Eco-Friendly Dental Hygiene

You’ll remember a while back (a long while back; I had another hiatus, sorry ’bout that) I posted about my eco-friendly toothbrush.

For what it’s worth, I’m still loving it, although right now I’m using a Preserve toothbrush (til it wears out) cos local stores sold out of the Monumental Dental kind. It’s pretty good actually, I like it – but it’s three times the price of the wooden one, and recycled plastic is still plastic. It might be a good choice for Americans, who can send it back for re-recycling pretty easily, but internationally shipping a worn-out toothbrush seems a little over-the-top to me, honestly. So I was pretty happy to find the Environmental Toothbrush stocked at The Green Edge when I dropped by about a month ago.

I bought four.

I didn’t want to run out!

Anyway, that’s not what today’s post is about. Today I wanna go beyond toothbrushes… to toothpaste or bust!

Ok, I might discuss dental floss too.

So the impetus for this post is the fact that I’ve had a toothpaste convergence recently. That is, my toothpaste ran out and I had to buy some more, which made me feel bad about buying more plastic that I’m eventually just going to throw away. Then I saw this post from Pioneer Woman. I was feeling guilty over one plastic tube, let alone two..! But I can’t say I blame them. I mean, dude, look at that tube! P-Dub’s, I mean. MM’s is perfect fantastic normal fine. No, I’m not talking about his butt. (What? Lesbians can appreciate a good butt, even if it does belong to a man. Go on and look, you’ll see. There’re lots of pictures.)

Anyway, I digress.

I looked around to try find a non-plastic toothpaste tube. None in the supermarket, duh. I’ve looked in Flannery’s and The Green Edge. All plastic there too. I’ve read about the Tom’s of Maine metal toothpaste tube that Beth Terry of Fake Plastic Fish uses in her very comprehensive post entitled Plastic-Free Dental Floss? Not Quite, but again, I’d have to ship it from the USA and I try not to do that. Buy local, y’know? I know some people use baking soda, but I’ve heard a lot of stories about how abrasive it is, so I’m not sure that I’m keen. (There are lots of comments on Beth’s post, so have a look if you want lots of opinions!)

macleans mild mint toothpaste

At the moment I'm using this toothpaste. I recycle the box, and try to use the toothpaste sparingly.

So right now, I’m just trying to use tiny bits of toothpaste at a time. I also brush my teeth twice a day, but I only use toothpaste one of those times. It’s mostly the brushing motion that’s important anyway… toothpaste is a bit more of a breath-freshener (as far as I know, anyway…).

You didn’t think I was going to offer any solutions, did you? These days I feel like I’m asking more questions than I am suggesting possible answers.

Which brings me to my second question: dental floss. What do you use?

Beth (of the aforementioned Fake Plastic Fish) uses Eco-Dent floss, which is available here in Brisbane from The Green Edge and The Cruelty Free Shop.

eco dent floss in cardboard box

This is the eco-dent floss that comes in the cardboard package... but cinnamon-flavoured!

It’s not perfect, but Beth explains why it’s the best of the bunch. On the upside, the packaging is recyclable cardboard and the wax coating on the floss is from vegetables, not beeswax or petroleum. On the downside, the floss is still made of nylon, and the packaging has a thin plastic wrapper, two plastic stickers and a plastic spool. On the very very downside, it costs nearly $12 a box, is shipped to local stores from America and – here’s the worst part – it’s cinnamon-flavoured. I’m sorry, but what is with that?! Cinnamon might work as a flavour in the USA (although how, I don’t really understand), but I remember that Close Up era in Australia in the 80s. My cousin used that toothpaste. It was red and hot and nasty. Just like Dr Pepper, it was fad, fortunately gone quickly. Cinnamon should only be used in food, like apple crumble. Ew ew ew, I cannot use cinnamon-flavoured floss!

So I dunno what that leaves me with.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

(I couldn’t help it; it’s been a while since I used that quote. Forgive me.)

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7 thoughts on “Eco-Friendly Dental Hygiene

  1. I found your blog when searching about eco toothbrushes and rejoiced at someone writing locally about all the stuff I am interested in….then i realised you no longer posted and was going to make a comment to ask you to return….and HUZZAH! here you are :)

    I bought one eco toothbrush (the bamboo type) from Wray Organics for my daughter to try instead of her plastic disney crap one….loved it, and then checked out their website and you can order bulk, so I bought a whole box of 12 childrens size for my daughter and one adult one for me to try out. loving it

    This morning i was brushing my teeth with said toothbrush and started thinking about the waste in the toothpaste plastic tube and my dental floss……

    And keep blogging I say!

    • You know, I haven’t tried Wray Organics yet. I go past one sometimes and think I should stop in, I just haven’t gotten around to it. What are they like?

      Don’t you just love those eco-toothbrushes? I think they rock. the bristles are so soft, and the price is really good. Plus, you know… eco-friendly.

      Good to know they have kids-sized toothbrushes too… I didn’t know that. Mr Teeny-bop’s mouth is bigger than mine these days, so it’s not so much of a worry for us anymore.

      Glad you’re enjoying the blog and sorry about my long and random breaks. This year has been a bit mad and just when I think things are calming down enough for me to start blogging regularly again, something else comes up.

      No promises I won’t have to break again unfortunately… we’re house-hunting, so we may be moving soon. You know how hectic packing up your house is.

      But even if I take a break, rest assured, I’ll always be back. :)

    • You’re a legend! And I’m a tool – look at the picture I posted. It’s mint flavoured there too. I swear it was cinnamon at The Green Edge!!

      It’s cheaper at that Eco Essentials store too (which is apparently Brisbane-based – it’s in Bardon). ‘Tis tempting me… but what of the shipping from the USA? I think next time I’m at the shop I’m going to have to check out the countries of manufacture on the regular floss. Maybe I’m kicking up a fuss about the USA when the other ones I already have come from the other side of the world anyway.

      I will update when I know more.

    • Yes. For a while I used a toothbrush made from recycled yoghurt cups because I couldn’t find a bamboo toothbrush anymore, but I’ve recently found the Go Bamboo Adult Toothbrush and I’m using that.

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