How to Make Your Dental Care Eco-Friendly
It has been estimated that as many as 1 billion toothpaste tubes are sent to landfill every year and once you add disposable brushes and brush heads to the mix, that problem becomes considerably bigger and more worrying. Fortunately, consumers are aware of this and are demanding more eco-friendly options, while manufacturers are doing what they can to cater for them.
The following products can all help to improve your dental hygiene routine, lessening your carbon footprint and reducing the amount of waste that goes into your trash every month.
Bamboo grows very quickly and is one of the most sustainable and versatile materials on earth. Bamboo is not recycled but it doesn’t need to be. It biodegrades fairly easily in landfill and because it’s so readily available, it can be replaced cheaply, with no fear of stocks running low.
This woody material is used to produce low-cost manual toothbrushes, most of which are packaged in cardboard or paper and use BPA-free bristles that clean just as well as standard toothbrushes.
For just $10, you can get 3 to 4 bamboo toothbrushes, ensuring you have one for all the family. You can throw them away with the household garbage, safe in the knowledge that they won’t hang around for thousands of years like your old plastic brushes.
You can also buy a separate bamboo travel case to store your toothbrush when you travel or just to keep it protected at home.
As noted as the outset of this article, toothpaste creates an immense amount of plastic waste. The average person goes through several tubes of the stuff every year and this creates an unspeakable amount of waste that won’t biodegrade.
To counteract this problem, manufacturers have begun producing tablets that you chew to produce an abrasive, foamy powder that cleans just like toothpaste.
Simply pop one of these in your mouth, start chewing, and then brush. You only need one tablet at a time, so there’s no risk of using too much, and you can buy them in glass bottles and cardboard refill packs. There are no plastic tubes, and very little waste. It can also save you some money as these bottles and the refills tend to be a lot cheaper than premium branded toothpaste.
Dental floss is made from nylon, a product derived from crude oil, just like plastic. Unlike plastic, it doesn’t take hundreds of years to decompose and should be gone in 80 years or less, but it’s still not as environmentally friendly as it could be, especially when you consider that many flosses come in plastic tubs and are coated with waxes and chemicals.
Biodegradable floss is a much eco-friendlier alternative. Often made from natural substances like silk, this floss is naturally flavored, wrapped around spindles, and packaged in glass tubes and cardboard boxes. It’s rarely the cheapest option, but if you’re concerned about your footprint and want to minimize waste, it’s a great addition to your dental hygiene routine.
Bottom Line: Making Progress
2019 was the year of the environment, a year in which people took fewer flights, bought fewer clothes, and made more sensible decisions in an effort to limit environmental damage. 2020 was the year of the coronavirus, a year in which we all collectively panicked, washed our hands, and then forgot about everything we did in 2019.
But once the dust settles, we need to get back to what we were doing and start fixing the problems we created. It’s not something that can be fixed overnight, and it definitely won’t happen without a little hard work and commitment, but by taking things one step at a time, we can all make changes that will make our lives better and help to save the environment.
Eco-friendly dental care products play an important role in our progression toward a cleaner, greener future. You might even save yourself a few bucks in the process.