We were recently asked on one of our social media channels to explore the best dental hygiene options currently in the market.
Like most things to do with zero waste, the best option is to avoid it completely – but, hey, lets be realistic –I’m not going to stop brushing my teeth….
If that's your jam, go for it, just don’t come to us with your future dental work bill.
These are the things Anna and I use now or have used in the past. There are a few options for each, so try out the ones that work for you.
A bamboo toothbrush is a great alternative to a plastic toothbrush as all brushes that have ever been produced are still on this planet! That’s an outstanding amount of non-recyclable waste.
You can pull out the bristles of a bamboo toothbrush if they are plastic, dispose of these in the black bin and put the handle of the brush on the compost heap. If the bristles are biodegradable, the whole thing can go in the compost. Keep the brush clean by soaking it in bicarbonate of soda dissolved in boiling water.
Another option is a branch from a Miswak tree. Researchers claim it is great at preventing plaque and has other medicinal qualities. This is definitely more eco-friendly than the plastic bristles and there's no production waste behind this, but I haven't tried it so can't personally vouch for it.
I have just got a solid tooth paste, and I’m looking forward to testing it out. However, I'm really weary of this product, because the solid toothpaste doesn’t have fluoride in it.
Water supplies around the UK have fluoride added to the water, but omitting it from my dental care routine may be detrimental to my oral care. For this reason, I intend to use solid toothpaste when I go on holiday, rather than for daily use.
I will be chatting to my dentist about low waste tooth care soon – we’d recommend you doing the same if you’d like to make changes to your routine.
In the meantime, I use normal toothpaste tubes, and recycle them via Terra Cycle. There is a drop off point a short walk from my house.
I currently use Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster Mouthwash Tabs from LUSH. They are lemon and liquorish flavoured, which I thought was an odd choice, but I love the flavour of them. I tried a sample of each before I purchased my own. All of the flavours are really different from conventional mouthwashes, so I’d definitely recommend trying before you buy! You could make your own, but I haven’t tried this out myself.
The chemicals in the average mouthwash are scary. The bottles are plastic and the lids are typically black plastic which is impossible to recycle via kerbside recycling.
Another alternative I've tried is making my own out of spices and vodka. You can make all sorts of flavours. They take about a month to fully infuse, so bear this in mind if you hate being without mouthwash.
Normal floss tape is just one long line of thin plastic – it's impossible to recycle and ready to hurt wildlife.
I searched long and heard for this alternative, and I am glad I did, as the floss tape I now use is fully biodegradable and I actually like it more than the plastic version!
I bought this one online again, but I have seen it since in local health food shops.
When I finished up my last lot of plastic floss, I kept a hold of the dispenser it came in and transferred the new floss into it. The plant based floss does have a dispenser, but it is a little flimsy.
These are the products we use to keep up our dental hygiene. Experiment with what works well for you, and let us know your suggestions!