Gluten-Free Dental Hygiene

After I found out I was gluten intolerant, I told my dentist I have allergies. Yes, allergies. I know I’m not really allergic to gluten, but using the “A” word definitely gets people’s attention. And my health is more important that any quibbles about allergies versus intolerances.

Because I was firm but friendly about it, and stressed the importance of the situation, I’ve never had a problem with the staff at my dentist’s office respecting my wishes. I always check, however, to make sure they still have everything noted in my file. I went to the dentist this week. And after two years, they are well trained. This time they had everything ready before I asked. Here are the things I watch for:

Powder-Free Gloves – I read a while back that sometimes powdered gloves get powdered with wheat starch. I don’t know if that is true or not. But it is true that gloves are not covered by the FDA’s labeling laws, and manufacturers are not required to disclose if they use any form of wheat in their gloves. So I figure better safe than sorry. Besides, almost everyone I’ve talked to that wears gloves says they prefer the unpowdered ones. I’m going to encourage that preference.

Pumice ONLY – It is true that some tooth polishing compounds contain gluten. It is also true that it is difficult to find accurate lists of which ones are safe. In addition to that, my dentist’s office can’t find the ingredients for their brand of polish. This brand is not on any of the safe or unsafe lists I’ve found. So I insist on plain pumice. Again, better safe than sorry. Besides, the commercial polishes taste nasty.

No Dental FlossNOTE: DENTAL FLOSS IS GLUTEN FREE. I just don’t like other people flossing my teeth. Don’t worry, I floss before I go in…

About Li

A writer, runner, and Gluten-Free Zealot, I've been helping others navigate the gluten-free lifestyle for many years. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and when you're gluten-free, it's even better!
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2 Responses to Gluten-Free Dental Hygiene

  1. Bonita says:

    I’ve been trying to find out whether a couple flossing products I either use or would like to try are gluten-free. There’s not too much info online for this. Your blog post here says dental floss is gluten-free — is that true of all brands and kinds, including various flavors and flouride included? I’ve been using a Reach flosser, and I’m not sure that’s okay. Today I bought DenTek flossers from Walgreen’s, but I don’t know if they’re safe either. Thanks for any info you can pass along.

  2. Li loves David says:

    Bonita – you’re right, it’s hard to find anything on floss, or many other dental products. I can vouch for Oral-B waxed floss in regular and mint being gluten free, because that’s what I use, and I’ve never reacted to them.

    The string itself and the wax of any floss should be gluten free. As far as other additives, I haven’t heard of any that would be a problem, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some out there. I recommend contacting the company directly if you are unsure. Sorry I can’t be of any help! Good luck – Li

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