Earth Day is a good reminder for us to be mindful of the ways our habits impact the environment…even our healthy habits. At FDA, we make an effort to go green when we can and know many of our patients are making the same effort. There are steps we can all take to improve our environmental footprint as we improve our oral health. Here are 3 ways you can make your oral health routine more eco-friendly:
Turn off the Water While You Brush.
This tip is an oldie but a goodie – turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. This simple act can save up to 8 gallons every day and over 200 gallons a month! Not only will you be conserving water and helping the planet, but you’ll also be saving money on your water bills. Turn off that tap!
Explore Green Floss Alternatives.
We talk about it constantly – dental floss is an important component in your oral health care routine. Flossing once a day helps prevent gum disease and cavities. It truly is one of the best things you can do for your oral health, but it’s not necessarily one of the best things for the planet. Most dental floss is made out of nylon and comes in plastic containers, which all end up in the landfill, or worse, the ocean. There are sustainable alternatives, however. Look for silk dental floss or consider a Water Flosser. Here is a resource for exploring some eco-friendly alternatives. Take care of your gums while you reduce the amount of waste in your dental routine!
Make Your Own Toothpaste.
DIY toothpaste? Yes! We’ve posted recipes on our blog before and in honor of Earth Day this year we thought we’d share one of our all-natural recipes that will leave your mouth feeling fresh and leave less plastic waste behind. Most of these toothpaste ingredients can be found at any health food store or online retailer:
Coconut Oil Toothpaste
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 2 to 3 TBS baking soda
- 2 small packets of stevia powder
- 15 to 20 drops of peppermint or cinnamon essential oil (for flavor)*
- 10 drops myrrh extract (optional for flavor)*
Melt or slightly soften the coconut oil, then mix in all other ingredients and stir well. Mix using a fork if you are using semi-hard coconut oil and use a spoon for liquid coconut oil. If you melted the coconut oil using a heat source, stir the mixture as it cools to prevent the baking soda from separating.
*Essential oils can be potent, so start with a few drops then add more to taste. Make sure to use therapeutic-grade essential oils that are safe to ingest. Feel free to substitute other essential oils if you prefer.
At FDA we strive to take care of the planet as we provide the best oral health care for our patients. From using digital records and x-rays for our patients to our mercury-free fillings to our commitment to Holistic Dentistry, we are continually finding ways to be more sustainable in our practice. This Earth Day, we hope you join us in making an effort to improve your oral health routine for the health of the environment. If you have any questions about other ways to be eco-friendly while caring for your smile or need to schedule your next appointment, give us a call at 207.781.5900.