Although 4 million Americans are wearing braces today, expensive orthodonture isn’t the only way to improve your smile. Following a recommended dental care routine can go a long way in preserving your pearly whites.
For example, you should position your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle in order to achieve maximum cleaning power and should floss at least once per day. But in addition to adhering to your dentist’s advice, you might also be wondering whether you could protect your teeth and the planet at the same time. The good news is that there are a number of ways you can go green with your dental routine. Here are a few eco-friendly tooth care tips to keep in mind.
Use a Dry Toothpaste Powder
How much thought do you give to your toothpaste tube? Most of us don’t realize how wasteful these receptacles really are. Hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of plastic or aluminum toothpaste tubes end up in landfills every year. And because many of them also come in boxes, that’s a lot of wasteful packaging. If you want to opt for eco-friendliness, you might consider swapping out your Colgate or Crest for a dry toothpaste powder. These powders often come in reusable jars made out of glass or metal, which means you can repurpose these vessels after you’ve used up all of the product. Simply add a little bit of water to the powder each time you brush for a more sustainable cleaning.
Switch to a Different Toothbrush
It’s not just your toothpaste that may need rethinking. Even your toothbrush could probably be more environmentally friendly. Traditional toothbrushes are made of plastic — and because they should be replaced every few months, you’ll end up creating a lot of waste.
Wood may be a better alternative, as it can be sourced sustainably and be reused. Although shaved baseball bats shouldn’t be used in temperatures below 65 degrees, there’s no need to restrict your use of wood materials when it comes to your teeth. Bamboo toothbrushes are actually compostable and is made from a material that can be grown quickly. Plastic, on the other hand, can continue polluting for over 500 years. If you don’t love the look or feel of a bamboo toothbrush, low-charge electric toothbrushes might be a viable alternative, as you’ll need only replace the brush head. Best of all, they don’t require much electricity use.
Opt For Biodegradeable Floss
Dentists don’t recommend reusing dental floss, as this could be problematic for bacterial contamination. However, there are more eco-friendly types of floss out there. From the plastic case to the little strands of nylon floss that won’t immediately break down, there are certainly improvements that can be made. There are all-natural flosses made out of silk and coated with plant wax that can do just as good a job, while many are even biodegradable. Alternatively, you could switch to a water flosser. These products don’t require much water and are just as (if not more) effective than traditional floss.
Turn Off the Tap
If you’ve gotten in the habit of leaving the faucet running when you brush your teeth, you could unknowingly be throwing money down the drain. According to data, you might waste as much as eight gallons of water per day if you fail to turn off the faucet during your teeth cleaning routine. But if you turn off the tap when you brush, you could save up to 200 gallons of water each month! While this tip won’t necessarily improve your oral care, it can help you save money each month while you reduce the amount of water you waste.
Contrary to popular belief, going green doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. In fact, it can often help you reduce the amount you spend over time — and making small changes is often simpler than most people realize. With these eco-friendly dental care tips, you can feel good about the state of your teeth and your impact on the world around you.