Plastic toothbrushes alone create 50 million pounds of trash in the U.S. every year, all of the other products in your medicine cabinet only contribute to this amount of waste. Try replacing the items you use with the following eco-friendly dental care options!
Bamboo is one of the most sustainable crops and is completely biodegradable. There are a few different versions of bamboo toothbrushes to choose from. Those with nylon bristles are the best vegan option, some are even blended with charcoal. The bristles in these can be removed and recycled, and the bamboo handle can be composted.
Other brushes are made with boar hair bristles and are fully compostable. If using a vegan product is important to you, pay attention to the product you’re buying. Also, please make sure that the product you buy comes in compostable packaging.
I find that silk floss is the best option when it comes to sustainability. Keep in mind that this isn’t a vegan choice because the process involves boiling silkworm pupae. Some brands make vegan PLA floss, but unfortunately it is not easily biodegradable. Whatever option is best for you, just look for a one that comes in a reusable (preferably glass) container with refills available.
Tooth tablets are becoming a popular substitute due to plastic-free packaging, order a refill from any brand and store them in your own container. Some companies still use plastic bottles, so be aware of the packaging when buying these products. If you’re like me and still prefer a classic toothpaste, Nelson’s Naturals provides a clean option that is packaged in a reusable glass jar, I also like that I can get refills of this product at my local zero waste shop. Keep in mind that some zero/low waste toothpaste brands don’t include fluoride in their products, this is a necessary ingredient recommended by dentists to protect against cavities and strengthen enamel.
There are many natural solutions that can be made at home with baking soda, herbs, essential oils, and more. Search the web for a combination you like. Be careful of just throwing any products together as some mixtures could be toxic and dangerous. My safe alternative is to simply boil 1 tbsp of cloves in 1 1/2 cups of water, strain and allow to cool, this solution lasts for a week. Cloves have been used as a breath freshener for centuries and has antimicrobial and medicinal properties, which makes for a powerful mouthwash.
Mouthwash tabs are another alternative. Like tooth tabs, they come in glass or biodegradable paper packaging and are easy to travel with. These work by letting one tablet dissolve in a small amount of water.
All of these eco friendly dental care items can be found at an affordable price on Etsy, Amazon or Package Free Shop.