Is my dental floss actually toxic? Why TikTok is abuzz with "forever chemicals" in our oral care

By Nicole Karlis | Salon | November 3, 2023

Read the full article by Nicole Karlis (Salon)

"In a world where health advice comes from so-called experts on Instagram and Tiktok, it’s increasingly more difficult to know what’s true and what’s not. It’s also likely you’ve recently come across a video on such platforms warning of the toxic dangers of dental floss.

It happened to me a few weeks ago when my mom came over to my house with a box of $10 “non-toxic” floss. My current, and cheaper, floss was putting my health at risk, she said. When I asked for more details, she said my floss has "forever chemicals" in it and those can get into my bloodstream via the act of flossing — or so she heard, on TikTok.

As a regular at my dentist, and twice-a-day flosser, I've never been told to stop using dental floss (although my dentist recently tried to sell me hard on a water flosser). Sure enough, a search on TikTok yielded a cascade of videos echoing what my mom told me. It’s true that The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites dental floss on a list of products that could contain PFAS, but does that mean that said floss is toxic and my health is at risk to be compromised in return? Is paying more for a non-toxic floss better?"