This guest post is by Richard Keane of CosmeticDentistryGuide.co.uk.
Oral health is extremely important and if you are eager to take steps towards a more environmentally friendly lifestyle at the same time as caring for your teeth and gums, there are ways of combining the two. There are several ways you can go green when caring for your teeth and gums, so if you’re looking for inspiration to save the planet as well as your teeth, here are some ideas:
Millions of gallons of water are lost each year by people simply leaving the tap on at times when it could easily be turned off. One of the most common examples of this is leaving the tap running while you brush your teeth. When you clean your teeth all you need is a small drop of water to wet your toothbrush. There is no need to leave the tap on while you brush – as the water goes straight down the plug hole. Saving water will not only contribute to the global effort to preserve and protect the planet, but it will also save you money on your water bills. It is estimated that each person could save around 12 litres of water per year by turning the taps off when they clean their teeth.
Landfill sites are filled with millions of plastic toothbrushes every year and if you are one of those people who are contributing to the mass of discarded brushes, you may wish to consider a more environmentally-friendly product. As people have become increasingly conscious of the environment the range of green products has expanded, and there is now a host of toothbrushes available for consumers.
In Australia alone, more than 30 million toothbrushes are used and thrown away each year, creating a large amount of plastic waste. One of the most popular alternatives to the plastic brush is a bamboo brush, which is completely natural and biodegradable. The Environmental Toothbrush is made entirely from bamboo, which is sustainable and widely available. If everyone swapped their normal brush for a bamboo brush or another environmentally-friendly alternative, this would make a huge impact on the amount of plastic waste collected in landfill sites across the world.
Recycling old toothbrushes is also beneficial. Look out for recycling schemes, which are often supported by dental offices, in your local area.
If you go to the supermarket or pharmacy you may be dazzled by the incredible range of oral hygiene products which claim to contain miracle substances to whiten and brighten the teeth, shift stubborn stains and generally give you an incredible looking smile. However, there are natural alternatives to these glossy-packaged, ultra-modern products and they could be lying in your store cupboard. Bicarbonate of soda, for example, has been used for many years to remove stains from the teeth and chewing parsley, coriander and mint is said to produce similar effects to topical fluoride. Gargling saltwater can also help to keep the mouth clean and prevent plaque build-up.
If you prefer to stick to professional oral hygiene products, there are several companies that produce natural and organic toothpastes, mouth rinses and dental floss.
Visit a Green Dentist
A growing number of dentists are taking steps to make their practice greener, by conserving energy, reducing waste and using renewable or sustainable materials. In the USA there is a scheme run by the Eco-Dental Association, which allows patients to find the nearest eco-friendly dentists and contact them and encourage them to adopt a greener approach.
Good oral health contributes to good general health, high levels of self-esteem and success in private and professional relationships. It is important to keep an eye on your oral health, but there are ways you can support the effort to protect the environment, as well as preventing oral health diseases. It is simple to make positive changes to your oral hygiene routine, but the minor alterations could make a massive difference.
Swapping a plastic toothbrush for one made from sustainable or renewable materials, recycling your toothbrushes, turning your taps off when you brush and choosing organic and natural oral hygiene products will all make a difference; even if they seem very small.
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