Plastic is a major component of our dental hygiene routine, present in almost every element. Plastic tubes for toothpaste, plastic in our toothbrushes and packaging, nylon floss that comes in a plastic case, and bottles of mouthwash in plastic jugs all add up to a significant concern environmentally. Throw in the fact that many people leave the water running while brushing their teeth, and you can add four gallons of wasted water per person to the list. Thankfully it only takes a little care to reduce the amount of impact our oral care makes on the environment.
Racing the faucet instead of turning it off only results in poor brushing; turn it off and take your time
Steps You Can Use To Reduce Your Environmental Impact
Many of our patients are experiencing a growing concern with the impact we make on our environment. This has resulted in a renewed search for dental health care techniques that we can do every day to reduce the amount of impact we have. Some of these techniques have actually resulted in superior oral health as a consequence. Consider the following four steps for taking better care of your teeth while reducing your impact:
- Run your toothbrush under the faucet to wet it, then turn it off
- Spit after brushing with your toothpaste, rather than rinsing it out
- Flossing will now spread toothpaste between your teeth to aid in cleaning and protection
- Use a mouthwash tablet at this stage rather than using bottled toothpaste
- Swish and rinse your mouth with just a mouthful of water
Every step of this process is aimed at getting the most out of your oral health care routine without only one change to the ingredients you use. You can take an extra step here by using mulberry silk floss that can be found in reusable metal canisters and investing in a bamboo toothbrush. There’s even research that suggests using your finger, tongue, and a little water to clean your teeth after every meal may be more effective than traditional products.
Four gallons of water is wasted for every person who leaves the tap running while brushing
The Impact of Plastic Products In Our Dental Care Products
We’re going to take a moment to explain the deep impact that using plastic dental products in your oral health care routine has on the environment. It starts with an understanding that the majority of the plastic in these products never makes it to a recycling center, instead finding its way into landfills. Even worse, a large number of waste products actually end up in our oceans, where it affects marine life and breaks down into microplastic particles over time. In both cases, it can take centuries for the plastic to break down enough to no longer have an impact.