You brush your teeth every day, right? Probably (hopefully) twice a day – dentist’s orders and all. But if you’re one of the many Australians still brushing dutifully with a plastic, manual toothbrush, it might time to switch things up. Why? Well, have you ever thought about what actually happens to those little plaque scrubbers when you toss them out every few months? Oh. Now I’ve got you thinking.
Okay, so, here are some eye-watering stats (bear with me). Thirty million toothbrushes are thrown into landfill every year in Australia. Thirty. Million. And you know what’s worse? It will take a staggering 400 years for those pesky little plastic brushes to biodegrade. It’s not just toothbrushes, either. A tube of toothpaste takes close to 500 years to break down. That means the first one you ever used is still out there.
Yep. They certainly don’t tell you this at your six-monthly dental check-up.
So, what does that mean for you, an eco-conscious, plastic warrior trying to reduce how much waste you put into the world? Does it mean you should ditch your oral hygiene routine completely and start brushing your teeth with warm water? No way! Also, gross.
There are actually a few simple swaps you can make to ensure your personal care routine ticks all the green boxes. A few little changes like this will make a big impact on the planet – but will still keep your pearly whites sparkling. Here are our top tips!
Instead, look for products made from natural materials like bamboo or corn starch. They’ll protect your gums and protect the environment at the same time!
Not sure what to look out for? Give these babies a go:
Made from sustainable non-GMO corn starch, the handle is 100% biodegradable, and the charcoal works to keep bacteria at bay. Bonus!
Designed ergonomically with natural non-slip grip, the Bamkiki toothbrush is made from 100% biodegradable bamboo. The bristles come in six funky shades but promise optimum cleaning!
The Keeko toothbrush has a recyclable head (the bristles bit) and a compostable handle. She might be eco-friendly, but she’s also cute to boot and will look pretty as a picture perched on your vanity.
Does the job, but in biodegradable packaging. High five! Here are two varieties to check out.
Rocc promises you a Hollywood smile – naturally. It’s hard to go past that. The tube will breakdown in your compost or green waste bin and it’s completely vegan, too.
TGC have totally reinvented toothpaste. Completely sustainable and plastic free, these little toothpaste tabs might sound a bit kooky, but you’ll be hooked at first bite!
Traditional dental floss is made from nylon, a non-biodegradable material – which ain’t good. Not only does it clog landfill, but it’s also easily swept into the ocean, harming our marine friends. Luckily a range of eco-friendly floss is making its way on to the market.
Be sure to try them out!
Vegan-friendly and plant-based, this floss is made from a renewable bio-plastic so it’s biodegradable (but not compostable – so don’t throw into your home compost bin).
These picks are made from biodegradable corn starch and have an easy-glide floss thread to help get to those hard-to-reach places. Niiice.
Just like the Grin picks, the Picksters variety has a biodegradable corn starch handle. They’re also infused with activated charcoal – and the best bit? You’ll find them in pretty much every major supermarket across the country. Win!
After some more ways to keep your teeth gleaming? Check out these five surprisingly simple tweaks.