Eco Friendly Fashion and Beauty happy_tooth

Published on August 20th, 2012 | by The Green Divas

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Sustainable Smile with Natural Dental Care

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by Green Diva Lisa

We all know that taking care of our teeth is very important, and the value of natural dental care is becoming clearer. What makes a health and sustainable smile? Let’s consider tooth brushes, their impact on our environment, and our toothpaste.

The Toothbrush: Did you know that in the US every year some 450 million plastic toothbrushes make their way to landfills?. Most of those toothbrushes will not biodegrade in our’s, or our children’s, children’s lifetime.  Because of that, I was eager to try a new toothbrush from World Centric which is made from a plant based resin called Ingeo  and NOT petroleum. And it is certified compostable by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI). Not only is it gentler on the planet as a waste product, but Ingeo uses less energy to produce these toothbrushes  than it’s petroleum based plastic counterpart. Because of how landfills work it won’t properly biodegrade in the landfill, so if you don’t have access to commercial composting facility in your area, World Centric will even provide a prepaid envelope to return your toothbrush and case and they’ll do it for you. How’s that for easy? They haven’t perfected biodegradable bristles, but their working on it. In the meantime, they’ve designed the brush so it can be easily broken off at the bristle bit so it can be disposed of separately. You can find the toothbrush in many health food stores and Whole Foods Markets or find it online at: www.worldcentric.org

I’ve been using one now for the last month. It does a fine job of cleaning up my teeth and I like the shape.  Have you looked in the toothbrush isle in the grocery or pharmacy lately? Yikes! It seems like they want you to compete to have the biggest and the brightest toothbrush. How are some of those colors made? The World Centric toothbrush has a wide enough handle for good control but not so heavy that you feel compelled to skip the gym.

World Centric is committed to developing sustainable alternatives to plastics and Styrofoam by making products made from annually renewable plants including sugarcane and wheat fiber, which are by-products of the agricultural industry. And here’s the best part, they donate a full 25% of the company profits to grassroots social and environmental organizations. Pretty dang cool, if you ask me.

Toothpaste: Is your toothpaste destructive to your tooth structure? You might be surprised. On my last visit to my dentist, Dr. Scaff, I asked about the space that seems to be growing between my teeth and my gums. Can you say “long in the tooth?” He told me about a recent study that illustrates how most of the toothpastes people have been using is causing the problem. Even some of the “natural” choices in toothpaste are too abrasive for our teeth and are wearing away the enamel and dentin. I was quite surprised when I saw the list. Basically he said, try some on your finger, if it feels abrasive, it is abrasive. Stop using abrasive toothpaste. Oh and have you seen the volume of toothpaste choices in the grocery or pharmacy? Double Yikes!!

To see the index of Abrasivity of common toothpastes, please go to Green Diva Lisa’s original post on TheGreenDivas.com

image of happy tooth via shutterstock
image of toothpaste via shutterstock



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About the Author

The Green Divas share low-stress ways to live a deeper shade of green through a weekly radio show, podcasts, videos and blog posts. Working with talented partners and credible sources like myEARTH360 the Green Divas produce content on a variety of topics relating to a healthy green lifestyle. Visit The Green Divas website to learn more, and check out The Green Divas on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter too!



  • http://www.plumber-san-diego.us/ SanDiego Plumber

    Of course, tooth brushes, tooth paste, and mouth wash play important role in maintaining our oral health. I agree with natural options. Do you have some suggestions on what to do and where to get these options?

    • http://www.dyingtolookgood.com Christine H. Farlow, D.C.

      The majority of conventional brands of toothpaste contain fluoride and other toxic ingredients. Notice the warning on the tube to call the poison control center if you swallow more than the amount needed to brush one time. Even many of the so-called natural brands have harmful ingredients. There are only a few products I recommend: baking soda, Tooth Soap, OraMD or OraWellness. You can find them online at http://www.dyingtolookgood.com/shop.html

  • http://bracescostinfo.com Dentist

    Very good insights!! I’ve always been partial to using just baking soda for cleaning the teeth. It’s the main ingredient in toothpaste, except that it doesn’t taste as good. So chemicals in toothpaste were added to make it taste more appealing with those minty-fresh ingredients.

  • http://www.plumber-san-diego.us/ San Diego Drain Cleaner

    I get your point there. Biodegradable toothbrush – Cool thing. I guess we always need to think about taking care of our health and environment as well. How can I get these brushes?

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