Dentists heavily rely on plastics and latex for good oral care, but often, those items get thrown away at an excessive rate, causing long-term problems for our environment. In our oceans alone, there are over 8 million metric tons of plastic, and because plastic is made from non-renewable resources, it’s become a pesky problem. However, major dental companies rely on plastic for their products. As patients and ecosystem advocates, these problems are ever constant and immense, but there are small habits you can do each day to improve both your oral health and the environment, one toothbrush at a time.
Changing Your Environment Through Oral Care
Sustainability, or ecological balance, is a goal set out by many environmental activists to engage with their economy and government for the long-term health of our world. This includes finding ways to reduce carbon emissions, pollution, and waste throughout our cities and rural communities. For dentists, sustainable dental care is oral care that’s combined with sustainability to help the environment through selective actions. Because of our huge reliance on plastic for toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, and floss containers, plastic pollution has become a number one contributor to the depletion of ecosystems throughout the world.
Dental products and manufacturers have begun taking on this challenge and innovating new forms of sustainability in vast new ways, and as a patient, there are many ways you can help reduce your impact on the environment, including:
- Turning Off Your Water Faucet: The average person can waste up to 30 gallons of water each day, and processing wastewater requires fossil fuels to burn and leaves people with less accessible water sources. When brushing your teeth, it’s best to shut off the faucet once you’ve wetted your toothbrush.
- Tubes For Tablets: Every year, around 1.5 billion toothpaste tubes end up in landfills. These tubes need over 500 years to degrade, so switch up the tube with toothpaste tablets, which come in a tin can that’s reusable.
- Renewable Toothbrushes: Your average toothbrush contains many fossil fuels and adds over 50 million pounds of waste to our waterways and oceans. By switching to other tootbrushes such as a bamboo toothbrush, you can potentially help reduce your impact.
- Research Brand Names: When choosing to go more sustainable, it’s essential to research the companies that are producing your products, so you know what resources they use and don’t to help the environment.
- Find Eco-friendly Practices: If you want to make an impact everywhere, finding practices that support your beliefs can help you be more sustainable long-term.
Oral Health Solutions With Low Costs
Because our economies and governments constantly fund research, these problems are now more relevant than ever before. What’s essential to remember is that the choices you make can make a difference, even if it only exists on a local scale. When brushing and flossing your teeth, you can make ethical choices from the brands you purchase from to the habits you take part in each day. For more information about any sustainable dental practice, contact your dentist and arrange an appointment.