Taking care of our teeth and oral hygiene is just as important as taking care of our other body parts like heart or liver. And just like other things, you can reduce your carbon footprint in many things, including dental care. So here are some tips on how to make it eco-friendly.
Reduce water usage
I realize that this is such an obvious tip, but hear me out. I put this here because this is the easiest thing that you can do at home and yet the impact is huge. Depending on how many times you brush a day and the length of time, you can save up to 8 gallons a day, which means 200 gallons a month.
According to this calculation, you can fill four hot tubs a year. And if 100 people are conserving water too, it means 400 tubs, right? And 1000 people? 4000 tubs. Imagine if half people in the world are saving water. We can save those clean water for other important things.
An average family of four wastes approximately 881 gallons of water every year, and that’s a lot. And since clean water is getting more scarce, it’s wise to save it as much as we can from now. The easiest way to do this is to turn off the water whenever you’re not using it. So you should turn it on to wet your brush, then off, and wait until it’s time to rinse. To save more, use a cup instead of your hand.
Another way to do save water is to make sure that you brush your teeth using cold water. Water temperature won’t make your teeth cleaner or dirtier, and using hot water will spend more energy.
If you have children, then it’s best to teach them why conserving water is important. And it’s better to start teaching them early, because it’s the time where their brains are receiving and soaking every bit of information so that they can turn it into a lifelong habit.
Baking soda is not only for baking
There are countless benefits of baking soda. You can use it to clean not only your house but also your teeth! I know that there are eco-friendly toothpaste out there, and it’s always a great option, but baking soda is a lot cheaper and greener. One box of baking soda will last for several months compared to when you’re using toothpaste.
What you need is a half cup of baking soda, fourth of a cup of hydrogen peroxide and warm water. But if you don’t like hydrogen peroxide, it’s completely fine to simply use a combo of water and baking soda. Don’t worry about getting your teeth not clean enough, because you’ll still get clean mouth.
And even though there isn’t any topical fluoride, you’re still cleaning your teeth effectively with baking soda concoction. And also, you won’t get excess chemicals and packaging which is great for the environment.
It’s all about toothbrush
Yes, your toothbrush is also vital to an eco-friendly teeth cleaning, and there are two ways to make it happen. First of all is finding green manufacturers that produce quality toothbrushes.
There are quite plenty of them, so I recommend you to do a research and make sure that you find the real environment-friendly ones. Also make sure that it’s comfortable for your teeth and mouth.
Most of us have realized that the handle is mostly made of plastic right? Now, even though you’ve done some steps to green up your dental care, you won’t do the Earth any favors if you change your toothbrush every month. According to The American Dental Association, you should replace your toothbrush once every three to four months. But if you store and clean it in hygienic way, it’ll last longer.
And if you prefer electric toothbrushes, make sure that you find out whether the extra energy will get your teeth cleaner or not. Because if it won’t then perhaps it’s time to switch into the greener one.
At times, your dental routine is not just toothbrush and toothpaste. Sometimes we use mouthwash, dental floss, toothpicks, and inter-dental brush to make sure that we really clean our teeth right and make all bad bacteria and cavities go away.
It’s not a bad thing, of course, but we have to make sure that we use all the product in them and then recycle every container available. It’s even better if your oral care products are made of recyclable, natural, or biodegradable materials.
You can start doing this by looking for natural materials in the products such as bamboo and silk. If you’re unsure, then you can always talk to your dentist about these products. Because maybe the ones in the stores can’t provide the same oral health benefits as synthetic products. It’s always best to ask the expert, after all.
And if you’re not sure or confused about recycling your containers, don’t hesitate to call your local recycling facility. If they can’t process or recycle certain types of plastics (or even all of them), then you can ask them to connect you to other facilities or programs that are capable of doing it.
Find a green dentist
A green dentist is just as necessary to make your dental routine greener. A green dentist has an influence on a community and its dental health. And fortunately, more dentists are now practicing eco-dentistry. If no dentists claim to be environmentally friendly, they’ve probably have done techniques which are considered friendly for Earth.
The techniques are first of all, using everything digitally from x-ray to patient records. Second, they offer non-mercury fillings and they have amalgam separator to avoid adding hazardous substances to wastewater. Third, they purchase eco-friendly office, cleaning, and dental products as well. Fourth, they use purifying equipment to keep toxins out of the air. And lastly, they tell you things about healthy and green ways to care for your teeth.
You can find the in-depth info about eco-dentistry here.
Bonus tip: research about what’s best for your teeth
Rinsing your mouth is a good and wise thing to do to make a significant difference for your oral health. However, you should make sure that you do some research behind the products you’re currently using.
It’s possible that you’re generating additional plastic bottles and a chemically manufactured product. You should also find out whether your product has a real clinical science or active ingredients behind the product’s claims. Making sure that your teeth is healthy all the time is good, but the worst thing is that you become a victim of consumer marketing instead of an eco-friendly, oral hygiene lover.
Do you have a green dentist? Or have you ever been deceived by dental products that claimed so much but proved nothing? Tell us your experience about eco-friendly dental care in the comment box below. Make sure that you don’t miss out other ways to green up your daily life in this article.