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Sustainable Dental Care

Last April, Amma initiated a 3-Step Plastic challenge encouraging us all to look at the amount of single-use plastics we use each year. That challenge inspired me to become more mindful about what I’m purchasing and committed to making positive changes. In this article, I decided to focus on dental care, as I am somewhat obsessive about my teeth.

Okay, I’m actually very obsessive. It’s not really my fault though. I was just born with extremely heightened tactile-sensitivity. I’m one of those people who will tear a hole into a brand-new shirt, trying desperately to rip the tags off because I can “feel” them. But really - who’s idea was it to attach an itchy little flap stitched with prickly thread into multiple places in our clothing? So, anything stuck in between my teeth that I can feel with my tongue is an absolute no-go and has to be dealt with ASAP.

I try to be discreet as I was raised with good manners. Though I have been known on occasion, to go to town with a piece of dental floss at a stoplight. The only redeeming fact about that scenario, is my floss is zero waste.

On that note, here are the sustainable dental care products I have tried and really like. Not only because they actually work, but because they are better for our planet:.

Product #1: Dental Lace Dental Floss

*Did you know that many brands such a Glide dental floss are made from nylon coated with teflon and contain toxic PFAS chemicals?

Dental Lace
Not only do I love the product, I love the story of the woman who created it and how it came to be. I’m always inspired at people’s ingenuity, especially in regards to helping the environment.

Dental Lace floss comes in a glass container with a metal lid which are both recyclable, it’s refillable, the floss is made from silk which can be composted and it comes in completely plastic-free, biodegradable and compostable packaging.

The owner is currently working on a vegan option that will be compostable as well. All around, it’s just a great product!

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Product #2: Senza Bamboo Toothbrushes

*Did you know 1 BILLION toothbrushes are thrown away every year in the US? That’s enough to go around Mother Earth 4 times!

These are my favorite toothbrushes. The bamboo handle can be composted after use. Unfortunately, the technology for plant-based bristles just isn’t there yet. Senza suggests pulling the nylon bristles out with plyers and discarding them before composting the brush.

The packaging is completely plant-based and recyclable and compostable. They also donate 3% of their proceeds from their hairbrush and make-up sets to Mary’s Place Women’s Shelter in Seattle, where the company is based. They make a plastic-free dental floss as well, but I haven’t tried this one yet.

And they sell for under $5.00!

Senza bamboo toothbrushes

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Product #3: DIY Toothpaste

*Did you know an estimated 400 million toothpaste tubes are thrown away in the US every year?

There are also harmful chemicals in many name-brand toothpastes? Here is a simple DIY recipe from one of my favorite Zero Waste websites, Trash Is For Tossers:

Zero Waste toothpaste

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 ½ tablespoons baking soda
  • 25-30 drops organic, food grade peppermint essential oil

Mix all three ingredients together in a glass jar.

Scoop out a little bit with a spoon and put on your toothbrush and enjoy!

Zero Waste toothpaste

It may take some getting used to, as there are no artificial sweeteners or flavors in this recipe but your body will thank you! You can add more or less peppermint and coconut oil based on your taste and textural preference. If you don’t like this recipe, there are many other DIY options out there and that is the beauty of Google and Pinterest!

If you are someone who just doesn’t have a lot of time or is not the "DIY" type, there are many natural toothpastes available today such as Tom’s of Maine. Tom’s even has a partnership with Terracyle, so you can mail in your empty toothpaste tubes free of charge and they will be recycled:

There are so many inspiring resources today on how to live a more simple and sustainable life which not only honor ourselves, but Mother Nature and all other beings in whom we share this beautiful blue planet.

- Diya Heal

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