Brushing your teeth is a daily act that has more impact on the environment than it seems.
If we add micro-plastics hold in numerous toothpastes , nylon and Teflon from dental floss and dental tape, all different kind of cans and containers, and an average of 5 kilograms of toothbrushes used throughout our lives, having a fresh breath and whiter teeth leave a large environmental footprint.
In addition, many of these oral hygiene products carry harmful chemicals for your health. It is, therefore, important to choose natural and organic products, since they are much healthier both for you and the planet.
The good news is that it is very easy to reduce the plastic we consume when taking care of our mouth. Here you’ve got 4 very effective tips:
- Change your toothbrush for a biodegradable one. There are 100% biodegradable toothbrushes that will allow you to compost them when needing to be dumped. These brushes are not suitable for vegans as, nowadays, the only option with biodegradable bristles are those that come from animal hair. There are also bamboo toothbrushes whose handle is 100% biodegradable, but, unfortunately, all of them carry nylon4 bristles (despite what is advertised in many stores, at present, there is not 100% bamboo toothbrushes). The only 100% vegan and plastic free choice is Miswak or Siwak, the root and branch of Arak tree (Salvadora Persica).
- Use dental floss made of silk. Nylon and Teflon of classic dental floss and dental tape represent a significant amount of ocean pollution.
- Switch to 100% plastic free toothpaste. There are many recipes for homemade toothpaste (we leave ours below). And if you do not want to make yours, you can find solid and 100% natural toothpastes. There are brands that sell them in bulk.
- Avoid any industrial mouthwash. There are many homemade and natural recipes to keep your mouth fresher as well as to remove bacteria. For example, by mixing water with baking soda (3 teaspoons per cup of water) and three drops of mint essential oil.
With these simple 4 tips you can get rid of any plastic when brushing your teeth. Go ahead!
Our recipe for homemade toothpaste:
- White Clay, for internal use, also known as China clay or kaolin. It is disinfectant, revitalizing, remineralizing, soothing, and contains trace elements involved in the formation and maintenance of teeth. It also prevents bacterial and microbial growth and strengthens body’s defenses. It is also excellent as a mouthwash.
- Sage or salvia, which has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties for gum disease, mouth ulcers, and throat sore.
- Thyme, which also has antiseptic properties. It is used for halitosis, mouth ulcer, mouth sore, care of teeth and gums, or wound washing.
- Mint essential oil, which soothes toothache and has a cooling effect, in addition to counteract bad breath.
- Sea salt, which increases the action of clay and is used as a natural medicine against mouth and throat sore.
- Baking soda or Bicarbonate of soda, which is used in the treatment of Periodontitis (which occurs when inflammation or infection of the gums (gingivitis) is allowed to progress without treatment), Tartar, or Thrush.
- Make a tea with sage and thyme, (a glass of boiling water with a small spoon of sage and thyme for 4 minutes). Let stand until water is lukewarm.
- Filter the infusion using a metal strainer or muslin filter.
- In a bowl, add two tablespoons of infusion, 2 drops of mint essential oil, a pinch of sea salt and another of baking soda.
- Then, gradually, add 3 tablespoons of white clay while we stir with a small spatula to a uniform texture. We can always add a bit more clay or a few drops of infusion until achieving the desired texture.
- Put it in a suitable container (a small glass jar, for example) and store it in a cool place.
- Use the paste as a normal toothpaste, slightly moistening the toothbrush.
Tips to be considered:
- It lasts a long time as long as we keep it in the fridge but we can take it on a journey, no problem.
- Baking soda is abrasive and can damage tooth enamel if we abuse it. Therefore, it is recommended to add only a bit or make an alternative pasta without it, exchanging its use.
- Sage and thyme can be replaced with lavander or common marigold (each provides different properties).
- The mint essential oil can be substituted with spearmint, orange, cinnamon, clove or eucalyptus oil. We can also add more quantity (without abusing) if we want an extra fresh breath.
- We can add a few stevia leaves if we want to sweeten the mixture.