If you are always looking into ways to prevent waste being added into landfills and reduce energy usage when you can, then there are two new dental products that you may be interested in. However, only one is really a good option for reducing your carbon footprint, while the other is backed by claims that may not be backed up by science. Here are the three brushes, what they are made of, and which are the best options.
1. Bamboo Toothbrushes
While there are still some countries where teeth are cleaned by chewing on sticks, this toothbrush requires no chewing and will get your teeth just as clean as your plastic toothbrush. Bamboo toothbrushes have handles made of bamboo, which is a very environmentally-friendly wood. Bamboo stalks grow very fast without the need for pesticides, and the plants produce lots of oxygen to help clean up the air.
Bamboo is also completely bio-degradable, so you can replace your toothbrush often without worrying about another plastic toothbrush ending up in a landfill.
The bristles of these eco-friendly toothbrushes are available in BPA-free plastic or can be made of animal hair. The former is the best choice to make sure you clean every crack and crevice of your teeth well, as there are no studies on how well pig's hair actually cleans teeth.
This is a great option that can not only lead to a dental routine great for the environment but can also make you feel better about using a new toothbrush often, since you are creating little waste.
2. OXO Plastic Brush
This special type of plastic is making its way into many plastic-based home products, and there is a good reason. OXO plastic is 100-percent bio-degradable, and as it degrades, it simply turns into carbon dioxide, water, and humus, which is a natural component of healthy soil.
There are now toothbrushes available made of OXO plastic, and they are FDA-approved to be safe and effective. However, there is some controversy over how long this plastic takes to break down into healthy components and whether or not methane gas is still produced when they break down. When compared to traditional plastic toothbrushes, this brush is still a better choice if natural brushes, like those on the bamboo brush, are inconvenient for you to use.
3. Solar-Powered Brushes
If you like to use an electric toothbrush to take the arm-work out of brushing, then this new brush may sound very intriguing at first. While the name makes it sound like an electric brush with a battery that charges by sunlight, this brush doesn't have a brush-head that turns or vibrates like traditional electric toothbrushes.
Instead, this brush is supposed to reduce the environmental impact of your oral-hygiene routine by requiring you to use no toothpaste with it. Instead, it claims to gather solar-power simply from the light-bulb in your bathroom and use it to begin a chemical reaction that creates electrons that clean your teeth as well as toothpaste. While it did win a dental award in Dubai, it is best to wait for clinical studies to prove it really does clean your teeth as well as toothpaste before you bother with the brush.
Instead of skipping toothpaste for the sake of the environment, you can instead purchase a paste that doesn't come in a box or that comes in a box that you can recycle. There are also free programs that help you recycle toothpaste tubes that your local recycling plant may not accept.
If you want to make your dental hygiene routine more eco-friendly, then look into oral-care product recycling programs and consider trying bamboo toothbrushes or brushes made of biodegradable plastic. Don't skip the toothpaste entirely, though, or use toothbrush bristles made of animal hair, or you may end up with cavities at your next dental check-up. For more information, talk to your dentist about other environmentally friendly options for maintaining your teeth.