Maintaining an Eco-Friendly Oral Hygiene Routine

Green Dentistry is Beginning to Gain Traction in the Medical Community

Copyright © Richard Keane; All Rights Reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission. Posted June 17, 2012

A great smile


Applying an eco-friendly oral hygiene approach to the habitual routine of teeth cleaning may not immediately come to mind. But thinking about what is involved in oral hygiene practice can help us to identify where we can introduce more environmentally-friendly practices. Here are some tips on how to maintain an eco-friendly oral hygiene routine:

Choice of Toothbrush

When you’re brushing your teeth have you thought about the type of material your toothbrush handle and bristles are made of? Increasingly products are being made out of recycled materials, such as plastics and silicone.

Not only are there health benefits from using natural resources, but people in developing countries are provided with work and earning opportunities for the recycling of goods used in eco-friendly dentistry.

Wooden toothbrushes, such as those made of beech wood, are kinder to the environment and a more natural and sustainable choice for children and adults. Research suggests that eco-friendly toothbrushes are just as effective and durable as other alternatives, such as electric toothbrushes.

Type of Toothpaste, Mouth Rinse and Floss

Remember that toothpastes and mouth rinses comprise substances that when washed into the environment en-masse can cause pollution, such as sodium laurel sulphate (SLS). The type of toothpaste and mouth rinse we choose is important for care of our natural world.

Organic toothpastes may contain aloe, fennel or mint. Eco-friendly mouth washes may be made from warm water, sea salt and some tea tree or peppermint oil. Baking soda is often used in more environmentally-friendly toothpastes and mouth rinses.

Keeping your teeth clean and healthy; photo courtesy Wikipedia

Eco-Flossers may be made from renewable crops and be biodegradable. Floss that is not eco-friendly can contain toxic residues harmful to health with long-term use, and to the environment when disposed of.

Similarly, the packaging of these products may be recycle-friendly or hazardous to the environment. We can support environmental goals through choosing eco-friendly dental products, such as organic toothpastes, mouth washes, and floss made of natural and recycled resources.

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Water-use for Dental Care

In parts of the world where there is drought, people suffer due to a shortage of water. In some areas, water is contaminated and causes illness to plants, animals and populations.

We can contribute to environment and water sustainability by conserving water. Not leaving a tap running while brushing teeth helps to save on water supply.

Using biodegradable dental products that are eco-friendly or organic contributes to preventing water contamination that can otherwise affect all forms of life. Using water in a sustainable way shows respect for all life forms.

Green Dentistry

Having regular dental check-ups is part of maintaining an oral hygiene regimen for good oral health. Ensuring we choose a dental practice that exercises eco-friendly dentistry care means we contribute to building a sustainable environment together.

Eco-friendly or green dentists offer organic options in dentistry treatments, such as removing mercury-containing amalgam fillings and replacing these with natural ceramic fillings. Organic dentistry treatments serve to prevent tooth decay, oral infection and gum disease.

Green dental practices strive to conserve energy, use more natural products, dispose responsibly and reduce wastage. Supporting eco-friendly dentists and green dentistry champions develops an eco-friendly consciousness about health and wellbeing.

Eco-Friendly Word of Mouth

Share with others what you learn about organic dentistry care and how to introduce eco-friendly oral hygiene practices within dental care regimens.

Encouraging others to use natural dental products helps more people contribute to environmental sustainability, so that all may benefit from a sustained environment. Introducing friends and family to an eco-dentist you know also helps more people gain access to green dentistry options.

About the Author:

Richard is a freelance writer who strives to live green and also has a hand in helping dentists achieve this goal in life. For more information on green dentistry he can be reached as @thefreshhealth on Twitter. He is also new to Google+ as Writer Rich.

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