Last week I wrote about nylon dental floss and how people may want to switch to silk floss, which is compostable and a more sustainable alternative. Well, now I know much more about the whole dental floss issue than I ever thought I would.
First off, I have to mention that the whole subject of flossing is fraught with controversy. It was revealed last year that few credible studies have been done that prove this practice is even necessary for dental health.
But the reality is that most of us are pretty well conditioned to use dental floss, myself included, and my point is that those 80 percent of Americans who do floss might consider something other than a product made from nylon.
And there are other alternatives besides floss which I hadn’t considered, as several astute readers pointed out to me.
A reader going by just the initials “KP” wrote, “Check out the WaterPik flosser, it uses water in a tiny jet stream. No strings!”
Yes, WaterPik … except some folks might be leery of the fact that it relies on water. I wasn’t able to determine how much water a WaterPik uses — my guess is that it is pretty minute. However, in addition to water, the WaterPik uses electricity, so those are things to consider.
And then there’s this, which might be the best solution.
“Excellent column about dental floss, but you might mention the use of the tiny brushes available,” wrote Chet Lowney of Carmel. “I’ve found them easier and better than dental floss. They are especially useful for persons handicapped by the inability to use two hands. Plus they come in three sizes from tight to wide go-between spaces.
“And they can be rinsed and reused a number of times and are convenient when traveling. Some pharmacies carry their own brand and the GUM Proxabrush is a favorite of mine.”
I’m going to check out both the little brushes and silk floss and see which one suits me better. It’s great to have choices! And yes, I believe I am one of those people who benefits from flossing, so I’m not going to give it up.
Of course there are other things happening besides debates on dental floss, like these two upcoming events:
• Curious about what time banking can do for you? A TimeBank Santa Cruz Expo is planned for this Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with 30-minute skills demonstrations throughout the day as well as a potluck luncheon at 1973 42nd Ave., Capitola.
The event will include demos on how to rewire lamps, laundry-to-landscape graywater systems, artisanal bread baking, quilting, and basics of horse training, among others. You’ll also get to chat with other TimeBankers to find out about the benefits. Details: timebanksc.org.
• Next Wednesday, “Greening PG: Plastic Straws and Other Plastic Pollution” offers an evening with a wealth of information. In addition to presenters from Save Our Shores, Save the Whales and the Last Plastic Straw discussing the threat of single-use plastics in the environment, it’s also the debut of Nontoxic Pacific Grove and the city’s Urban Greening Plan.
Set for 7 p.m. at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, it’s hosted by Sustainable Pacific Grove, and is free and open to the public. For more information, visit sustainablemontereycounty.org or call 643-0707.
Do you have questions or tips about sustainable living around the Central Coast? Send them to Kathryn McKenzie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Kathryn McKenzie at www.facebook.com/kathrynmckenziewriter.