Ingraining positive dental habits is a crucial part of raising a healthy family. Unfortunately, many of the products used in modern dental hygiene have a detrimental environmental impact. According to National Geographic, 1 billion plastic toothbrushes are disposed of every year in the USA, with many ending up in the oceans. When taken alongside toothbrushes and picks, that’s a huge amount of waste. Smart devices are providing an alternative for modern families.
Changing the toothbrush
Toothbrushes are the most easily identifiable item in the bathroom, and also the most commonly disposed of. This creates a great opportunity for families to change their habits in one of two ways. Most affordable and basic is the now ubiquitous bamboo brush, which takes only 6 months to degrade, according to the HuffPo. Furthermore, industry experts have noted that bamboo brushes are effective, even when compared to classic plastic brushes. Helping you take one step further and eliminate waste entirely are electric and smart-brushes, the latest generation of which has the astounding capability to fight oral disease. For kids, a bamboo brush can be something new and interesting with a fun backstory to boot.
Flossing remains an important part of dental hygiene and can be a fun thing to teach the kids. It’s also a huge polluter, with very few floss strings being degradable. This has changed with a back-pedaling of technology – according to NY Mag, silk floss is becoming widely available, and it has two benefits. One: it’s softer on the gums, meaning less chance of bleeding. Two: it’s completely biodegradable, plus it lasts longer than nylon flosses.
The water pick
Water pick, oral flosser, oral irrigator – there are plenty of terms for the jet-water powered tools springing up in bathrooms, but they all achieve the same thing. Using a jet of water, they spray debris and bacteria away from teeth to be rinsed off and are arguably the most eco-friendly mouth-cleaning tool of all. According to Grist, they tend to be very water-efficient – more so than swilling the mouth out or wetting a toothbrush – and are energy efficient, too. The life cycle of a water pick will contribute less carbon than that of a disposable brush, for instance. Perhaps most importantly, they offer a fun activity during teeth cleaning time for excitable kids.
Dental hygiene is not something that people want to compromise on. As a result, technology has filled the void in interesting ways to provide environmentally conscious options for families. Degrading slower, and with longer periods of use, these new products are transforming the bathroom.
Photo by Nick Fewings