Are you interested in a zero waste dental routine? It is easier than you think!
Dental care is an activity that most people do once, if not twice, daily, and often the amount of toxins, chemicals, plastics, and other unpleasant ingredients pass under our radars because it is the “norm” for dental routines. For example, we use chemically-laden toothpaste in plastic tubing, mouthwash packaged in plastic that is so strong it is like swishing acid, plastic toothbrushes that need to be replaced, and plastic floss. However, how would you like to save money, use organic and chemical, toxin, and plastic free ingredients, and care for your teeth better than you ever have before?
Jake and I both do not care for dentist visits at all; therefore, we are both proactive in our daily dental routine. Yet, it was not until a year ago that we realized our dental routine needed to be changed for the better, and our teeth and mouths are healthier now than they have ever been! We have each been to the dentist for a checkup and received an excellent report– our teeth are whiter, cleaner, and completely cavity free! And yes, for those wondering, we do not use any fluoride and have not used any for over three years now. I believe fluoride is detrimental to the body, teeth, and mouth, and although I will not be discussing this issue in this post, check out this article for more information.
When we began our zero waste dental journey, we did not switch all of our products overnight. Instead, it was a very gradual shift. As the toothpaste ran out, I began making our own, and when we needed new toothbrushes, we opted for biodegradable brushes. Now, over a year later, all of our dental routine is zero waste, plastic free, and uses homemade toothpaste and mouthwash.
Jake and I each use bamboo toothbrushes with charcoal bristles because these toothbrushes are compost-able. When our standard toothbrushes wore out, Jake and I switched to these charcoal toothbrushes in order to lessen our plastic usage because the plastic toothbrushes do not break down in a landfill for a very long time, if at all. In addition, we both did not want to continue putting plastic into our mouths! I know that the action of brushing teeth with plastic is not the same as chewing or swallowing plastic, but I still do not think it is a good idea to have plastic in our mouths at all.
We use a saltwater mouthwash that I make using Redmond Real Salt, filtered water, and frankincense and peppermint essential oils. This mouthwash is awesome because it does not change the pH of the mouth, it freshens breath, and it leaves the good bacteria in the mouth. In addition, the frankincense and peppermint essential oils are excellent for dental health. Frankincense essential oil is an anti-inflammatory, and peppermint essential oil has an anti-inflammatory, digestive, and analgesic effect. Clove, thyme, and tea tree essential oils are also good choices for dental care!
Ingredients: One-half ounce salt, two cups warm water, and five drops of each essential oil.
Method: Combine salt and water in a jar (I like to use these flip-top jars) and shake until the salt dissolves. When the water has cooled to room temperature, add the essential oils and shake again. Make sure to shake the mouthwash before each use because the essential oils float to the top.
Yes, you read that correctly! We use a tongue scraper every time we brush our teeth because the tongue gets coated with bacteria, food particles, and more when we eat or drink. If you start scraping your tongue regularly, you will find that your breath freshens and your mouth feels cleaner as a whole! We use these stainless steel tongue scrapers because they can be cleaned easily.
In the picture I took of all of our dental care products, our floss is currently rolled on a extra spool of thread I used up because I found floss in bulk and needed to roll it on something for easy use. However, this biodegradable silk floss is an excellent option!
While we were skeptical at first, these ionic toothbrushes actually work! The charge from the toothbrush causes the plaque to release from the teeth, which makes it easier for regular brushing with toothpaste to clean your teeth. However, if you have a lot of metal in your mouth from mercury silver fillings, implants, or gold, you may notice that the ionizing makes you not feel well because it is causing the metal to off-gas more in your mouth. Please use caution if you have a lot of metal in your mouth! Jake and I did not start using the ionic toothbrushes consistently until we had the procedures done to remove all the metal from our mouths.
Even though the major companies would like us to think otherwise, store-bought toothpaste is not needed to clean your teeth! Toothpaste does not need to be made from all the chemicals, binders, and other hard to pronounce ingredients; in fact, the best toothpaste I have ever used is simply baking soda and extra-virgin coconut oil. Additionally, neither of these ingredients is bad to swallow, so it is perfect for small children who are learning to brush their teeth!
Ingredients: two parts baking soda and one part coconut oil
Method: Combine the ingredients well and store in a glass jar. To use, put a pea-sized amount on the toothbrush with a drop of peppermint essential oil, which is optional.
Our Dental Routine
Even though this following list may look like a lot, it actually takes less than five minutes!
- Rinse with mouthwash
- Use tongue scraper once or twice
- Use a slightly damp ionic toothbrush without toothpaste
- Brush with toothpaste on the regular toothbrush
- Rinse with mouthwash again!
There you have it! A complete look at our zero waste dental routine!
I would love to see your thoughts on this post, so please comment or ask any questions! In addition, if you were inspired to put a picture on Instagram because of this post, tag me at #shalomhomestead!
Best wishes and shalom, friends!