Our toothbrushes are our lifesavers to our oral health. Simply put, these sticks with bristles on them have helped keep people’s teeth clean for decades and are considered one of the most significant necessities that we use today. However, when it comes to our environment, that’s an entirely different story. These plastic bristled sticks have been filling up our landfills for generations now, and because of the insanely slow decay rate of plastic, our landfills now acquire over 50 million pounds of plastic, with plastic toothbrushes taking up a significant portion of that waste.
So what can we do about this ever-evolving problem while also taking care of our teeth? As of right now, the answer to that is changing our toothbrushes! In the ever-constant issue of health versus the environment, finding eco-friendly toothbrushes that will help clean your teeth and reduce waste is what will help change that impact. But how do you look for the best eco-friendly toothbrush? Here, we’re going to explore some of the ins and outs of eco-friendly toothbrushes, what to look out for, and give you some recommendations of our own to get you started.
What To Look For In An Eco-Friendly Toothbrush
Sustainable toothbrushes have their own little niche in the dental world but are very small due to many toothbrushes’ inability to meet ADA and EPA standards. Plastic toothbrushes are still recommended by dentists, specifically ones approved by the ADA, because they’re affordable, quickly manufactured, and protect people’s teeth. But our environment constantly suffers from the overuse of plastic, and while plastic toothbrushes are highly valuable, they’re impacting our environment just as severely as plastic bottles and grocery bags.
While sustainability is lacking in the dental market, here are some essential tips we recommend for finding the right toothbrush:
- Research The Materials: One of the most significant issues in the eco-friendly industry is using products and labels that aren’t actually good for the environment. For instance, the EPA has placed out research on labels such as “bio-based,” citing that in these cases, the resources used won’t always degrade naturally, even if it claims to do so.
- Choose APA Approved: We also recommend following ADA guidelines when searching for toothbrushes. The ADA has strict safety standards for both dental practices and consumer products, assuring that not only is the product true to its name but that it works to keep our oral health safe and healthy.
- Throw Away Responsibly: Even if you are unable to find a toothbrush that’s sustainable, take the time out to recycle your plastic toothbrushes when they’re old and overused. Plastic toothbrushes have a lifespan of three to four months at most, so recycling is critical to help towards this cause.
- Find the Toothbrush For Your Lifestyle: If you have a chronic condition that prevents you from using toothbrushes properly, then electric toothbrushes can handle it. If you have children, use kid-friendly toothbrushes that are safe to use by ADA standards. Make sure to purchase toothbrushes that are both equitable for your lifestyle and your goals.
For more information about finding the best toothbrush for you and other resources on eco-friendly oral care, contacting your dentist is the best resource out there for better sustainability and health.