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To be a real SustainaBuddy, it’s important to consider the way your dental hygiene products and their disposal have an effect on the environment. The good news? You’ll never have to sacrifice proper care of your teeth to reduce the impact of your daily routine.

Conserving Water While Brushing

Believe it or not, using home faucets for any form of personal hygiene including but not limited to brushing your teeth takes up nearly 12 percent of the house’s supply. Using less water reduces your monthly bill and helps conserve fresh water.

Between wetting the brush and rinsing your mouth, simply turning off the tap is one of the easiest and most effective ways to save water. It has been calculated by the University of Illinois that shutting off the tap instead of allowing it to run continuously saves a family up to 10 gallons of water every single day.

Another cost effective method to conserve includes the use of a faucet aerator. This tool produces small air bubbles into the flow of water such that less is used overall when brushing one’s teeth. For best results, it has been recommended to use aerators whose listed flow rate is less than or equal to 1 gallon per minute (gpm) as standard faucets typically use 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm) or higher. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, aerators can reduce daily water consumption by as much as 60 percent.

Rather than fill your hands to rinse after brushing, it helps to use a cup in substitution. The former wastes water because tap easily seeps through. Therefore, fill the cup with water and use only what’s inside to rinse. Experiment with various levels until you fill the cup with just enough to rinse your mouth.

Greater pressure from the sink faucet results in more, often wasteful amounts, of water to come out. Reduction of the water pressure through use of a valve from 100 pounds per square inch (PSI) down to 50 PSI cuts down use by nearly 33%. In a similar way to other previously mentioned strategies, this significantly brings down the monthly bill.

Why You Should Avoid Fluoride

Although fluoride is a mineral that composes the human body’s bones and teeth, it is also naturally found in water, soil, plants, rocks, and air. In dentistry, fluoride is typically used to strengthen the outer layer of the teeth known as enamel. In small amounts, it is also added in United States public water supplies as well as several other countries.

Unfortunately, it’s better to avoid this in your toothpaste as it is responsible for many unwanted side effects that can negatively impact your health. Too much consumption leads to the opposite of white teeth. In fact, your teeth can turn from yellow to even dark brown.

A high intake of water that has undergone fluoridation can severely weaken the enamel. This primarily affects children who are still in the stages of developing their teeth.

Consumption of too much fluoride heavily impacts teeth and damages the skeletal system. Patients suffering from the disease known as endemic skeletal fluorosis struggle with many problems including weak joins that have higher risk of fracture.

Benefits Of Drinking Straws

It may seem obvious that certain drinks people consume are worse or better for one’s teeth than others. For instance, sweet or acidic beverages are often far more harmful to teeth in terms of eroding the layer of the enamel and creating cavities. Yet, how one consumes a beverage poses a great impact on oral health too.

Drinking any beverage through a straw means the liquid has less contact with the teeth and is much better for oral health in general then sipping from a cup.

Acidic drinks like lemonade and alcohol, for instance, are highly prone to wearing down the enamel layer of teeth due to increased power of hydrogen (pH). This leads to sensitivity and a bigger risk for oral-related issues.

However, when consuming through a straw, the beverage has less of an opportunity to make contact with the teeth. Consequently, this reduces risk of sensitivity and deterioration of the enamel.

Sugary beverages leave nasty residue on and in between teeth, leading to the potential formation of cavities. Drinking through a straw helps to prevent this from happening. Furthermore, other drinks that are known to stain like tea and coffee, stay out of direct contact when consumed through a straw. This eliminates discoloration.

Mastering Eco-friendly Oral Hygiene

Due to the lack of recyclability for plastic toothbrushes encased in blister packs, many dentists have begun recommending ones made out of bamboo, an easily compostable material.

Still, the most important consideration is with respect to the bristles. When using a manual brush, stiff bristles are known to cause enamel damage as well as recession and trauma to gums.

It is simple to maintain dental health without the use of fluoride while still paying attention to the other critical aspects like neutral saliva pH, flossing, and water consumption.

For toothpaste, try to purchase eco-friendly brands like Bite and David’s known for implementing xylitol as a key ingredient into the formulation of their products. Xylitol is particularly popular for its antibacterial properties.