• How to Choose Eco-Friendly Dental Care Products

    You recycle, use LED lights, carry reusable bags to the grocery store and reusable coffee mugs to the coffee shop, and generally try to keep your carbon footprint to a minimum. You are doing what you can to be eco-conscious, but have you taken a good look at your dental care routine? Choosing eco-friendly dental care products is a great way to minimize your environmental impact, as long as you do it safely. Here, we offer suggestions for creating an eco-friendly dental routine that is also good for your oral health.

    • Choose toothbrushes made of sustainable materials. It is important to replace worn out toothbrushes frequently, about every three months, but it is hard seeing those plastic toothbrushes go into the garbage can. Fortunately, there are some sustainable alternatives. One option is to look into recycling programs in your area that take plastic toothbrushes, and another is to repurpose your old toothbrushes, using them to clean things like jewelry, sneakers, kitchen appliances, and bathroom grout. You can also reduce the amount of toothbrush you are throwing away each time by using an electric toothbrush and simply disposing of the heads. Perhaps the simplest thing to do, though, is to use a bamboo toothbrush. Bamboo toothbrushes are renewable, sustainable, and fully biodegradable, making them a very eco-friendly option. To find the perfect bamboo toothbrush, look for one that is BPA free and cruelty free, ethically sourced, and soft-bristled so that you won’t cause tooth erosion when you brush.
    • Switch out your toothpaste for an eco-friendly option. Look for a toothpaste that contains fluoride, xylitol, and perhaps calcium phosphate, and check to make sure it has the ADA seal of acceptance. Dry toothpaste, available in tablets or powders, is an excellent option because it requires far less packaging than toothpaste in tubes. Dry toothpaste is highly concentrated and does not contain water. It cleans teeth effectively, is typically sold in sustainable packaging, and is portable and resistant to changes in the weather.
    • Toss your floss. Floss is great for your teeth, but most string floss is bad for the environment, because it is not biodegradable. Look for dental floss that does not contain plastic, but is made with natural materials like silk, beeswax, or bamboo, which are all 100 percent biodegradable. You could also invest in a water flosser, which does a good job and produces no waste whatsoever.
    • Make your own mouthwash. Many commercial mouthwashes contain alcohol, which can try out your mouth, and come in plastic bottles which may or may not be recyclable. It is easy to make your own mouthwash, however, and you can store it in a reusable glass container. DIY mouthwash is made from ingredients like apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and coconut or peppermint oil. Just be aware that you shouldn’t swallow mouthwash, commercial or homemade.
    • Be water wise. Did you know that turning off your tap when you brush your teeth can save up to four gallons of water every time you brush? Fill a cup with water to rinse your mouth and then your brush, and turn off the water while you are brushing.

    At Park 56 Dental Group, we offer pediatric, prosthodontics, endodontics, oral surgery, Invisalign®, emergency, and sedation dentistry, all at the highest level of treatment. We serve the Midtown, Central Park, Upper East Side, Park Avenue, and all surrounding Manhattan and New York areas, with a patient-centered practice that has hours to fit your schedule. Schedule your complimentary consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (212) 826-2322.