5 ways to go green with your dental routine
A better environment starts with small eco-friendly choices and sustainable practices. While you’re keeping your mouth healthy, why not take some steps to help keep the Earth healthy, too?
With Earth Day on Monday, April 22, Delta Dental encourages you to make some simple changes to your daily oral health habits that can help maintain an environment that makes everyone smile.
Here are five things you can do on a daily basis to help preserve and enhance our natural landscapes in ways that create healthier communities for all of us:
Conserve water. Did you know that only one percent of the Earth’s water is suitable for human consumption? Make the most of our limited water supply by turning off the water while you brush, and you might save up to 200 gallons per month! Apply the same idea to other parts of your daily routine. Shut off the tap while washing your hands, taking showers instead of baths, and only running the dishwasher when it is full.
Discard and reuse toothbrushes. Toothbrush disposal is another opportunity for sustainable oral health practices. Traditional toothbrushes are made with hard-plastic handles and soft nylon bristles that take hundreds of years to decompose. Switch to a new toothbrush every 3-4 months. Instead of throwing out your old toothbrush, find ways to reuse it such as cleaning hard-to-reach places, polishing jewelry or making paintbrushes for craft projects.
Use eco-friendly toothbrushes. Find eco-friendly replacements for your current toothbrush. Try toothbrushes made of recycled plastic. Some companies make traditional toothbrushes with replaceable heads to decrease plastic waste. If you use an electric toothbrush, replacement heads come standard, so you only have to throw away part of your toothbrush when you need a new one.
Choose eco-friendly floss. Look into options for flossing with the environment in mind. Instead of nylon floss that is too small to be processed by normal recycling plants, choose floss made from silk. It is biodegradable and can be composted naturally. You can purchase floss that comes in recyclable or reusable containers, too..
Recycle oral health products. Several organizations work with consumers and dental offices to recycle old toothbrushes, electric toothbrush heads, floss picks and more. These materials can be repurposed into plastic lumber and other consumer products. Search online to get involved or call your dentist’s office to see if it participates in any recycling programs.