Zero Waste Oral Hygiene
On the path to Zero Waste, when taking stock of the single use plastics and other waste products in your home it helps to take it one area at a time! Therefore, we will be examining the oral hygiene products we use everyday.
The Plastic Toothbrush
First of all, over one billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away each year. Fifty million toothbrushes end up in landfills in the US alone, most find their way into our waterways.
Most manual toothbrushes are made with nylon bristles and polypropylene plastic handles. We know that both of these materials are made from non- renewable fossil fuels. Also, the manufacturing of nylon creates nitrous oxide. Shockingly, this greenhouse gas is 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Fortunately, new options are now being created. Toothbrushes with wooden handles and plant based bristles are now available.
Every part of this product is plant-based:
These Bamboo toothbrushes are:
- USDA Certified Biobased
- Green American Certified
The soft bristles are made from a base of 62% castor bean oil (bio-based and recyclable, but unfortunately not biodegradable).The bristles are made in USA.
Also, the handle is made from 100% bamboo (organic and wild – no pesticides or fertilizers).
The wrapper around the toothbrush is plant-based and commercially compostable. Also, the box encasing the toothbrush is made from paper – no tape or glue is used.
Recently there have been some problems with commercial toothpastes. Because of these issues, companies were forced to look more closely into their products. Due to these chemical intoxications hundreds lost their lives or were injured. On top of these incidents most commercial toothpastes also include:
- Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
- Binding agents
- Artificial flavoring
- Artificial colors
- Preservatives such as Methylparaben and Ethylparaben
- Potassium nitrate
- Lauryl sarcosinate
- Polyethylene glycol
- Polypropylene glycol
- Sodium saccharin/aspartame
All of this and we haven’t even mentioned the environmental impact of the plastic packaging that toothpaste is sold in. Luckily we now have alternatives to the common commercial chemical toothpastes.
TruthPaste gently cleans teeth with low abrasion while receiving the powerful benefits of oil pulling.
In addition it has No Fluoride, No Sodium Lauryl Sulfates, No Glycerin and No GMO’s.
Furthermore, it is a natural toothpaste that is truly chemical free and it is sold in a reusable glass container!
Most if not all dental floss is made of Nylon. Since we have already spoken of the environmental impact of Nylon we will not do so again.
While some brands of floss are made of Nylon, some are even made from PTFE more commonly known as Teflon. As it biodegrades Teflon releases perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Since we do not yet know the full effects of this chemical, we find this to be of concern.
Especially relevant is the fact that the plastic container that the floss comes in is made of plastic. These containers are often not labeled for recycling. In my opinion, the best alternative to floss is a water flosser.
In addition, the water starts removing harmful bacteria and debris that traditional brushing, air flossing, and string flossing can’t reach.
Although this product may seem a bit pricey at first, It is clear that it is a sounds investment. Especially when taking into account the cost of floss and the number of times you must purchase it over and over and over again, the water flosser wins every time.
As a result, by using the water flosser we benefit from keeping miles of floss and pounds of plastic packaging out of our oceans and landfills.