed is the only type of floss recommended for braces.
- Flavored dental floss must be waxed.
Although waxed floss is ultimately no more effective at removing plaque and food from your teeth than unwaxed floss, the benefits are obviously important to certain people. So what’s a strict vegan to do if they want waxed floss, but they also want to avoid beeswax?
Vegan Waxed Flosses
Wax is not just a product made by bees. Although these busy pollinators certainly introduced humanity to the substance, it is also made from various vegetable sources. (Carnauba wax, made from the leaves of a South American palm tree, is a possible ingredient for waxed dental floss.) Ultimately, finding waxed vegan dental floss comes down to checking the ingredients on your floss container. These may be fairly basic and not provide you with enough information to make a decision, but the manufacturer’s website often provides more details on the specific source of the wax. An E-mail to the company’s customer service may also provide assistance, especially if you know exactly which floss you want to know more about. And health food stores or natural food supermarkets, such as Sprouts, cater to vegetarians and vegans. So they often offer oral hygiene options specifically for these buyers.
All of this discussion leads to an upcoming blog article on one of the most popular Internet search engine subjects here at the Sacramento Dentistry Group website — woven dental floss. Recently we tried a woven dental floss that offers some special features we’ve not seen in previous articles on woven flosses — including the fact that it’s 100% vegan. For those of you constantly on the search for the next true woven dental floss, this article should be eagerly anticipated, whether you are vegetarian, vegan or a dedicated meat-eater!