Happy Earth Day!
Today is Earth Day. And on Earth Day, we are reminded of the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), the importance of being environmentally friendly, and decreasing our impact on the environment. But just how green is your dental hygiene routine?
Here are 3 tips for making your dental hygiene activities a little greener:
Make Every Drop Count…Turn Off the Water While Your Brush Your Teeth
Do you brush your teeth with the water running? California is currently in it’s fifth year of severe drought. The US Geological Survey indicates that this is one of the most severe droughts on record, and we all know that conserving water has never been more important.
According to the Eco Dentistry Association, the average person wastes 90 glasses of water every day by leaving the tap running while brushing their teeth. That translates to 27 billion glasses of drinkable water every day! How can you help conserve 90 glasses of water every day? Here are some simple steps:
~ Wet your toothbrush under the water
~ Turn off the tap
~ Apply toothpaste
~ Brush your teeth for 2 minutes
~ Fill a small glass with water
~ Rinse and swish with water from the glass
Go Natural, Compost, or Recycle Your Toothbrush
Try using a toothbrush made from recycled or renewable materials. You can easily find a variety of toothbrushes made from natural materials like bamboo, beechwood, and boar bristles.
If you prefer to use the traditional plastic toothbrush, recycle it when it’s time for a new one (every 3-4 months).
Biodegradable and compostable toothbrushes are made up of everything from corn starch to plant-based bioplastic, and they won’t clog up our landfills.
Cleaning between teeth is essential to your daily oral hygiene routine. Dental floss is typically made from nylon or Teflon, and it is not recyclable, but you don’t need a lot to get the job done! Use about 18 inches, wrapping the excess around your middle finger to create a taut surface, and use one to two inch sections to floss between your teeth.
There are some who advocate washing or reusing floss. We must admit…we find that a little gross. Furthermore, the American Dental Association does not recommend using a floss strand more than once. Used floss might fray, lose its effectiveness, or may deposit bacteria in the mouth. Another option is to try using compostable floss picks and floss.
Take a moment to consider the changes you can make to help save the planet this year. If you are in the San Diego area and want to learn more about how you can help our planet, check out these upcoming Earth Day Events.