Believe it or not, your dental care might contain loads of questionable ingredients you can't even pronounce. At one point, microplastics were even found in toothpaste, resulting in public outrage and a microplastic ban in all toothpastes. Gross, right? But there are still ingredients lurking in conventional oral care products which are potentially bad for your health and environment. Here are four holistic ways to maintain dental hygiene that don't involve harmful additives.
Did you know that in America alone it is estimated that over 850 million toothbrushes are discarded in landfills every single year? Not to mention these toothbrushes are made from a combo of plastic, nylon and rubber. None of those items are biodegradable, so they'll remain in landfills for thousands of years (certainly long after their owners are gone). To make matters worse, toothbrushes often end up in our oceans and wash up onto beaches (or they're consumed by marine life who mistake them for food).
In order to end this environmental disaster, and develop a more holistic oral care routine, consider switching over to a bamboo toothbrush. These are better for both your health and the earth because there's not as much plastic on them, which reduces your exposure to unhealthy toxins. Here at Petal and Post, we carry Brush with Bamboo toothbrushes: They have a 100 percent organic bamboo handle that's biodegradable. Their packaging is also compostable: The wrapper around the brush is plant-based and the box encasing the toothbrush is made from paper with no tape or glue. The bristles are made from BPA-free soft bristles, making them non-toxic and recyclable. When the toothbrush comes to the end of its life, just remove the bristles with a tweezer, recycle them independently, and compost the handle. Super simple and a better, more holistic choice.
Have you ever heard of a toxic ingredient called triclosan? In 2016, triclosan was banned from soaps by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, while that ban is in full effect, triclosan (and other questionable ingredients) can still be found in toothpaste and other conventional cosmetics. Tricolsan poses a number of health risks and is linked to immune and endocrine issues. Not to mention, it disrupts hormones in the body and even affects muscles. Who wants to risk any of that?
Instead of just avoiding toothpaste with tricolsan, take the next big leap and switch to an all-natural toothpaste. We recommend trying our NHR Organic Mint and Green Tea or Tea Tree Aromatherapy toothpaste. Both keep your gums and teeth clean without fluoride, leaving you with fresh breath and no toxins. We also sell Organic Children's Natural Toothpaste, designed specifically for kids. Whichever toothpaste you decide to choose, you can't go wrong because all the ingredients are natural, toxin free and organic. They won't go down the drain and pollute waterways either (when you spit them out, unlike conventional toothpaste). What more could you ask for?
Many people enjoy a good mouthwash, and that's okay (as long as you're using a natural one). But have you heard of oil pulling? It's an ancient Ayurvedic technique to help teeth and gums. It absorbs microrganisms and supports tooth and gum health. All you have to do is put a tablespoon of coconut oil (we recommend Kapuluan cold pressed raw organic coconut oil) in your mouth and swish it between the teeth for 5 to 20 minutes. You can start at 5 and work your way up to 20. Don't swallow the oil – just spit it out when you're done. This can truly help improve the health of your mouth by helping prevent tooth decay and whitening your teeth. Of course, this is no substitute for brushing your teeth, so be sure to use it alongside brushing your teeth for the healthiest results.
Every once and a while, food gets stuck in your teeth and can be a really pest. While flossing is good, it's not always accessible. When you're out and about, reaching for a toothpick is a great option. But don't just reach for any toothpick: Try Daneson toothpicks in Mint N°9 (also available in ginger honey, lemon, bourbon, etc.). These toothpicks are not wrapped in single use plastic and are made from sustainably harvested American Milled Northern White Birch. The most unique thing about these toothpicks is they'll actually help freshen your breath too. Their mint toothpicks utilize a propriety blend of wintergreen, peppermint, spearmint and sweet fennel essential oils that leave your mouth fresher after each use. Daneson's toothpicks come in an easy to carry travel case with a lid. You can just stash them in your bag or car and pull one out as needed. Of course, after your done, you can compost the toothpick as well. These are so much better for the environment and your health than conventional toothpicks!
What are your favorite holistic oral care products?
Ariana Palmieri is a green beauty blogger and guest contributor at Petal & Post who strives to live as eco-friendly as possible. In 2015 she started her blog, Greenify-Me, to document her own journey with eco-friendly products, makeup, and the environment. The site features beauty product reviews, natural DIYs, healthy recipes, and more. Her work has also been featured on MindBodyGreen, Motivation Grid, The Penny Hoarder, Antonym Cosmetics, Plant Makeup, Jeannine Morris, Basmati, Beezy Beez, and National Viral.