31 Jan Eco-Friendly Dentistry: How To Maintain Your Dental Health Whilst Sustaining The Planet
At Bright & White, we believe that a healthy planet means healthy patients. We do our best as a practice to be eco-friendly and encourage our patients to live sustainably too. In this article, we highlight a few things you can do to take care of your oral health whilst also reducing your impact on the planet.
Use a Bamboo Toothbrush
An estimated 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes are used worldwide every year, with the average person using 300 in their lifetime. Plastic often doesn’t get recycled and takes up to a thousand years to decompose, whilst about 80% of toothbrushes end up in the sea where they pose a threat to marine life.
So, the first step to being more eco-friendly in your dental routine is to stop using a plastic toothbrush and swap to a bamboo toothbrush instead. Bamboo toothbrushes are sustainable because bamboo grows fast and is biodegradable. The handle is made from bamboo and the bristles are made from nylon which is free from BPA (a chemical used to make plastics).
The toothbrush will need to be replaced around every 3 months when the bristles start to bend and the bristles will need to be plucked out before the bamboo handle is thrown into the compost.
Choose an Electric Toothbrush Over A Single-Use Plastic Manual Toothbrush
Using an electric toothbrush over a manual toothbrush also reduces more plastic waste and is more effective at cleaning your teeth and maintaining good oral health than a manual toothbrush.
An electric toothbrush can be seen as being more eco-friendly than a disposable toothbrush because only the head needs to be replaced. This is less plastic that is being thrown away than a manual toothbrush which is single-use and is more plastic being thrown away more often.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint By Reducing Travel Emissions
A recent study has shown that the main source of carbon emissions by the dentistry industry is due to travel by patients and staff. Our staff at Bright & White Dental Spa aim to cut down their carbon footprint and walk to work or use public transport where possible.
You can also cut down your carbon footprint and help save the planet. Walking or cycling to your dentist appointments if you don’t live too far away, or making use of public transport for longer journeys can greatly reduce the impact of carbon dioxide on the environment.
Another way to cut the impact of carbon is to reduce the amount of travelling you do to the dentist. This can be done through reducing the number of appointments through planning treatment with your dentist to reduce the number of visits needed, attending appointments with other family members, and combining treatments such as a scale and polish and examination to cut down on travel.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
Our ethos at Bright & White is that prevention is better than cure is the best way to reduce your carbon footprint. Living a healthy lifestyle and improved oral health will reduce the number of dental issues you may have so reducing your visits to the dentist and thus reducing travel and carbon emissions.
You can maintain both optimum dental health and the best possible carbon footprint by visiting the dentist every 6 months for your recommended regular checkup. This makes sure your oral health is the best it can be whilst making the least impact on the environment as you travel to us just twice a year.
Turn Off The Tap Whilst Brushing Your Teeth to Save Water
Can turning the tap off whilst you brush your teeth really make that much of a difference to water savings? You may be surprised at how this small change can have a massive impact on the environment.
If you brush your teeth for the recommended 2 minutes two times a day you can save up to 8 gallons of water per day by simply turning off the tap. You should turn on the tap only to wet your brush and rinse instead of leaving it running for the full 2 minutes whilst you brush your teeth.
You should also avoid using warm water to brush your teeth as this takes more energy to heat up and water temperature does not impact the cleanliness of your teeth, so this is simply a waste of energy.
Eco-Friendly Dentistry at Bright & White Dental Spa
At Bright & White Dental Spa we pride ourselves on being an eco-friendly practice. We do our best to provide an environmentally conscious service and keep our carbon footprint to a minimum. Our initiatives include:
- We use 100% green energy supplied through Good Energy.
- We do not use gas and have no gas connection to our practice.
- We recycle as much of our non-clinical waste as possible.
- We do not use any single-use plastic with the exception of a few health care products where it cannot be avoided.
- Our staff, where possible, walk to work or use public transport.
- We only use water that has been purified through our own filter.
- We encourage our patients to use bamboo toothbrushes.
- We provide a recycling service for dental products that cannot be recycled domestically.
- We are currently moving towards a paperless service.
- We hope to be carbon neutral in two years.
We hope this article demonstrates how both we as a practice and you as a patient can boost your dental health whilst helping the planet. To learn more about our eco-friendly approach to dentistry or if you have any suggestions on how we as a practice and our patients can be more sustainable and environmentally friendly, please get in touch.