October is National Dental Hygiene Month! It’s the perfect time to make a few eco-friendly changes to your dental routine that will help keep your teeth clean and healthy while helping to save the environment:
Turn Off the Faucet – By turning off the faucet while you are brushing your teeth, you can save up to 8 gallons of water per day, that’s over 200 gallons a month! Conserving natural resources helps to improve the environment around us.
Do Not Flush Floss – It is important to properly dispose of floss. Non-biodegradable nylon floss cannot dissolve in water and will not break down like other disposable products. When floss is flushed down the toilet, it works its way through the water system and out into the ocean, polluting the water and potentially killing birds, animals and sea-life through accidental ingestion. This is avoidable by simply throwing floss into the garbage. You can also purchase floss packaged in cardboard containers, which helps to reduce plastic waste in our landfills.
Try Silk Floss – Floss creates waste if you’re using a brand that is primarily made of out plastic. A great floss to check out is made by Radius and is made out of 100% natural silk. According to their website the silk is organic and biodegradable. So, floss and then toss (it on the compost pile).
Green Your Toothbrush – This is an incredibly easy change to make because more and more grocery stores are carrying options. Check out this post dedicated to this topic called “Green Your Toothbrush! (And Look Good Doing It)” where you can find some really great info!
Recycle/Reuse Toothbrushes, Packaging, Toothpaste Tubes, Mouthwash Bottles and Floss Containers – It is estimated that 50 million pounds of toothbrushes are thrown into U.S landfills each year. Help clean up the environment by purchasing recyclable toothbrushes. Terracycle and Preserve are two companies that offer eco-friendly options to recycle toothbrushes, packaging, toothpaste tubes, and floss containers. You can also reuse toothbrushes around the house for cleaning appliances, jewelry and even your shoes. Before you toss your toothbrush, try and find a creative way you can use it instead.
Unplug Your Electric Toothbrush Charger – It isn’t necessary to charge your electric toothbrush every day, all day. The average brush lasts several weeks between charges and it is usually easier on the battery to not be charged constantly. Maybe you don’t put your toothbrush back on the charger but leave the charger plugged in? When an electrical item is left plugged in even though it’s turned off, it is still very likely consuming some electricity. So to better safe then sorry, unplug that charger!
Turn Off the Lights – When possible, use natural lighting when brushing your teeth. If this is not an option, you can replace old bulbs with CFL or LED lights to help conserve energy.
Slow Down – Don’t brush so hard and be gentle on your gums. It will make your toothbrush last longer, saving you money and reducing waste.
Leave the Car at Home – If possible, walk or ride your bicycle to your dental appointment.
These small changes to your dental routine can make all the difference in helping to conserve energy and natural resources and help clean up the environment.