Sustainable Oral Hygiene Techniques To Save The Environment

Toothbrush on shoreline

In every step of our dental hygiene routine, we can find plastic. Inexpensive, durable, and resistant to damage from the water it’s frequently subjected to, it’s no surprise that this material is a favorite of manufacturers. It’s found in the tubes of our toothpaste, the containers our floss comes in, and the bottles of our mouthwash, and every piece of it makes a mark on the environment. Add in the bad habit many people have of leaving the water running while they brush, and four gallons of water gets wasted. With a little attention to detail and selectiveness about our oral health care products, we can reduce our impact on the environment.

Dental floss is made of nylon, which usually takes eight decades or more to decay in a landfill

Dental Hygiene Changes That Can Protect The Environment

With more people being concerns about the impact our choices make on the environment, new products have been becoming available on the market. Each innovation of this type is driven by a desire to maintain our good oral health while minimizing the effect we have on the planet. Certain research has even revealed techniques that are potentially better for our oral health than traditional brushing. Consider the following process:

  • Run water over your toothbrush and then turn off the water while brushing
  • Rather than rinsing after brushing and before flossing, spit into the sink
  • Using floss without rinsing will push toothpaste between your teeth where it otherwise can’t reach
  • Switch to a mouthwash tablet to avoid additional water consumption.
  • Once done with your routine, swish and rinse your mouth with water.

Throughout the process, you’re making changes that will eliminate wastewater while providing additional benefits to your hygiene practice. Further, reduce your environmental impact by using mulberry silk floss in a metal container. Looking to reduce your impact even further? There’s research that suggests using a swish of water, your tongue, and fingers to brush your teeth after each meal can have effects superior to traditional practices.

Each person wastes four gallons of water by brushing their teeth with the water running

The Impact Made On The Environment By Dental Plastic

To understand the importance of changing up our dental care routine, it’s essential to learn about the impact these dental products have on our environment. While much of the plastic used in dental hygiene products can go to the recycling center, most of it won’t. Instead, it will, at best, wind up in a landfill; at worst it will make its way into our waterways and then into the sea. Plastic doesn’t break down cleanly in the environment, instead slowly dissolving over time into microplastics that wind up in fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and beaches. These microplastic will take centuries to fully degrade back into the environment.

DR. JERRY KRONQUIST, DDS At Sunset Dental Group, dentistry is a family affair. They are dedicated to providing expert dental care to the Santa Ana community, Drs. Jerry, Amanda, and Zachary Kronquist bring nearly 60 years of combined experience to their practice. Patients at Sunset Dental benefit from the kind of dental care that only comes at a clinic where dentistry is a family tradition.
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