Brushing your teeth is second nature— but we tend to forget about the plastic, toxin-filled products we use every day in our oral care routine. Taking care of our teeth and gums is certainly important, but it doesn’t have to come at such a cost to our environment.
When you switch to sustainable dental products, you are:
Reducing plastic waste
The typical toothbrush is made of plastic and rubber that deems it non-recyclable. The same goes for toothpaste tubes, floss, and mouthwash containers. Due to their size and/or plastic type, they often end up straight in a landfill.
Bamboo toothbrushes are a great eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic toothbrushes, and work just as effectively at cleaning those pearly whites.
Since 90% of mouthwash is water, shipping a large, plastic bottle of liquid mouthwash is extremely wasteful and contributes to carbon emissions. Refillable mouthwash crystals reduce single-use plastic for a more sustainable option.
Products are biodegradable
Bamboo toothbrushes are plant-based, fast-growing,and 100% biodegradable, so you can throw them in the compost without worry. This is the opposite for most toothbrushes that are made out of high-density polyethylene and nylon, which take decades to break down.
Floss is also typically made of non-biodegradable, nylon or polyester material that is covered in Teflon wax. Since floss is such a small piece of waste, it often doesn’t even make it to the landfill and instead ends up in the ocean. Search for a silk, bamboo, or otherwise plastic-free, biodegradable floss option.
Most mouthwashes contain alcohol, which dries your mouth and leads to bad breath (wait, doesn’t that defeat the purpose?). The strong alcohol and numerous sulfate chemicals are toxic if swallowed.
Toothpaste typically includes triclosan which is used to treat gingivitis, but has been linked to hormone and immune system disruption. The artificial flavors, dyes, fragrances, and preservatives found in mouthwash and toothpaste can also cause oral cancer and other health concerns.
Aside from potentially causing damage to your own health, the toxic ingredients in mouthwash pose a risk to marine and wildlife when disposed down the drain and released into waterways.
So instead, opt for toothpaste and mouthwash that use natural, non-toxic ingredients. Safe ingredients include aloe vera extract, peppermint oil, and sea salt.
When you purchase reusable or refillable dental products, you’re likely to spend less money on new items and purchase them less often. Refills are typically less expensive in price than entirely new products and packaging.
While it may not seem like much, both the money you save and your consideration of the planet does add up over time.
Supporting small & eco-focused businesses
Brands that sell sustainable products care about the environment, and carry this over to the way they source, produce, and distribute their products. It is now more important than ever to support businesses that prioritize preserving our planet’s natural resources.
Switching to sustainable dental products is a simple way to keep your mouth healthy while your environmental impact low.Working towards a more sustainable lifestyle can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Make small changes at a time, and remember, throwing out your current, perfectly usable products to make a sustainable swap defeats the purpose - so finish that tube of toothpaste and wear out that toothbrush first!