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.
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.
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:
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.
The team at Lifetime Dental Care brings a full range of services to patients in and around the Woodbridge, VA area. These four doctors bring a range of experience, diverse backgrounds, and professional knowledge together to provide families with a safe and friendly home for their oral health needs.