Why You Should Switch to Sustainable Dental Care
Dental products are one of the biggest culprits for single-use plastic and unnecessary waste. With 300 million plastic toothpaste tubes and 200 million plastic toothbrushes going to landfill every year, it’s clear that our dental hygiene habits have a negative impact on our environment.
Switching to sustainable dental care won’t eliminate all of this waste, but it will help you minimise your own plastic footprint (and encourage others to do the same). The great news is that it’s easier now — perhaps more than ever — to make the switch, with more sustainable dental care alternatives popping up in zero waste online and physical stores around the world.
4 key tools for your (near) zero waste kit
So, how do you build your (near) zero waste dental kit?
You just need 4 simple zero waste swaps. Take what you’ve got in your bathroom and, once it’s used up, recycle it and replace it with a more sustainable alternative. Here’s our top suggestions.
1. Bamboo Toothbrushes
Eco-friendly, effective and antimicrobial, near zero waste bamboo toothbrushes are a natural and sustainable alternative to plastic toothbrushes (and work just as well). We’d recommend that you change these every 2-3 months, or when the bristles have frayed out of shape.
Bamboo toothbrushes are home compostable. However, bristles usually are not and you should remove them by plucking them out with a pair of pliers or snapping the toothbrush head off.
2. Toothpaste Tablets
Let’s reveal the ultimate zero-waste toothpaste recipe (with fluoride as well). Put a toothpaste tablet in your mouth, chew it until it turns into a paste, pop your (wet) toothbrush in, and brush as normal for 2 minutes. Spit, but don’t rinse, and you’re good to go.
3. Plastic-Free Floss
A simple but effective method to remove single-use plastic from your dental routine is to use a plastic-free dental floss. One of the best zero waste floss is made from compostable corn-based Polylactic Acid (PLA), a.k.a. bioplastic. This works as well as a regular floss to remove food debris from between your teeth and help prevent the build-up of bacteria.
4. Natural Mouthwash
Want to go the extra mile for that greener (not literally) smile? Opt for natural mouthwash tablets or an alcohol-free, eco-conscious liquid instead of your usual plastic bottle. These will be gentler, but still effective, and will leave that familiar and fresh spearmint taste in your mouth.
The Benefits of Switching to Sustainable Dental Care
Once you've made these zero waste swaps, you're ready to reap the following benefits:
Better for the environment: Most sustainable dental care products come in a recyclable packaging and contain just natural ingredients (that are not harmful for the environment);
Animal-friendly: The majority of sustainable dental care products are cruelty-free and not tested on animals;
Repurposable: Bamboo toothbrushes, in particular, can be repurposed into useful tools for around the home. Once it no longer brushes your teeth well, use the fine bristles to clean up your house.
Perfect for travel: As toothpaste and mouthwash tablets contain no liquids and are therefore designated as "safe to travel" with, you can store them in your hand luggage.
Dental care is one of the first and most simple steps you can take to get closer to a zero waste life. As aforementioned, toothpaste tubes and toothbrushes are large culprits in contributing to landfill.
While the effects of current dental hygiene are so detrimental, switching to sustainable dental care has never been easier. Simply put, all you need is to invest in bamboo toothbrushes, toothpaste tablets, plastic free floss and natural mouthwash. Ready to bite into your dental care plastic footprint?