Frequently Asked Questions

Where is SINASILK™ manufactured?

In China – where silk manufacture was invented 5000 years ago!

When was silk first used as dental floss?

Prehistory: The exact date of the first use of dental floss is unknown but researchers found evidence that floss existed in prehistoric times. Grooves from floss and toothpicks have been found in the mouths of prehistoric humans. It is suggested that horse hair was used as floss and twigs were used as toothpicks to dislodge anything from the teeth.

1815: American dentist, Dr. Levi Spear Parmly introduces the idea of using waxed silk thread as floss. Later in his career, he published a book, A Practical Guide to the Management of Teeth, which emphasized the importance of brushing and flossing daily.

1940s: Due to rising costs of silk during World War II, nylon replaces silk as the main material in floss.

Which is the best floss – Bamboo, Charcoal, Corn, or Silk?

First of all, charcoal can be made from any organic matter.  Secondly, the description “Bamboo Charcoal Floss” is very misleading.  Bamboo charcoal is not the thread itself – charcoal derived from burning bamboo is infused into the thread.  Thirdly, the thread is made of polyester or nylon – usually a petroleum-based plastic, which are not compostable.  Plastic can be bio-based, but chemically is still a plastic.  Since silk floss is never infused with charcoal, the best material for infusion is polyester thread, which is not compostable.  Corn PLA (PolyLactic Acid, a bio-based plastic) is 100% compostable, but is weaker than either silk or polyester.  

BOTTOM LINE

Silk is the strongest 100% compostable, 100% natural fiber dental floss! 

What is Candelilly Wax?

Candelilla Wax (CW) is a wax obtained from the leaves of a small shrub native to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, Euphorbia cerifera and Euphorbia antisyphilitica, from the family Euphorbiaceae.  Candelilla wax is non-toxic and food-safe. It has been approved for use in food products by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA also regulates cosmetics and has approved candelilla for use in beauty products as well.

What is a Denier?

A denier is a unit of measurement that expresses fiber thickness of individual threads or filaments in fabric or textiles. This is done by using a single strand of silk as a reference for one denier where 9000m of the strand would equal one gram.

Standard fabrics are typically between 40d and 80d. Heavy duty fabric — used for backpacks and tents — can be between 100d and 600d. A fiber with a denier of less than one is considered a microfiber.

SINASILK™ floss is made with 750D silk thread – the thickest grade manufactured today.  Silk floss can be substituted with 900D corn PLA.  However corn PLA must be made thicker to compensate for its inferior strength.   Other brands may be cheaper, but they are not comparable – they use terms loosely, use inferior grade material, and/or try to pass off an inferior material for silk, and hope you don’t notice.

What does Natural mean?

NATURAL: from nature; not artificial or involving anything made or caused by people.  Silk is a natural fiber!
 
If a food grade product is described as natural, it means it has no artificial chemical substances added to it – no PTFE and no PFAS!
 
 

What is PTFE?

PolyTetraFluoroEthylene – brand name Teflon®

PTFE is not better or worse than Teflon® because they are one and the same thing – different only in name and nothing else.

STUDY: Dental flossing and other behaviors linked to higher levels of PFAS in the body. Silentspring.org

What is PFAS?

PolyFluoroAlkyl Substances

EPA: HUMAN HEALTH & ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS

What does Organic mean?

1. ORGANIC: Of, relating to, or derived from living matter.  Anything that grows is organic!

2. MARKETING: Of a method of farming or gardening: using no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial chemicals. Also designating a farmer or gardener utilizing such a method, or a farm on which the method is employed. 

When USDA National Organic Program was contacted, they said they do not test products.  They accredit 3rd party organizations to do the certification.  But when one organization was contacted, they said that “Organic” certification is 100% voluntary, and entails only documentation of the paper trail.   When asked whether actual physical testing is ever done, they said that could be done by a 4th party – for more money.   When asked whether there is a label or symbol a consumer can rely on to determine if the product has actually been test – they said NO!  

BOTTOM LINE: There is no testing requirement what-so-ever!  Merchants receive a financial benefit by displaying the “Organic” label, but receive no additional benefit for spending the extra time or money to actually test their product, so why bother?

SOURCES: Oxford English Dictionary, USDA National Organic Program

What does Vegan mean?

1. A person who does not eat any food derived from animals and who typically does not use other animal products.
“I’m a strict vegan”
 
VEGAN (adjective)
2. Eating, using, or containing no food or other products derived from animals.
“a vegan diet”
 
WHAT IS ETHICAL?
PETA’s accusation: What is wrong with silk?
Is it more ethical to eat plants?  They have feelings too! Smithsonian Magazine
PETA’s absurd claim: Petroleum-based plastics – like nylon, polyester, and rayon are better than silk!
Why is PETA unethical? They are hypocrites and liars!
 
