The dental industry has a vital role in caring for people’s teeth worldwide, but when it comes to the world itself, being environmentally focused is often neglected. Toothbrushes, in particular, are often one of the biggest proponents of worldwide waste, creating over 50 million lbs of plastic throughout our oceans and landfills each year. As one of the most relied-on sources for dentistry, plastic has become a huge problem for ecosystems everywhere. Dentistry, however, has to work even harder to find the resources to eventually replace the use of plastic, and those goals of sustainability are considered a long way off.
However, for people wanting to make their worlds more sustainable, considering every aspect of their lives is the most crucial step, even ones as simple as brushing and flossing. Because plastic is such as huge problem, many people have begun looking for more sustainable sources for their toothbrushes. In response, some companies have been investing in better, more sustainable resources to reach out to these consumers. But are there toothbrushes out there that are better for the environment? We’re here to list out the best toothbrushes out there so far and what you should look for when purchasing an Eco-friendly toothbrush.
Searching For A Sustainable Toothbrush: The Dos and Don’ts
Changing out your old, plastic toothbrush for a more sustainable one is a great place to start. But finding a balance between sustainability and functionality is often one of the biggest challenges ahead. Many ADA-approved toothbrushes are often made with plastic, and they’re often evaluated for their high standard of design and care to deliver the ability to clean teeth and remove bacteria. All factors related to its design, its materials, and results have to be analyzed by multiple organizations before being placed out into the public on a national scale, so often, sustainability gets left behind.
However, even with toothbrushes out there that provide labels such as “eco-friendly” or “bio-based materials,” it doesn’t always mean it’s good for the environment. According to studies from researchers at Columbia University cite that many companies use the “biobased materials” label as a way to entice consumers into purchasing their products and that this term doesn’t necessarily mean that the materials will degrade into organic compounds. So, even when these materials end up in landfills, they may last just as long as plastic will in those landfills before they even degrade.
Choosing The Right Toothbrush For You
While we don’t have specific recommendations for toothbrushes, here are some tips you can use to search for the best toothbrush for your environment and for your dental care:
- Do Your Research: When it comes to the labels and materials that companies use to make their products, finding research about what those terms mean and how those materials are made can be an excellent way learn about the products you use.
- Fit It Into Your Lifestyle: If you have issues brushing your teeth manually, then options such as electric toothbrushes or spring-powered toothbrushes may be a better option.
- Talk With Your Dentist: Your dentist will have the best sources for you about what to look out for from your dental products and will help you find a toothbrush that works with your oral health.
To learn more about finding ethical sources for your dental health, speaking with your dentist can provide you with the oral resources you need for a more sustainable lifestyle.