5 Simple Ways to Make Your Dental Routine More Eco-Friendly *

-This post is in collaboration-

Now more than ever we should be doing what we can to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, and making small changes in our dental routine is a great place to start. From reducing water consumption to using the right dental products to disposing of them properly, there's a number of choices you can make to minimise your impact on the environment while brushing your teeth.

1. Reduce Water Consumption 

The easiest way you can make your dental routine more eco-friendly is by simply reducing the amount of water used. This can be done in a number of ways. 

This one is a no-brainer, but always remember to turn off the tap when brushing. If you let the water run between wetting your toothbrush and rinsing your mouth after brushing, you are wasting a large amount of water. In fact, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) stated that keeping the tap on while brushing your teeth wastes an average of four gallons each time. If each person in a four-person household brushes twice each day, that’s 32 gallons of water wasted. 

Another thing you can do to reduce water consumption is to install a tap flow restrictor or aerator. Both of these work to reduce the amount of water flowing through the tap which will not only save you water but also save you money on your water bill. What's not to love! What’s more, they are quick and easy to install.

2. Switch to a Bamboo Toothbrush 

Another simple way to make your dental routine more sustainable and environmentally friendly is switching to a bamboo toothbrush. Did you know that 99% of all toothbrushes in the world are made from plastic, and with more than 1 billion toothbrushes thrown out every year, a lot of it ends up in the ocean or landfills, polluting the earth and posing a risk to marine life. For this reason, more and more people are choosing to use bamboo toothbrushes as a popular alternative to its plastic counterparts. 

Not only do bamboo toothbrushes help reduce plastic waste, their handles are also fully compostable and biodegradable, and will safely return to the soil within 6 months. 

Plastic toothbrushes also contain microplastics (tiny plastic particles hardly visible to the naked eye) which end up in oceans and work their way up the food chain, which can have dangerous health consequences. 

3. Switch to Toothpaste Tablets 

In addition to bamboo toothbrushes, you can switch your traditional toothpaste for toothpaste tablets. Toothpaste tablets are a plastic-free, zero-waste and overall more eco alternative to traditional toothpaste in a plastic tube. 

Conventional toothpaste is usually made from different types of plastics and often laminated with a metal layer, which can be another big issue when it comes to recycling. Toothpaste tablets, on the other hand, are housed in recyclable packaging or reusable jars, making them a much more sustainable alternative. 

To use a toothpaste tablet, simply place one in your mouth, chew it until it turns into a paste, pop your (wet) toothbrush in, and brush for 2 minutes. 

4. Repurpose Your Toothbrush 

Another way you can make your dental routine more environmentally friendly is by repurposing your toothbrush and giving it a second life. One of the most popular things it can be used for is a cleaning brush, due to its small size. Use your old toothbrush to get into those really tricky hard-to-reach spots, like bathroom tiles, corners, basins, etc. 

You may also want to use your old toothbrush for marketing plant pots. Cut off the bristles with a pair of pliers, recycle them, and then use a permanent marker to label your brush. Once done, pop in your plant to help you identify herbs and seeds. If you’re lucky enough to have a fireplace, you may also choose to use your bristle-free handle as firewood.

Old bamboo toothbrushes also make great material for arts & crafts and paint stirrers. 

5. Use Eco-Friendly Floss 

Last but not least, chuck out your plastic dental floss and get your hands on a plastic-free alternative. Most dental flosses found in supermarkets are made from nylon which is sourced through fossil fuels. Every piece of traditional dental floss takes 50 to 80 years to decompose. Luckily, eco-conscious brands have come up with a range of sustainable alternatives, made from cornstarch, bamboo or charcoal. 

Written by Kate, on behalf of Brush Fresh Co - the UK's Dental Experts Providing eco-friendly dental care.