Reducing your ecological footprint is just one of many ways that you can help to create a sustainable environment. A few simple changes to your dental routine can make a huge impact. Want to learn more? Keep reading…
Too much tap water.
Did you know the average person wastes the equivalent of 90 glasses of water down the drain while leaving the tap on while brushing their teeth? This one is pretty simple and can make a huge impact.
- Wet your toothbrush
- Turn off the water
- Apply toothpaste to the toothbrush
- Brush your teeth for 2 minutes
- Fill a small glass with water
- Rinse and swish with water from glass
Consider applying this same idea to other parts of your routine by shutting off the tap water when washing your hands, taking showers instead of baths and running the dishwasher only when it’s full. By keeping a small glass on your bathroom counter will remind you to keep it filled so you’re ready to swish! If you use an electric toothbrush, consider leaving it plugged in only when you need to charge it.
Another advantage to this method is a cleaner mouth. Oftentimes people want to brush their teeth as fast as possible because the tap is running, if the tap is off it will allow you to take more time and attention to make sure your teeth are squeaky clean!
Choose natural, compost or recyclable toothbrushes.
A good rule of thumb is to discard toothbrushes every 1-3 months and immediately after any sickness. An electronic toothbrush is a great way to reduce waste. The core of the brush remains and it is only the brush tip that needs to be changed out. In addition, many stores are carrying a variety of eco-friendly toothbrushes that are made from recycled or renewable resources such as bamboo, and boar bristles. These not only give a unique look in your bathroom but will breakdown in the landfill unlike the traditional plastic toothbrush, which pollutes the landfill for 500 years.
If you prefer to use the traditional plastic toothbrush look for plastic that is plant based which won’t clog up the landfill. Just think about how many toothbrushes you or your family have used in the past year and multiply that by 7.8 billion people in the world…needless to say that’s a lot of toothbrushes!
What if you have a traditional plastic toothbrush that can’t be recycled? Throw it in the dishwasher and keep one under each sink in your home for easy access to clean hard to reach areas such as sinks, tubs, and windows. They also are a great tool to clean jewelry with a bit of dish soap to keep your pieces sparkling like new!
Choose an eco-friendly floss.
While we don’t recommend reusing floss, there are biodegradable flosses on the market that work just as well as the traditional floss. Traditional floss is made from nylon which doesn’t breakdown easily. An alternative to traditional floss is made from renewable resources like silk. Another option to consider is using a reusable floss handle which will use a lot less floss than you typically would and helps you reach the back of your teeth easier. The most eco-friendly floss alternative would be a water pik which is an electronic flosser that uses a jet stream of water to loosen bacteria and food from teeth.
These are just a few simple tips to incorporate into your dental routine that will create habits for long lasting positive effects on the environment.