Floss manufacturing companies have been adding specific in the floss to make it non-sticking to teeth. This chemical is known as perfluorooctanoic acid (or PFOA). Historically, this chemical has been considered safe by dental experts. However, new research by Emory University Rollins School of Public Health states that PFOA can lead to thyroid disease.
It was discovered when 10 percent of people drinking water contaminated with PFOA were found to have thyroid disease developing in them.
Although the exposure to PFOA via floss is quite lesser than that of water, scientists believe that flossing using thread with PFOA attached is an unnecessary risk which needs to be avoided. Years of use can ultimately lead to the development of problem after all.
What is PFOA?
There are some non-stick chemicals known as PFCs. These chemicals are used for making certain items resistant to sticking and staining. PFOA is the part of this PFC group. It is worth mentioning that our bodies also contain PFOA in certain amount. According to research, these chemicals can result in thyroid problems as well as other fatal diseases such as cancer, infertility, birth defects and weakened immune system.
How to reduce exposure to PFOA?
Prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, you have to make sure that your exposure to PFOA is limited. There are a few things that you can take into consideration in this regard.
- While floss products come with PFOA, you don’t have to give up on flossing. Flossing is still the other half when it comes to maintaining oral hygiene. Therefore, the floss you get should be free of any chemicals. There are many traditional ways you can floss. Consider those ways and stay away from chemical-coated floss.
- Since PFOA is used for the purpose of making items resistant to staining and sticking, there are cookware items which are coated with this chemical. While you don’t want cooked foods to stick with cookware, you wouldn’t also want your food to be contaminated with chemicals which could turn out to be dangerous in the end.
- Unless until a new research would suggest safety of flossing products with PFOA, you should consider it a potential threat using such products. Therefore, stay in contact with your dentist and keep asking about the right flossing product in this regard. You can consider using natural brands which manufacture floss.