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Sustainability in Dentistry

Sustainability has become a buzz-word in pop-culture, social media, and even in the news. It’s no secret that our society needs to reduce the amount of waste we throw away. Luckily, there are some sustainable alternatives to traditional home dental care that are relatively easy to introduce into your home. For some people, it might be overwhelming to know where to begin on the path to reducing waste. Reducing the amount of plastic you buy is a great first step. Plastic is difficult to recycle and often piles up in landfills. Because of how it is made, plastic takes a very long time to break down into smaller pieces . Materials that are sustainable–that is–natural, biodegradable, or compostable are eco-friendly alternatives to plastic. Sustainable switches to your home dental routine don’t have to be complicated. Though they might take a little more work to source, they are very similar to use as their traditional counterparts and will help reduce the amount of waste you throw away. Keep reading to find out if these sustainable swaps are right for you.1.Bamboo toothbrushesTraditional toothbrush handles are made from plastic, which are usually not biodegradable. Instead, buy bamboo toothbrushes! The main difference here is that instead of having a plastic handle, these toothbrushes have bamboo handles. Bamboo is a natural resource and a quick-growing plant that can be composted at the end of its life as a toothbrush. Just like a traditional toothbrush, make sure to buy a bamboo toothbrush with soft bristles and change your toothbrush every one to three months. 2. Tooth tabletsInstead of a regular tube of toothpaste, try tooth tablets. The idea behind tooth tabs are simple: Simply wet your toothbrush, put a tooth tab in your mouth, chew on the tooth tab and begin brushing your teeth. The tooth tablet will foam up like regular toothpaste. Instead of being packaged in plastic tubes, tooth tablets often come in refillable glass jars, making them a plastic-free option. Whereas you could likely find a bamboo toothbrush at Target or Walmart, toothpaste tabs are a little harder to source. Bite is a company that sells toothpaste tabs for a subscription and features zero-waste packaging. Lush, the popular skincare company also has a line of “toothy tabs” in several different flavors. However, toothpaste tabs are often more pricey than a traditional tube of toothpaste would be. Moreover, some toothpaste tabs (Bite and Lush products included) are fluoride-free. We recommend that your toothpaste contain fluoride as it helps to protect tooth enamel. However, if you are looking for a fluoride free option, toothpaste tabs might be right for you.Though this sustainable swap can be a little more expensive than traditional methods, it is a low to zero-waste option that can be helpful in reducing your waste.3. Eco-friendly FlossFlossing is absolutely vital for a healthy home dental routine, but floss itself is not very eco-friendly. Firstly, floss is usually made of nylon, a non-biodegradable material that often ends up in our waterways and oceans. Moreover, the packaging of traditional floss is made of plastic and cannot be recycled.Luckily, there are alternatives to traditional floss including bamboo floss and silk floss. There are several companies that sell zero waste floss that include refillable glass containers that can be reused time and time again. Regardless of if you switch to using bamboo toothbrushes, toothpaste tabs, or eco-friendly floss, just being mindful of how much waste we throw away is helpful!Visit us todayOf course, nothing can beat the quality of care you receive when visiting for a dental appointment. We look forward to seeing you in our offices. We are committed to keeping our offices clean and safe for you and your family. Book your appointment with us today at eastlakepediatricdental.com or call us at 619-421-5437.Please take note of our COVID-19 precautions to keep both you and our staff safe and healthy.Read more about our new Text2chair protocol here!