How to Make Your Oral Care Routine More Eco-Friendly
Taking care of your oral health is important but have you ever thought about how your oral care routine affects the environment? The waste it produces adds to the trash in the landfills. Some products are also full of chemicals that aren't great for the earth. Plus, caring for your teeth can take lots of water. These eco dental care tips will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy while watching out for Mother Nature.
Eco-Friendly Oral Care Products
Eco dental care starts with the dental product choices you make. Buying eco-friendly products can help with waste reduction.
A traditional plastic toothbrush goes into the trash when you're done. It might be out of sight, out of mind for you, but that plastic sticks around long after you're gone. Plastic never fully decomposes. Instead, it breaks down into microplastics, which can affect the environment.
You can choose alternatives that are better for the environment. A bamboo toothbrush is an easy option. Bamboo is compostable, so you can toss the old handles in your compost bin or a municipal composting bin. It's also biodegradable if you toss it in the trash. Recycled plastic toothbrushes are also better for eco dental care.
Additionally, many electric toothbrushes have reusable handles. You simply swap out the heads, which have less plastic than a traditional toothbrush. You can also find bamboo electric toothbrushes for even more eco-friendly oral health care.
Toothpaste and Mouthwash
Your toothpaste tubes generate lots of plastic waste. Dry toothpaste options such as zero-waste toothpaste tablets and powders often come in cardboard packaging or containers made of recyclable materials like glass and metal. Many toothpaste products also contain microplastics as an abrasive ingredient. Using dry options eliminates these microplastics, which can end up in the water supply when you rinse your mouth. You can also look for natural toothpaste options that contain fewer ingredients.
Mouthwash can also cause environmental issues. Some of the chemicals can be hard on the environment, and plastic bottles create more waste. Look for a mouthwash with limited ingredients or a natural, alcohol-free mouthwash. You can also get mouthwash tablets or mouthwash products that come in refillable containers to reduce waste.
Dental floss is another source of plastic waste in your oral care routine. Instead of using traditional floss, consider using a water flosser, which uses pressurized water to clean your teeth. You can also find eco-friendly floss options made from things like silk coated in natural beeswax or plant-based wax. Reusable dental floss picks can also help reduce your waste.
Sustainable Oral Care Practices
The way you brush your teeth can affect how eco-friendly your process is. Make these changes to create an eco dental care process.
You might not think you're using much water while you're brushing but it adds up quickly if you leave the tap running. By shutting off the faucet while you brush, you could conserve about 8 gallons of water each day if you brush twice daily. If you leave the water running, collect it for other purposes such as watering plants. You can also collect extra water if you let the faucet run until it reaches the ideal temperature to reduce water waste.
Using a cup when you rinse the toothpaste can save water over using your hand to scoop water from the faucet. You capture all the water and can use it more efficiently. If you don't drink all the water, you can use it for other purposes. You can also skip the rinse after brushing your teeth. Simply spit out the excess toothpaste.
While electric toothbrushes reduce your plastic waste, they also increase your energy use. Using a manual toothbrush helps you conserve energy. If you choose an electric toothbrush, consider using one with a solar-powered charger. Turning off electronic oral care gadgets when they're not in use can also help. Don't leave your charger plugged in and running all the time if your toothbrush is fully charged.
Other Eco-Friendly Oral Care Tips
Here are some additional eco-friendly oral care tips to consider.
Choose Local and Sustainable Brands
When choosing oral care products, look for local and sustainable brands. Supporting local businesses keeps money in your community and reduces transportation emissions. Sustainable oral care companies do their part to protect the environment and make it easier for you to support environmental efforts.
Make Your Own Oral Care Products
Making oral care products at home can also protect the environment. Many DIY toothpaste and mouthwash recipes use everyday products that are safe for the environment. You can use glass containers you already have for your DIY products, or you can reuse oral care containers from products you bought at the store.
Taking Care of Your Oral Health and the Planet
Eco-friendly oral care exposes you to fewer chemicals and protects the environment. The decisions you make affect the earth, often far beyond your own community. Try eco-friendly oral care products and practices to feel better and keep your mouth healthy.
Some eco dental care products might cost a little more. For instance, natural toothpaste products can be more expensive than cheap toothpaste. However, many of the products are very affordable.
Can I still have good oral health with eco-friendly products?
You can still practice effective oral hygiene with eco-friendly products. Follow recommended practices like brushing twice a day and flossing to keep your teeth healthy and avoid gum disease. Routine exams from a dental professional also help.
Where can I find eco-friendly oral care products?
Eco-friendly oral care products are available at most stores. Look in the oral care section for natural options. Your dentist can also recommend products.
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