Dental Care Gone Green
Twice a day, every day, we brush our teeth. Four or more times a year we replace the toothbrush we use. Our toothpaste of choice is scrubbed around our mouths around 60 times a month, and although it’s largely spat out, I bet over a year a reasonable amount is consumed – and with a child that amount will be much greater despite a parents best intentions! Why I didn’t question the ingredients sooner I don’t really know – I suppose like with many things its assumed safety / necessity, but I decided a while back that it was time to make a change. We only ever used a tiny smear anyway, but I began to wonder if there was a more natural, or healthy alternative.
The first one I tried was Lush Tooth Fairy – a powder which you dip your wet brush into and use as normal. I personally didn’t love this, I wasn’t a fan of the taste and if I’m honest its probably still stuffed at the back of my bathroom cabinet unless Matt has got rid of it!
There were a couple of others we weren’t won over by, then we tried Aloe Dent Whitening which has no harsh chemicals, and has a great taste and texture – so that’s what we have been using for a while now as we are really happy with it, but I’m now on the scout for something which doesn’t require a plastic tube – I think I’ll have an experiment with making my own and come back to you if I find something I love!
One of the main factors for investigating more eco friendly brushes was seeing a photo online which was captioned to explain that each and every toothbrush ever made, is still on the planet somewhere – many of them have made it into our oceans and are causing marine life harm. It was a real eye opener. I worked out that we would get through well over 300 toothbrushes in our life (all being well on the longevity scale!), and decided it was an impact I was no longer prepared to have on the earth.
So the search began. There are loads of eco friendly toothbrushes available now with widely varying price tags, from the more mainstream brand the Humble Brush, which is made from bamboo with nylon bristles. They are sold in Waitrose as well as other highly street retailers for around £4, so they’re a great easy to access option.
We have been using the Environmental Toothbrush for ages now as we are able to buy them in bulk for a really reasonable price (they work out at under £2 a brush! They’re available online for around £3 too), they come in soft/medium/firm bristles as well as a kids sized brush. Their bristles are also nylon – so they’re obviously not 100% degradable but as with the humble brush you can simple snap the head off to put in the bin, and put the main part of the handle into compost.
If you want a fully compostable brush (and aren’t vegan!) you could look at wooden / bamboo brushes with boar bristles such as the Naturborsten brushes which come in adult or child size and cost around £8.
We also tried the Jack & Jill biodegradable kids toothbrush but found the bristles too soft and they frayed too easily so we have returned to the kids Environmental toothbrush.
For Florence we use Organic Children’s Mint & Aloe paste, I wasn’t keen on the Aloe Dent kids one – the strawberry flavour wasn’t very fresh smelling, and the orange bubbles left a right mess on her clothes if she missed the sink!
People often ask if they’re as good… now I can’t speak for everyone, but we have found our teeth are as healthy as before, with much less of a negative heath / environmental impact. My dentist looked worried when I visited last year as he asked about what we use – I told him and he said I should worry more about my oral health than the environment as it is important (of course!) and said I should think about swapping to an electric toothbrush to help, then he looked inside my mouth and said he was impressed as my teeth were great, as were Florences 😀 so I’ve stuck to the bamboo brush and have had no issues.
Fancy making the change? There are so many options available, have fun experimenting and finding what makes you feel good whilst keeping your family’s teeth sparkling clean!