The first Earth Day took place in April of 1970. Since then, people are gradually becoming more aware of humanity’s impact on the environment and taking steps to reduce their impact. The dental industry may not strike you as environmentally friendly, but eco-dentistry is on the rise and the industry is being transformed by green dental practices, green dental patients, and green dental product brands. This blog takes a look at eco-dentistry and outlines a few DOs and DONTs for going green with your oral health care routine, plus gives 10 ways to reuse your old toothbrush!
Eco-dentistry: oral health services are going green around the world
Eco-dentistry supports the health and wellness of your mouth and of the planet simultaneously. Eco dentistry aims to reduce environmental impact from dental practice and promote sustainability by addressing the reduction of waste and pollution generated by the dental practice, the implementation of a recycling system for items used in the dental practice, the conservation of water and energy, and the use of modern dental technology.
Going green with your oral care: DOs and DONTs from your dentist
When taking steps to make your oral health care routine less wasteful and better for the planet, here are a few DOs and DONTs to keep in mind:
- DO recycle packaging. Plastic mouthwash bottles can be recycled easily with tin cans and pop bottles. You may have to do a little digging to find a local retailer or a dental products recycling program where you can send your used plastic toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes, or you could work together with a local retailer to bring a program to your neighbourhood! Sustain Market in Saskatoon is one such retailer—they will take your used toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes for recycling by a Canadian third party company.
- DO repurpose toothbrushes! Before sending them to the recycling, give them a new assignment in the art bin, laundry room, or cleaning supply closet. See below for 10 ways to use your old toothbrush for spring cleaning!
- DO choose an environmentally friendly office.
- DO use compostable toothbrushes. If you use a toothbrush made of bamboo, wood or another biodegradable material, don’t send them to the landfill as they will not biodegrade there. Instead, make sure they get composted in a backyard bin or city composting program.
- DO use an electric toothbrush with a rechargeable battery. The base of the toothbrush will last several years, and you’ll only have to replace the head. Find an electric toothbrush with recyclable heads to reduce even more waste.
- DON’T skip fluoride.
- DON’T share a toothbrush.
- DON’T use the same toothbrush longer than a few months, or until the bristles begin to fray.
10 ways to use your old toothbrush for spring cleaning
- Clean blinds and window sills
- Clean computer keyboard and other small electronics
- Clean grout between tiles
- Clean bike chain
- Clean hairbrush and combs
- Clean small grooves in appliances and household items
- Clean marks off walls
- Clean marks off carpets
- Clean fingernails after gardening
- Remove stains from clothing
Spring cleaning for your mouth: dental cleaning and exams at BLOK Dental Studio
Our Saskatoon dental office in Riversdale is taking adult and kids patients for dental cleanings and checkups. Learn more about our preventive services here. In the meantime, check out our 8 Solutions to Common Oral Home Care Mistakes and take impeccable care of your mouth with a little extra spring cleaning!