The Hidden Dangers of PFAS in Your Oral Care Routine (+Tips)

The Hidden Dangers of PFAS in Your Oral Care Routine (+Tips)

If you are someone who keeps up to date with the latest research, or you’re generally worried about the health and wellbeing of you and your family, you may have heard about PFAS. And rightly so. 

PFAS can have many impacts on your health. It is important to know what they are, and if you should look out for them when buying dental care products. 

In this article, we’ll give you a full rundown of PFAS, and what all the fuss is. We’ll also let you know where they may be cropping up. 

Let's get into it!

What Are PFAS? 

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances to be more accurate, are a bunch of man made chemicals which are used in various industries. 

You may have heard of PFAS because of health, and environmental concerns. Although these concerns are well documented and research-backed, these chemicals are commonly found in everyday life. 

They are used by firefighters, in non-stick cookware, and even in raincoats, because of their special water repelling properties. 

What is concerning is that PFAS do not naturally break down easily. This means that they tend to build up both in our bodies, and in the environment. This poses a potential threat to our, and our planet’s health. 

It is important to know what products contain PFAS, and what the potential risks of this are. 

Where Can PFAS be found? 

PFAS are commonly used in a number of scenarios, including in: 

    • Fire fighting foams 
    • Pesticides 
    • Floor cleaners 
    • Cosmetics, makeup, nail polish and shampoo 
    • Non-stick pans 
    • Some lotions
    • Some food storage containers 
  • Dental Floss 
  • How Can PFAS Be in Your Oral Care Products? 

    Unfortunately, many people are not aware that large dental care brands actually use PFAS in their dental floss. It is not clear what effects these exact PFAS have, but it is well known that in general, PFAS are bad for our health.

    Some brands of dental floss use PFAS because they help to reduce friction when flossing between our teeth, helping to glide in hard to reach places. 

    The PFAS that is commonly found in some floss is called polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE for short. You may know this as Teflon. 

    However, because PFAS are toxic and take a long time to break down, it is important to make informed decisions when it comes to buying dental care products for you and your family. 

    Potential Health Risks of PFAS Exposure 

    Whilst research is ongoing into how PFAS may affect our health, there are some well documented ways in which exposure can be detrimental to our health. It is best to try and avoid exposure as much as possible if you are concerned. 

    It is important to also note that there are a large range of PFAS, some of which are proven to not be toxic, such as PTFE, or Teflon, which is used in some floss. 

    However, other PFAS have effects such as: 

    • Altered immune and thyroid function
    • Liver disease
    • Lipid (fat) and insulin dysregulation
    • Kidney disease
    • Changes in reproductive and developmental outcomes

    Making the Switch to Safe Oral Care Products 

    When buying oral care products, particularly dental floss, it is important to make sure you are buying non-toxic floss. 

    Some labels will state “non-toxic” or “PFAS-free” which are great things to look out for before purchasing any oral care product. There are also dental products which are dentist approved. You can usually find this on the company’s website, or sometimes on their packaging. 

    Factors To Consider When Buying Tooth Floss 

    Along with ensuring that you are buying PFAS-free floss there are some other factors which are good to look out for, and will help make sure that you are looking after your health the best you can. 

    Before buying dental floss, look out for: 

    • Thickness 
    • Flavor 
    • Material 
    • Value
    • Length of floss 

    We like to recommend our very own tried and trusted Boka Ela Mint Floss. It's made without BPA, teflon, parabens, SLS, and PFAS and instead uses a natural veegatble wax coatign, to help clean those hard to reach areas. 

    Why Floss? 

    There are numerous benefits to daily flossing, some of which include health benefits, whilst others include keeping our small looking great, and our breath fresher for longer. 

    Flossing using our floss, made with natural vegetable wax coating is a great way to maintain a healthy smile. 

    Other proven benefits to flossing include: 

    Choosing The Right Toothpaste 

    It's a scary world out there, most people for example would never think that Teflon would appear in their dental floss, yet many brands sneak it in.

    We’ve covered how to choose the right dental floss, but what about toothpaste? 

    Here are our pointers: 

    • Protection: Choose toothpaste that can help remineralize teeth, support enamel strength and helps reduce plaque. Some great options include toothpaste containing n-Ha, that can achieve all of these things. 
    • Whitening Toothpaste: If you’re looking for whitening toothpaste, avoid toothpaste that contains harsh chemicals such as peroxides. Instead, look for ingredients, such as n-Ha, that can whiten your teeth gently. 
    • Mix It Up: Yes, it may sound trivial, but trust us! Buying the same old mint flavored toothpaste can get old after a while. 

    Why not change it up? This is especially important if you’re trying to encourage other family members to brush.

     Nowadays, you can get great toothpaste flavors such as orange, cinnamon, cherry blossom and watermelon- the world’s your oyster!


    So, there are some PFAS which can be harmful to your health, and others not so much. If you’re someone who likes to err on the side of caution, is it important to know that some major oral care branded dental floss contains PFAS. 

    If this is you, check out PFAS free dental floss, such as the one that we’ve created, using a natural vegetable wax coating, and none of the bad stuff. 

    Dental professionals stress that flossing is crucial for maintaining good oral health and that using any kind of floss is preferable than using none at all. You should always choose dental products, which are free of plastic and PFAS as well as unknown substances that may be harmful to human or environmental health.

    Here at Boka, we’re proud to be eliminating the nasties. We’re passionate about replacing the outdated with the new, and using cutting edge technology to make the very best, safest, products to protect your smile. 

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