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How To Adopt A Sustainable Oral Care Routine

Do you ever wander what happens to your toothbrush or toothpaste tube after you toss it in the trash? Disposable oral products contribute heavily to plastic waste that ends up in landfill and oceans. All that plastic that we use to squeeze out toothpaste, brush our teeth, and floss is harming our planet. Luckily, there's a solution: sustainable oral care products.





Changing up your routines in the bathroom and switching your oral care products can have a huge impact on plastic waste. By using oral care products that are biodegradable and reusable, you divert a significant around of waste from landfill every year.


For years, oral care products have been exclusively made for plastic, but the change is already here. Many mission-driven oral care brands are giving people eco-friendly options to fight the plastic problem. Naturally, we love these brands, and have everything you need for a sustainable oral care routine.



Why are oral care products so wasteful?

Oral care products, like toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, and dental floss, are made of and packaged with plastic. They're designed to be disposed of. Plastic is not biodegradable, and it angers in our environment for hundreds of years. This isn't just an issue of aesthetics and odors-it's terrible for the environment. Once in the environment, plastic leaches chemicals and harms animals.


Single use plastics are entering our landfills and oceans at a alarming rate. Globally, 1.5 billion toothpaste tubes are tossed every year. In the U.S. alone, 1 billion toothbrushes get tossed annually.


Let's take a brief look at how single-use plastics are harming the environment.


Harmful to Wildlife

Animals mistake single-use plastic for food. They get injured by trying to eat it, either getting impaled or choking on it. If they do successfully eat it, it fills their stomaches, giving them a false sense of fullness, causing starvation.


Chemical Leaching

Additionally, plastics contain chemicals like BPA and phthalates, known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. These chemicals leach into soil and waterways, which in turn harms humans and wildlife.


Microplastics

Plastics don't break down normally like other materials. Instead of breaking down fully, plastics break off into smaller and smaller pieces, call "micro plastics". These tiny pieces of plastic find their way into the water we drink, and micro plastics bioaccumulate in people and animals. Did you know that every week, you could be eating a credit card's worth of plastic?



 


Let's take a look at each plastic offender, and recommended some sustainable oral care products.



CULPRIT #1: PLASTIC TOOPASTE TUBES

When it comes to oral care products, plastic toothpaste tubes are the worst offender for single use plastic waste. In the U.S. alone, 1 billion of them end up in the trash every year.


Plastic toothpaste tubes are made of several layers of plastic sandwiching a layer of aluminum. This helps the toothpaste squeeze out easily and helps the tube hold its shape.


Toothpaste tubes are made of resilient material, and many toothpaste companies claim that their toothpaste tubes are recyclable. In a perfect world, they may be recyclable, but our disposal system tells a different story. Only 9% of plastic waste actually gets recycled worldwide.


SUSTAINABLE SWAP: TOOTHPASTE TABLETS

Look for dry toothpaste tablets packaged in compostable pouches of toothpaste gel packaged in eco-friendly glass containers.


Toothpaste tablets are a particularly great eco-friendly option because they're dry, making them incredibly easy to refill. Just grab a container and scoop your desired amount of tablets. We carry F toothpaste tablets in fluoride-free. To use, just pop a tablet in your mouth, chew, and brush with a wet toothbrush.


Not only are these swaps more eco-friendly, they're healthier for you, too. They don't contain any of the scary chemical found in generic toothpaste, like SLS, triclosan, and artificial dyes.



CULPRIT #2: PLASTIC TOOTHBRUSHES

Like plastic toothpaste tubes, plastic toothbrushes have a whopping environmental impact. Americans alone toss 1 billion toothbrushes every year. Dentists recommend that we only use our toothbrushes for 3-6 month before tossing and replacing them.


SUSTAINABLE SWAP: BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSHES

Bamboo is a wander material. It's biodegradable, unlike plastic, and it's one of the world's most abundant resources. Bamboo doesn't contribute to deforestation, because it grows incredibly quickly, sometimes as fast as 1 meter per day! It can also grow in inhospitable areas with very little water and sunlight.


Bamboo also has the added benefit of being naturally antibacterial, which means it harbors less bacteria than plastic toothbrushes.



CULPRIT #3: DENTAL FLOSS

Dental floss is a double whammy of waste. On the one hand, you have your plastic dental floss container, which is not refillable and just ends upon the trash. And on the other hand, you have dental floss itself that's made of nylon or teflon, which is essentially, you guessed it, plastic. What you thought might have been cotton or silk is actually plastic spun into synthetic fibers. The floss is then coated in a petroleum-based wax, which is proven to be carcinogenic.


SUSTAINABLE SWAP: BIODEGRADABLE FLOSS IN REFILLABLE CONTINERS.

Eco-friendly version of dental floss use synthetic bamboo, corn, and other plant-based fibers for their floss. This makes them biodegradable. Additionally, the dispenser is reusable, made of glass or aluminum, and you simply need to refill them with floss spools.


Our silk and vegan charcoal floss are made of highly-compostable mulberry peace silk, and it shred-resistant, making it perfect for people with tight teeth. Our ZWS Essential Charcoal floss in convenient glass dispensers is coated in candelila wax instead of beeswax, making it vegan.



CULPRIT #4: FLOSS PICKS

Floss picks are still a staple for many people, and are vital to disabled and elderly populations, Unfortunately, the plastic applicators make them incredibly wasteful.


SUSTAINABLE SWAP: BIOPLASTIC FLOSS PICKS

If you must use floss picks, look for floss picks made with bioplastic.

Bioplastic is biodegradable, though it looks and functions just like plastic. It takes a lot of time to biodegrade, but at least it does eventually.


Change toothpaste offers floss picks made of corn starch.



CULPRIT #5: MOUTHWASH BOTTLES

Liquid mouthwash that comes in big bulky plastic bottles is far from eco-friendly. It liquid form makes bottling essential, and plastic bottles are far cheaper to produce and easier to transport than glass.


SUSTAINABLE SWAP: MOUTHWASH TABLETS AND LIQUID MOUTHWASH REFILLS

One of the best eco-friendly swaps for mouthwash is mouthwash tablets. Because they don't contain liquid, they're easy to pack and transport. They can be shipped in compostable packaging or refilled at participating refilleries.


Our Ruut mouthwash tablets are powerfully minty with a delicious taste, and they come in a beautiful glass jar with a metal lid. To use them, just chew one in your mouth, take a sip of water from the sink, swish, and spit.



 


Oral History

You may choose to switch to sustainable oral care products to reduce your environmental impact, but you'll fall in love with the other benefits. They're healthy, containing all-natural ingredients, and they beautify your bathroom (bamboo toothbrushes are cute). With delicious flavors and naturally beautiful packaging, they're an unexpected source of joy Cheer to that!


Head to our Self-Care & Beauty section and get started on your ne sustainable oral care routine today!




 

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