Around 3.5 billion toothbrushes are sold worldwide each year. Dentists recommend that you replace your toothbrush every 3 months – around 300 brushes of waste in a lifetime and it’s a sad fact! Unfortunately most conventional toothpaste also comes in plastic tubes that have nowhere else to go but in landfills. Centuries after you’re gone, these plastic dental care products will still be here – washed up on a beach, eaten by an albatross, or buried deep in a landfill.
So without further ado, here are 4 simple zero waste dental care tips to keep your teeth clean and the planet healthy.
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ZERO WASTE TOOTHBRUSH
We have been unable to find a completely zero waste toothbrush.
Toothbrushes are just one of the daily items made, used and thrown away every day. And because they are made of polypropylene and nylon, they unsurprisingly don’t break down very easily. That’s why you should switch to using a bamboo toothbrush.
Switching to a bamboo toothbrush helps save the environment, especially the oceans, from being destroyed. Our Zero Waste bamboo-coconut set can be reused over and keeping single-use plastics from entering our oceans and landfills.
Using a bamboo toothbrush is as effective as a manual plastic toothbrush. The difference is that the handle is made from bamboo which is strong, biodegradable and has no negative impact on the planet.
Bamboo Toothbrush Is Eco-Friendly
Based on current trends, the possibility of some plastic waste ending up in the ocean, and endangering marine life, is high. Every time you toss a used plastic toothbrush into the bin, there’s a chance of it being swallowed by an albatross, a whale, a dugong, a penguin or a sea lion. Using a bamboo toothbrush in your zero waste dental care routine is an eco-friendly alternative that you should consider for the sake of the planet. You can compost your bamboo toothbrush handle and it will degrade naturally. Alternatively, the handle can be recycled or reused.
Bamboo Toothbrush Is Sustainable
Not only is bamboo one of the most sustainable materials on earth, these eco toothbrushes are also biodegradable, meaning much less waste is left over. The stems grow quickly and do not require the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Plastic toothbrushes are made from materials that aren’t sustainable and its production involves the use of harmful chemicals and processes.
Bamboo Toothbrush Is Safe
Bamboo is a plant that grows naturally and is safe for use. The stems are cut and processed without the use of toxic additives. Bamboo shoots are edible and used for food in some Asian and African countries. The issue is with the bristles. Every bamboo toothbrush I have found has BPA free nylon bristles.
The organic nature of bamboo toothbrushes means that you may have to pay a dollar or so more than you would for a plastic toothbrush, but the overall benefit for you and our beloved planet cannot be quantified.
ZERO WASTE TOOTHPASTE
Conventional toothpaste tubes cannot be recycled because of the goopy material inside of them. Zero waste toothpaste helps keep plastic waste out of our landfills, allows for less pollution in our oceans, and lowers our carbon footprint. Most of them have packaging that can be recycled, or even better, reused. David’s Toothpaste uses recyclable aluminum that can be cut and rinsed of the goop that would otherwise cause it not to be recyclable. Bite’s Tooth Tablets come in glass bottles which are also infinitely recyclable or reusable.
Another added benefit of buying zero waste toothpaste is that many of them are made with natural ingredients and will often be certified vegan. With toothpaste tablets specifically, there are much fewer chemicals needed to preserve them.
Everyone who travels knows the struggle of having to buy travel-sized toothpaste tubes that fit TSA regulations. Luckily, this is not as much of a concern for people who have zero-waste toothpaste, specifically toothpaste tablets. These tablets are small and easy to carry anywhere, and there is no limit to how many you can take with you.
Moreover, you can also create your own zero waste toothpaste if you have the time and interest.
ZERO WASTE DENTAL FLOSS
Traditional dental floss is typically made with nylon, which is a type of plastic. However, being made with plastic isn’t the only problem with traditional dental floss.
Traditional dental floss is also coated in chemicals to make it easier to slide between teeth. Unfortunately, studies have found that some brands of dental floss have high levels of a chemical called perfuoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS.
PFAS has been linked to serious health issues that include certain types of cancers, fertility issues, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, and weight gain.
So, with eco-friendly dental floss options, you can enjoy a zero waste dental care routine that’s better for the environment and your health.
To avoid risking your health and save the environment, switch to natural dental flosses made with silk and plant-based materials like TreeBird Biodegradable Dental Floss and The Humble Co. Natural Dental Floss Picks.
A FEW MORE ZERO WASTE DENTAL CARE TIPS
Support Other Zero Waste Dental Care Products
Aside from the zero waste dental care products mentioned above, you probably need other things for oral hygiene. But whatever the case, always look for products that don’t come in plastic containers or packaging.
So whether you’re looking for mouthwash, oral rinses, tongue cleaners, toothbrush holders, and others, go plastic-free.
Recycle, Rot, or Reuse Zero Waste Oral Care Products
A zero waste dental care routine’s ultimate goal is to send the least amount of oral hygiene-related products to landfills. So before throwing any of your wastes, see if you can reuse, compost (rot), or recycle them.
Although you are already using eco-friendly and non-plastic products, do whatever you can to create the least amount of waste.
Transitioning to a Zero Waste lifestyle has really been as simple as understanding why I believe the things I do and retraining myself to form new habits and make simple changes to my daily ritual. If you decide that zero waste dental care is right for you, I highly recommend making the switch!
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