When You Want Healthy Teeth and A Beautiful Smile
Whether you are aware or not, your mouth is teeming with tiny microorganisms. These tiny microorganisms are the good and the bad bacteria. The good bacteria help to aid in the digestion of food and actually guard against the bad bacteria in your mouth to ensure healthy teeth. On the other hand, there is the bad bacteria which cause bad breath and a host of other health issues such as gingivitis, tooth decay, infections and even cardiovascular disease.
In your practice to maintain healthy teeth, there is growing concern whether or not the products we are using are good for our general health and our environment. Each year, thousands of dollars are spent on oral healthcare maintenance products that actually have questionable ingredients which can harm our health and the environment. As there are sustainable options for clothing, beauty and food, sustainable options for oral health are increasing. Discover these options which can help you preserve your health and the environment.
Is a toothbrush is just a toothbrush? You should use it at least twice daily and replace every three months. No problem right? Not so fast. Most toothbrushes are made of plastic which actually hold bacteria. In addition, plastic is not biodegradable. This means that your toothbrush actually never goes away. It sits in land fields, pollutes our waters and contributes to CO2 emissions. We can do our part to reduce our carbon footprint by doing something as simple as switching our toothbrush. Consider these sustainable toothbrush options on your road to healthy teeth and saving the environment:
- Brush With Bamboo. A vegan, eco-friendly, plant-based toothbrush, Brush With Bamboo is a Green America Certified Business and is a USDA-Certified bio-based product. The packaging, along with the handle, is biodegradable. Brush With Bamboo also offers tongue scrapers, travel cases and products for children.
- Cliquemint. Cliquemint sustainable toothbrushes have a reusable handle with replaceable bristles. They deliver a year’s supply of brush heads. The handle is made of polylactic acid (PLA) which is a biodegradable material.
What is the criteria for choosing your favorite toothpaste? Taste? Affordability? Effectiveness? These are all valid criteria but how many times have you considered the ingredients in your toothpaste? Many of us are familiar with fluoride which is supposed to help prevent tooth decay. But what about those other questionable ingredients such as titanium dioxide (can cause cell damage) and sodium lauryl sulfate (creates foaming action and is also a chemical surfectant)? Today’s toothpaste contains glycerine which can coat the teeth and actually interfere with the process remineralization which promotes healthy teeth. To help preserve the health of your teeth, consider switching to these toothpaste options.
- Bruit Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste. This is a mild toothpaste made with food grade products. It contains peppermint essential oil and activated charcoal which helps to remove toxins and prevents gingivitis. This formulation is non-abrasive and fluoride free.
- Fig & Yarrow Toothpowder. Created in small batches, Fig & Yarrow Toothpowder contains a host of natural ingredients to help maintain the health of the gums including neem, baking soda and white clay.
Like many people, using a mouthwash is a simple part of your oral hygiene routine. It’s like the cherry on top. A little swish and gargle and there you have it, fresh minty fresh breath.
Now how many times have you used your mouthwash felt a little dry afterwards? You aren’t imagining things. Many mouthwashes contain, among other ingredients, alcohol which can leave you mouth feeling dry. Mouthwash kills bacteria but since it is unable to distinguish between good and bad bacteria, the good bacteria gets wiped out and that bad bacteria comes back with a vengeance. Because the mouth is dry, it is a breeding ground for foul breath and a host of other oral hygiene issues.
Most dentists will recommend a daily routine of brushing, flossing and tongue scraping. But for those who still prefer to use a mouthwash out of habit or preference, consider the following:
- Fig & Yarrow Oral Hygiene Rinse. This beautiful, minimalist bottle of mouthwash contains the natural antiseptic of witch hazel which is an anti-inflammatory and helps to maintain gum health using aloe which also helps to soothe the gums and reduce plaque.
- Georganics Coconut Pulling Mouthwash. Based on the ancient Ayurvedic Indian practice of oil pulling, this mouthwash contains a blend of essential oils to help rid your mouth of bad breath and improve the health of teeth and gums.
Please keep in mind that these products are suggestions and are not meant to diagnose or replace sound medical advice.
As always, we want to hear from you. What sustainable, healthy oral care options do you use? Leave your comments below.