What's the Scoop on Floss & Toxicity?

Did you hear the news? It seems like floss was all the talk when news broke out about Oral-B Glide floss potentially containing toxic chemicals. A recent study published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology claimed that flossing was not safe due to the Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) found in certain floss brands. So what's PFAS? These chemicals have been linked to some health problems, but are used in a variety of products sold in the market, ranging from cooking appliances, electronics, clothing, and food wrappers for the purpose of adding water resistance and non-stick properties.

But, don't be so quick to quit flossing! Here's why:

Oral-B Glide does contain Teflon, which is within the family of PFAS. However, the study did not equate the presence of PFAS in floss to toxicity problems. The study measured chemicals in 178 middle-aged women and asked them about their exposure to certain products. The study did not link the amount of PFAS to any toxic effects, and also did not specify what product sources the PFAS directly came from. In fact, even though some the women who reported using Glide floss were found to have higher levels of PFAS, the manufacturer states that significant levels of PFAS were not found within the actual floss. Plus the data was too broad to yield conclusive results, because some individuals who used the floss had lower levels of PFAS found in their bloodstream than those who never used the floss. There was also no mention of how frequently the participants used the floss. Participants of the study were only asked if they "ever" or "never" used non-stick cookware, dental floss, or ate food from cardboard containers.

Not to mention, there is significant evidence that flossing does improve your overall health by helping to prevent oral disease. Flossing is a key step in keeping great dental health and is necessary to remove the microscopic bacterial plaque that is located between the tight contacts in-between our teeth. There are also a variety of flosses available that do not contain PFAS. So, make sure you don't give up on flossing, or else a whole new collection of problems can arise!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. DerekDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Stephens would be more than willing to help.

References:

https://mcgill.ca/oss/article/health/dental-floss-toxic

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