NOTE: In the Animal Kingdom, there are carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores.  Higher order animals, namely carnivores, eat lower order animals.  Expecting a lion to eat only vegetables is as absurd as expecting a fruit bat to eat only meat.  Insects account for over 80% of animal life on Earth.  Insects are very prolific because they lay at the bottom of the food chain, and practically everything eat them. Even plants – like the venus fly trap or the pitcher plant eat insects.
 

What is the difference between Compostable, Recyclable, and Biodegradable?

COMPOSTABLE

Composting is a way to turn items made of natural materials back into a nutrient rich soil. Often times the compost is for food scraps, but other items that are fully compostable include yard scraps, dead flowers, items made of untreated wood, and those made of pure cotton. While starting with food scraps is the easiest, the more you look around the more you will find items for other parts of your life that are completely compostable.

Compostable items are great because instead of going to landfill or needing to be processed and turned into something else, they actually breakdown themselves in a natural setting (or in an industrial facility) to create something useful right away.

But, what happens if you have items that are compostable but don’t have access to composting. Side note: you can create a compost bin in your own backyard (or under your sink). We know that isn’t for everyone though. So, what happens if these items end up in just in your standard trash bin? You might think that it’s still an improvement and they will break down, right? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s not exactly the case. Compostable items break down into nutrient rich soil only if they have the right conditions. And a traditional landfill is not a place with the right conditions.

Industrial facilities have the optimal conditions for composting. These facilities regulate temperature, moisture, and air flow in order to ensure a compostable item breaks down as fast as possible. At-home compost is more prone to temperature/moisture/air flow changes and might not break down as quickly as it would in an industrial setting.

Composting works best when the items have access to oxygen and are regularly being turned over. A landfill is basically the opposite. It’s an anaerobic environment where most of the pile actually doesn’t have access to oxygen. That means that if your compostable takeout container ends up in the landfill, it won’t break down as intended. Instead, it will mostly likely just act like a plastic container and stay around for a lot longer than intended.

So, while recognizing compostable items is a good first step, purchasing and using compostable items in place of other items has the biggest impact when they actually end up in a compost pile. Although, we do want to mention that the production of plastic is pretty nasty for a lot of reasons, so opting for compostable items made of cotton, bamboo, and even PLA (PolyLactic Acid – that vegetable based plastic cup and container you see at restaurants), is probably still better for the environment and your health.

RECYCLABLE

Recycling is the process of taking a product and breaking it down to use it again, often as a raw material. We all know that we can recycle paper, plastic, and cans. In most places, recycling facilities can also deal with glass. All of this is great, but let’s break down the concept a little bit more. Quick note, each city is slightly different and you should check exactly what can and can’t be recycled in your neighborhood before you just assume you are good to go.

Tossing something you think or hope can be recycled into the recycling bin is often wishful or aspirational recycling. While your heart is in the right place, doing this might actually be worse than just trashing something you aren’t clear on. Why? Because that one iffy thing can actually be enough to compromise a full batch of recycling, which could mean everything ends up in the landfill instead of just the one questionable item. In those situations, the best option would be to confirm before you dispose of it. And, if your neighborhood doesn’t recycle it, ask your city to start accepting those items. But, in the meantime, if you don’t know, don’t just hope it can be recycled.

Back to the topic at hand, what is actually recyclable? Most plastics that hold their shape can be recycled (like water bottles, food containers, bottles for household items, etc.). In some places, they have even started being able to accept items like plastic grocery bags, shrink wrap, and plastic wrap if it is packaged correctly. Other commonly accepted items for recycling include paper, cardboard, unbroken glass and metal (including tinfoil if it’s clean and in a large enough ball).

Some common items that need special recycling (but are in fact recyclable) include: batteries, electronics, and fabric (and clothing). Check with your waste management provider to see what can and can’t be recycled in your neighborhood.

BIODEGRADABLE

The definition of biodegradable is a substance that can break down naturally without causing any harm. This is very similar to compostable, but the biggest difference is that what it breaks down to doesn’t cause harm as opposed to starting with an organically occurring materials. Therefore, man-made or chemically produced items can still be considered biodegradable, while not necessarily being compostable. This is like a square being a rectangle but a rectangle not being a square. Those items that are compostable are also biodegradable, but not everything biodegradable is compostable.

Again, biodegradable options are still a step in the right direction. It does mean that the ingredients break down over time and when they do break down, the base components are not harmful to the environment.

One drawback of biodegradable materials is that there is not necessarily a time-frame for when the items will break down. It could be many years before they start to degrade. In most cases, biodegradable isn’t really saying much about the product.

BOTTOM LINE

If we were to rank these terms for which ones are best for the planet and in turn our health, we’d say first look for items that are compostable, recyclable, and lastly biodegradable. Compostable items, if properly disposed of, will break down completely and can them be used to grow more resources. Recyclable items can be turned into raw materials that can then be used to make new things without needing to create completely new resources. And finally, biodegradable options will eventually break down, but we don’t know when and there is no plan to use them for any additional benefit.

SOURCE: Center for Environmental Health

Shopping Cart