Flossing is a vital part of taking care of your teeth.
Floss helps remove the food debris and plaque that’s building between your teeth.
Since a toothbrush usually can’t squeeze between those areas, flossing is the only way to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
When shopping for floss, however, you may find that certain types and brands are quite expensive.
It may make you wonder why some types of dental floss are more expensive than others.
Why Is Dental Floss So Expensive? (10 Reasons)
While you can find single packs of floss for around $1, there are some types of floss that can cost $50 or more.
Some factors, like a switch to environmentally friendly packaging, green materials, and different types of floss can contribute to the expensive price tag.
Let’s look at these factors in more detail.
1. Necessary For A Healthy Mouth
One of the reasons dental floss is expensive is that manufacturers know that floss is necessary for a healthy mouth.
Dentists frequently tell their patients that they need to floss more.
Ideally, you should floss every time you eat.
It helps remove food debris that gets stuck between your teeth.
Leaving it there can aid the growth and spread of plaque.
Since plaque can lead to gum disease, it makes flossing very important.
People who want to ensure they have the best oral health possible will likely buy dental floss.
It’s essential for keeping your mouth healthy and clean.
Because it’s an important hygiene product, people are going to buy it even if the prices get a bit high.
Some might not care enough about their oral health to continue to buy floss when prices climb, but enough people still do.
Since enough people do purchase regardless of price, it allows dental floss manufacturers to continue to put higher prices on their products.
Until people stop buying dental floss at high prices, manufacturers won’t feel the need to lower their prices.
Because of how important dental floss is for oral health, though, it’s unlikely that everyone is going to stop buying it.
The fact that it’s important for your health is another reason why it can be a bit pricey.
Healthy things are usually more expensive.
If it aids you in staying healthy, then it’s also probably going to be expensive.
Dental floss is expensive because it’s an essential part of keeping your mouth clean and healthy.
2. Eco-Friendly Packaging
Some types of dental floss use eco-friendly packaging.
This is a type of packaging that uses environmentally friendly materials.
Recycled cardboard or paper is often used.
This makes dental floss more expensive for a few reasons.
The first is that eco-friendly packaging tends to be more expensive than cheap plastic packaging.
Plastic packaging is cheaper for a few reasons.
For one, it’s cheaper to make.
Companies can completely automate the system which means they need fewer human workers on hand.
That keeps the costs down which allows them to sell the packaging material at low prices.
Secondly, plastic packaging is abundant.
Whether it’s the materials used to make the packaging or just the plastic, itself, there’s a lot of it.
Companies can buy plastic packaging in bulk which saves them money.
Eco-friendly packaging is more expensive to make.
It relies on people recycling certain materials.
The company then has to clean, sanitize, and make its product out of that recycled material.
There are a few more steps involved in the production process that cost the manufacturer extra money.
Since it adds to the production cost of their products, they make those products more expensive.
When a company uses eco-friendly packaging, it also means they’re reliant on suppliers of recycled materials.
If there are a lot of other companies looking for recycled materials but not enough people recycling those materials, then there’s a shortage.
If the company commits to only using recycled materials, then they have to wait until there’s more supply.
This means that they have to increase the price of their products since they’re going to have a delay in production which may mean fewer products on shelves until they can produce the packaging again.
A lack of recycled material can greatly impact the price of eco-friendly packaging.
Dental floss is expensive because some brands use eco-friendly packaging.
3. Textured Or High-Quality Fibers
Another reason dental floss is expensive is when it uses textured or high-quality fibers.
One complaint that a lot of people have about cheap floss is that it doesn’t do a good job of getting debris out of their teeth.
The fibers either won’t stick to the debris and pull it out or the fibers will just break.
This is usually because the floss doesn’t use high-quality fibers.
They use a cheap type of plastic or other material.
While it’s effective for removing debris that’s already loose or quite large between your teeth, it isn’t good at getting debris that’s actually stuck.
This is where more expensive dental floss has the advantage.
Expensive dental floss usually is made from some type of textured fiber.
It may have several different fibers wrapped together or it may use a specific type of fiber that’s thick or coarse.
The fiber can stick to the debris and pull out small bits easier than cheap types of floss.
As a result, people get a more effective clean out of the floss.
However, because it uses several different types of fibers woven together or because it uses a high-quality type of fiber, it means the dental floss company is spending more money to produce it.
High-quality materials tend to cost more than low-quality materials.
That’s usually because there’s a bit more work or production put into them.
The higher cost of production gets offset by higher prices.
People who have teeth that are close together might find high-quality floss more effective at cleaning their teeth.
Unfortunately, dental floss with high-quality fibers is more expensive.
4. Coconut Oil
Dental floss is also expensive because some brands use coconut oil.
When you start looking into dental floss that is environmentally friendly, you’re going to find floss that uses coconut oil.
Some companies use coconut oil because it helps the floss glide between your teeth a bit easier.
It mimics some of the gliding abilities that cheap dental floss products provide.
Coconut oil can also help soothe inflammation.
The hope is that flossing your teeth with coconut oil can reduce any sort of soreness or pain you’re experiencing.
The problem with using coconut oil is that isn’t a cheap material to use.
It’s a costly venture to make coconut oil.
You need about 250 coconuts to make just 10 liters of coconut oil.
That means you need around 12 coconut trees.
Coconuts don’t produce a lot of oil.
