Today, much of the world is filled with plastic and about 35 million tons of plastic waste per year in the United States alone. Dentistry accounts for at least a quarter of those numbers with plastic toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, and mouthwash bottles. This nonbiodegradable material is everywhere. Dental companies often rely on plastic to preserve many of the products we use daily to keep our teeth clean. However, plastic has become an ever-growing problem that ends up in our landfills, oceans, and even our backyards. For those looking for a more sustainable approach to their oral care, here’s some of the best advice we can provide for you regarding sustainable practices.
What Sustainable Dentistry is All About
From the amount of water we use each day to the products we regularly through away, sustainability attempts to counteract those problems by encouraging better habits for the environment, including recycling and using renewable resources. However, dentistry hasn’t caught on to this relative practice, as there are many challenges ahead to revitalize infrastructures within our economy to meet these demands. There is a lot of waste left behind throughout medicine, but exploring new ways of changing these practices can be overall exhausting and time-consuming.
As more companies attempt to switch to renewable sourcing and recycling habits, the best place to maintain your oral health and the environment is to take part inhabits that benefit both, including:
- Using Less Water When Brushing and Flossing: For reducing wastewater, brushing your teeth with the water faucet off can help reduce your impact on natural ecosystems.
- Replace Toothpaste Tubes With Tablets: A great way to reduce plastic is to switch from your regular tube to a toothpaste tablet. These tablets use metal tin cans and concentrate your toothpaste into a mint size tab to allow you to have the right amount of toothpaste for each brushing session.
- Look At Your Dental Company Products: If you’re planning trips to the grocery store, look at the companies you purchase from and research their sustainability acts. If they’re not motivated by their company ethics to reduce waste, then don’t support them.
- Purchase Products Made With Renewable Resources: If you’re able to find companies that produce the products you need, purchase from companies that use renewable resources when manufacturing their products.
- Ask Your Dentist About Sustainability: Lastly, if you visit your dentist and want to support an eco-friendly one, ask them about their actions in working towards a more sustainable workplace. Many dentists who adopt these practices will use metal tools, fluoride varnishes, limited gloves, and purchase items in bulk.
Helping The World One Brush at a Time
One of the best ways to lessen these problems is to become an active participant in sustainability, and that means changing your routines from the inside out. The habits you take part in each day matter when it comes to reducing the problems we face in our environment. For more information about better dental practices, arrange an appointment with your dentist to learn more about healthy habits for the environment.