4 Eco-Friendly Dental Products for a Sustainable Oral Hygiene Routine

bamboo toothbrushes in a jar

4 Eco-Friendly Dental Products for a Sustainable Oral Hygiene Routine

Did you know that plastic can take hundreds of years to decompose? A lot of the plastic that ends up in landfills includes toothbrushes, floss containers, toothpaste tubes, and mouthwash bottles. 

Luckily, there are a lot of zero-waste dental products out there that can help you reduce your carbon footprint. But when you’re looking for eco-friendly dental products, you need to make sure that they will still be able to combat tooth decay and gum disease effectively. 

Four Eco-Friendly Dental Products That Reduce Waste

1: Bamboo Toothbrushes

Toothbrushes need to be replaced every three to four months, because they lose their shape and become less effective. Having such a short lifespan leads to one billion plastic toothbrushes being thrown away each year in the United States alone. 

One way you can reduce plastic waste in your dental routine is by switching to a bamboo toothbrush, particularly one that comes in biodegradable packaging. Just make sure to choose a bamboo brush with soft bristles to prevent enamel erosion and gum irritation. 

2: Biodegradable Floss

Most dental string floss is made from nylon (a type of plastic) and it typically comes in plastic containers. There are also many types of floss picks with plastic handles. Considering that everyone needs to floss at least once every day, that’s a lot of plastic piling up in landfills. 

But there are two biodegradable alternatives to nylon string floss: silk and bamboo. You can often find silk or bamboo dental floss in refillable containers or biodegradable packaging. And if you prefer floss picks, look for ones that have biodegradable or reusable handles to cut down on waste. 

3: Recyclable or Plastic-Free Toothpaste Packaging

Did you know that 1.5 billion tubes of toothpaste are thrown away every year around the world? Some people try to reduce waste by using homemade toothpaste, but it typically isn’t as effective as commercial toothpaste because it doesn’t contain fluoride. Homemade toothpaste might also contain ingredients that are too abrasive for your teeth. 

You can minimize plastic waste by switching to toothpaste tablets that come in plastic-free packaging. You simply chew the tablet until it turns into a paste, then wet your toothbrush and brush your teeth. And many eco-conscious companies are beginning to make toothpaste tubes out of recycled plastic or recyclable aluminum.

No matter which type of eco-friendly toothpaste you choose, it’s essential that it contains fluoride to strengthen your tooth enamel. 

4: Natural Mouthwash Ingredients

Mouthwash usually comes in a plastic bottle, but there are many plastic-free alternatives. Like toothpaste tablets, there are also mouthwash tablets that come in biodegradable or recyclable packaging. 

There are also some brands of mouthwash that come in aluminum or glass bottles, although they often have plastic caps. Instead, you can make your own natural, homemade mouthwash and store it in a reusable bottle. 

Just make sure to choose or make an alcohol-free mouthwash so you can prevent dry mouth, a condition that reduces saliva flow and makes your mouth a breeding ground for bacteria. 

Other Ways to Make Your Oral Hygiene Routine More Sustainable

Changing out your dental products for more eco-friendly alternatives isn’t the only way to reduce your carbon footprint when you brush your teeth. Here are a few more tips to keep your oral routine green. 

Use Less Water

A lot of water gets wasted if you leave the faucet running while brushing your teeth. After you wet your toothbrush, remember to turn off the faucet until you’re ready to rinse your brush. You also don’t need to rinse your mouth after brushing your teeth, so there’s no need to fill a water glass. Rinsing immediately after brushing makes fluoride toothpaste less effective by washing it away. If you feel like you need to rinse, use a fluoride mouthwash instead.


The companies Oral-B and Colgate both have recycling programs that collect several types of used dental care products. So whether you’re in the process of ditching your old products or can’t find a good alternative, you can still keep some of that plastic out of landfills. 

Holistic Dentist in Prescott, Arizona

No matter what type of dental products you use, you still need to visit the dentist at least twice a year for checkups. At Prescott Dentistry, we offer a variety of holistic preventative dental services to keep your mouth healthy. We can advise you on the healthiest, most sustainable products for your lifestyle. Call us at 928-445-1660 today to schedule an appointment. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/20/2023). Photo by The Humble Co. on Unsplash