Today we’re talking all about those pearly whites and how you can reduce plastic by creating a zero waste dental routine!
I bet most of us haven’t even given it a second thought, but those toothbrushes and floss strings really add up.
It’s time to take account of the waste we produce in the areas we don’t even think about.
It’s so easy to minimize the plastic we consume at the grocery store because we see it and hold it in our hands.
Things like reusable bags and straws are at the forefront of our minds when it comes to reducing waste but things like a tube of toothpaste might be the furthest thing from our minds.
So I wanted to share with you my zero waste dental routine and all the products I use daily to take care of my teeth and mouth while creating as little waste as possible!
I’ve also got some alternatives if you’re on a budget or into DIY-ing your own products!
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My Zero Waste Dental Routine:
You can assume that of course, I’ll be using a bamboo toothbrush. A bamboo toothbrush was one of the first zero-waste swaps I ever made at the start of my journey almost two years ago and I haven’t looked back.
Using a non-plastic toothbrush helps cut out so much extra pollution because billions of plastic toothbrushes end up in our landfills every single year and they won’t ever break down.
So next time you’re at the dentist just simply say “no thank you” to one of those free plastic toothbrushes and opt for a bamboo one instead. This is my favorite my humble brush. They support oral care in third world countries.
Instead of traditional toothpaste, I opt for something called toothpaste tabs. They’re basically solid toothpaste!
You just pop one of the mint-sized tabs into your mouth, chew it up and brush like normal.
This omits the use of a plastic tube and because the toothpaste is solid it cuts out the needs for excess liquid in the tube. Plus you can reuse the jar afterward!
Mouthwash is something I’ve always kind of considered a “luxury”. I didn’t grow up using it as a part of my daily oral routine.
However, in the past couple of years, I’ve become obsessed with all things hygiene. From deodorant to skincare to my dental routine. So naturally, I wanted to add in mouthwash.
But most mouthwashes come in plastic bottles and contain some pretty nasty chemicals. So the only natural solution was to make my own!
- 1 cup of distilled water
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 10 drops of peppermint essential oil
Just make sure your essential oils are food grade and try not to swallow!
4. Tongue scraping
This is another new thing I added recently. But our tongues hold a lot of plaque, build up and bacteria.
Fun fact: your tongue should be pink! Seriously, go take a look at yours.
Over time a lot of our tongues have become white due to all sorts of build-up. This actually gives us bad breath (even after we brush!) and can even hinder our taste buds’ ability to taste things properly.
I use a metal scraper like this one to gently scrape my tongue twice a day. This may sound harsh but I promise it’s not, as long as you’re being gentle.
Alternatively, you could also use a clean spoon to scrape your tongue!
Admittedly, flossing was also not a habit I was good at growing up. But I’m making up for it now!
Floss is super wasteful. It comes in a plastic container and the floss itself is often made of plastic. This stringy, thin plastic is especially dangerous to wildlife has It can get wrapped around their limbs and tongues and cause a lot of suffering and death.
The floss I use is actually refillable and comes in a little glass jar. Once you’ve used all the thread you can repurchase just the thread to fill the jar again.
The floss itself is also all-natural and made from silk meaning this is a completely plastic-free product!
6. Oil pulling
Hey, look at that! Another new addition to my dental routine! (What can I say, I take great pride in the health of my mouth!)
Oil pulling is something I’d heard about for a long time before trying out for myself. It’s a bit of a weird habit to get used to but I’ve come to enjoy it.
To oil pull, I use about a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil and swish it around in my mouth for about 5-10 minutes being careful not to swallow it.
Then I spit it into a trash can and rinse my mouth very well. You want to make sure not to spit it into your sink because as the coconut oil solidifies it can cause build-up and eventually clog your pipes.
Oiling pulling has a lot of great benefits just like tongue scraping including getting rid of plaque and harmful bacteria, preventing cavities and reducing gum inflammation.
There you have it! My zero-waste dental routine!
I want to encourage you if you’re starting to make swaps towards a zero-waste dental routine or any kind of zero waste routine, use what you have first.
I didn’t make all these swaps at once. In fact, even though a bamboo toothbrush as one of my first swaps, I didn’t swap it out until my plastic one needed to be replaced.
Waste isn’t water until you waste it. As long as your plastic toothbrush or floss still work, use it up and then replace it.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Please don’t forget to share it if you did and follow me on Instagram for daily low waste living inspiration!