Honestly, I’m horrified by the amount of plastic in the ocean. I feel like it’s a moral imperative that we cut way back on the single use plastics we clutter the world with.
On the other hand, I’m pretty sure a lot of my past dental problems had a lot to do with that five year span when I was ‘too busy’ to floss.
Every time I restock on the plastic containers of plastic filaments that remove the garbage from my gum line, I feel like there’s got to be a better way. I also feel like my teeth are too sensitive for me to use a water flosser, so don’t even suggest it.
And then, soon after I had just opened up a Costco blister pack of plastic floss containers, I saw an add for Dental Lace. I was immediately in a quandry, because I had just purchased several months worth of the old stuff, and I didn’t want to waste it. It already existed in the world, but yuck.
Fast forward to the beginning of this year, it was finally time to restock on dental care items. I really hoped that really smart looking, naturally sourced silk floss in the glass vial dispenser was still available.
It was. It cost more than the old instant garbage from Costco, but, if it worked it would be worth it. My overall annual dental floss expense is fairly low, and even a 400% increase really only ads up to an opportunity cost of a few beers. Nice ones. But, honestly, I wanted to feel good about flossing.
When I ordered the floss, I actually bought it from a website called Package Free Shop. I liked that they offered free shipping and a minimum amount of packaging if you purchased more than $25 worth of merchandise.
$25 was a lot to pony up at one time for dental floss, but I felt it satisfied my overall moral imperative. Also, I was doing ‘Dry January’ so the cost was totally offset my my reduced purchasing of fancy adult beverages that month.
I ordered one Dental Lace refillable dispenser, which came with two 30 meter spools of floss. I also ordered three 2-packs of replacement spools. My total came to $26 for 240 meters of floss.
The Costco blister pack contains the same amount of floss, and a whole lot of extra plastic, for only $12. Effectively I was really only out the price of one well-made cocktail in exchange for doing the morally right thing.
The real test came when the floss arrived. True to their promise, Package Free Shop sent the items in a reusable cardboard mailer. There was not a stitch of bubble wrap inside (I have soooo much bubble wrap already, thank you). Instead, for in transit securement, the floss dispenser and refill packs were held to the bottom of the box with a slim strip of brown paper packing tape torn from the piece that held the box together.
It was genius in its simplicity.
I was already happy with my purchase and I hadn’t even used it yet.
At flossing time, I was still happy. The floss had a different texture than the plastic stuff. A little more of a natural feel, if you can imagine. There was an organic texture to the thread that was not unpleasant. I felt like it was probably even cleaning my gum line even better than the the plastic threads I had been using.
In addition, I noticed my gums were not as irritated after flossing as I was accustomed to. It made sense, I realized, as often contact with synthetic fibers irritates my skin. Touching a microfiber cloth feels like licking a chalkboard to me. It only fit that natural fiber floss would be less irritating in my case.
All in all, this product is a triumph for humanity. I really hope it’s still around when I’m ready to restock.