There’s a risk of harvesting too many trees which defeats the purpose of being environmentally friendly in the first place.
Because it uses a lot of coconuts, those who need to buy the oil usually pay pretty high prices.
Suppliers of coconut oil have to spend a lot of time and labor costs on getting the oil from the coconuts.
Since it costs them a good amount of money to produce the oil, they sell it at higher prices.
Floss companies buying coconut oil then also have to offset their costs.
Coconut oil is in high demand.
It’s used in cooking and is in a ton of different beauty and health products.
Since demand is high but supply isn’t always readily available, it makes the oil quite expensive.
Dental floss that uses coconut oil is also expensive.
Since the floss manufacturers have to spend money to acquire the oil, they sell their products at higher prices to make up for the cost.
Dental floss that uses coconut oil tends to be expensive.
5. Vegan Wax
Another reason dental floss is expensive is when it uses vegan wax.
When you look at the more expensive dental floss brands, you’ll usually notice that they use vegan or vegetarian ingredients.
That’s because independent or small brands are trying to appeal to a niche of people who want to buy dental floss but aren’t comfortable with the amount of plastic dental floss produces.
Depending on the type of dental floss you use, you could be adding a lot of plastic to local landfills each time you floss.
Standard floss is detrimental to the environment since it can harm local wildlife.
Like other types of plastic, it also takes a long time to degrade into the soil.
Some dental floss companies are changing that by making floss that uses vegan wax.
Typical dental floss manufacturers often use harsh chemicals to make their floss waxy.
The wax on the floss is important since it helps people pull it through their teeth.
When there isn’t wax on the floss, it can make it easier to cut into your gums.
That can lead to bleeding and infection.
As such, a lot of companies put wax on the floss to prevent cutting.
Vegan wax uses plant-based materials.
It’s more expensive than standard wax because the sourcing of those materials isn’t widespread.
It isn’t possible to buy it in bulk, for example.
That makes producing floss with vegan wax more expensive.
There’s also the fact that anything labeled “vegan” tends to be more expensive.
It’s seen as healthier and since healthy products sell at higher prices, dental floss also sells for higher prices.
Dental floss is expensive when it uses vegan wax.
Another reason dental floss is expensive is that some manufacturers use fragrances.
You’ll find that the more expensive brand names tend to add fragrances to their dental floss.
When you pull it out of the box or open the packaging, you’ll get hit with a whiff of some sort of essential oil.
The goal is to make the flossing experience more enjoyable.
Flossing isn’t fun to do.
It takes up time and can be painful if you use too much pressure.
To make the experience more relaxing, some dental floss companies add pleasing scents to their products.
It also makes those products appear more luxurious.
It becomes less of a thing that you need to do to keep your teeth healthy and more of a way of indulging yourself.
The problem with adding a fragrance to a product is that it adds more cost to the production of the product.
Depending on the particular scent that the dental floss company uses, it could be expensive to create the unique fragrance.
As such, the ingredients they need to produce that aroma could be quite expensive, too.
Since making the floss is more expensive, they sell it at a higher price.
Dental floss is also expensive when the company adds certain flavors to it.
When you buy cheap floss, it will rarely be flavored.
If cheap floss does have flavoring, it can be difficult to detect.
More expensive types of dental floss are often flavored.
The flavor might be a standard mint or it might be more indulgent like vanilla bean or chocolate.
Flavored dental floss is expensive because the company is attempting to appeal to a particular market.
Its customers want to indulge themselves when performing basic healthy habits.
They’re looking to make self-care more interesting.
As such, they don’t mind paying more for the product if it means the experience is enjoyable.
When manufacturers cater to their market by adding flavor to their floss, this means that its production is more expensive.
The company has to source the flavor, then make their floss with it.
Dental floss is expensive since flavoring adds to the cost of production.
8. Ability To Clean
The ability of dental floss to clean your teeth also adds to the price.
Low-quality and cheap dental floss may not have the right strength to provide a satisfying clean.
You might find that there’s still plaque and debris in your teeth.
You’re essentially paying for what you get.
More expensive dental floss usually uses high-quality materials.
It won’t break in your fingers, and the floss will remain intact while you use it.
It also tends to be thicker which helps it grab onto debris easier.
These companies know that they’re making a type of floss that is great at cleaning teeth.
Their reputations allow them to sell their floss at higher prices.
Dental floss is expensive because some options provide high-quality cleaning experiences.
9. Long-Term Use
Another reason dental floss is expensive is that some types are for long-term use.
For example, there are some dental floss companies that make reusable floss.
You just need to clean it occasionally.
Since it’s reusable, those companies aren’t going to see repeat buyers as often.
As such, they need to make their money on the initial sale.
Otherwise, they’d lose out and potentially go bankrupt.
Dental floss is expensive when it’s reusable.
10. Floss Picks
A final reason dental floss is expensive is when you use a dental floss pick.
These are the types of floss that have some sort of holder.
You grip the holder and use it to drag the floss between your teeth.
It uses less floss, but most of its cost comes from the holder, itself.
The handle of the floss is more expensive to make.
Since it’s sometimes a large handle that uses a good amount of plastic, producing it costs money.
As such, floss picks tend to be a more expensive type of floss.
Dental floss is a necessary purchase since it helps protect your mouth from gum disease.
However, due to the reasons listed above, it can sometimes be expensive to buy dental floss.