Ethical Oral Hygiene

Ethical Oral Hygiene

Keeping teeth clean with less plastic, and fewer toxins.

When you begin to review all the opportunities for ethical practices in your daily life it becomes clear that they abound – even with the way we care for our pets. It’s not anyone’s fault that harmful materials and processes are built into almost all areas of our lives like it’s no big deal.

But once we open our eyes to it, it’s hard not to realise how many ways we can make simple changes.

Oral health is a massive part of personal care. Naturally, we would seek to avoid the need for drastic measures and the need to consider the cost of dental implants so we seek to prevent them with solid habits, morning and evening, of caring for our teeth.

Some areas that can be improved or eliminated in order to ‘ethicalise’ our habits when it comes to oral health are below.

Toothpaste tubes

Toothpaste, today, isn’t a big environmental hazard. The packaging it comes in, however, is. Each year, around one billion toothpaste tubes end up in landfill. Many of these tubes are also packaged in boxes, which only adds to the waste.

Unfortunately, the common toothpaste tube is hard to recycle. This is because the tubes are made with plastic and aluminium.

This is an obvious problem. So how can we change our behaviour so we don’t contribute to the one billion discarded toothpaste tubes?

You could switch to dry toothpaste.

This is a powder that you mix with water at home to make toothpaste. Often, these powders are sold in glass jars or tins, both of which are recyclable. Less packaging is used, and when it’s used up, you can recycle it or top it up with a DIY recipe from someone like Krissy Ballinger.


The traditional dental floss you’ll come across is made of nylon and comes in plastic packaging—two big problems.

On the market today, you’ll come across a few different options to replace your floss with more eco-friendly alternatives.

You can find flosses made of silk coated with plant or natural beeswax. There is also the option of a water flosser, which won’t use discardable plastics. Water flossers are shown to remove just as much (if not more) plaque than traditional floss.  


Toothbrushes themselves can be damaging to the environment. Typically made of plastic, toothbrushes are discarded and sent to landfill by the thousands.

Luckily, there are plenty of affordable alternatives available. For example, you can get bamboo toothbrushes, which involve less destructive processes to make, and are more biodegradable when you are finished with them.


While most mouthwash containers are recyclable, they still use harmful processes to make. To avoid this, you can make your mouthwashes at home. There are plenty of good recipes online. For example, you can create a herb mouthwash or even simply a mouthwash made of salt and baking soda.

Each step you take to change your life changes the planet. So keep looking into different areas of your life and ask yourself: how can I make this better for the earth?

Or take a look at the Ethical Directory here on this site.

alena turley | creator, educator, martial artist
alena turley | creator, educator, martial artist

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