I have previously shared some of my fav diy beauty stars here and I am still loving them! The coffee scrub is great for an AM pick me up and I have pretty much perfected my lotion to a creamy consistency and blend of essential oils to delight the senses.
I have since turned my eco gaze to my dental care routine, trying to find things that support my dental health but also that have a minimal impact on the environment.
The easiest and least controversial switch out from plastic products is to switch to a bamboo toothbrush. Most brands have a biodegradable/compostable bamboo handle and some sort of nylon (although sometimes plastic) bristles, that you should remove before planting your handle in the compost bin. I found a brand that I really like and that doesn’t break the bank, so I will keep brushing with f.e.t.e. (added bonus – they come packaged in a totally recyclable cardboard box, so there isn’t even any plastic in the packaging!).
While zero-wasters often advocate using a silk thread for floss, my tightly-spaced teeth are very particular to the floss they will and will not accept.
Since I have found a brand that works for my teeth, I am sticking too it, so I am generating some dental floss waste every month, but I am able to clean the pesky spaces between my teeth, so I will keep on keeping on with my plastic floss. Zero-waste(ish). Let me know if you try this!
At the front line of my enamel wars, I have a few weapons at my disposal. My habit of clenching while I sleep has seriously eroded my enamel (fun fact!) and even though now I have a super sexy mouth guard, I didn’t catch it in time to prevent my enamel from thinning a lot. So, while I use a fluoride rinse and the aforementioned mouthguard, I still found that my teeth were very sensitive to hot/cold food and drinks.
Trying to figure out how I could slow the descruction of my enamel, I started reading about abrasiveness of toothpaste, and was rather shocked to discover that even the most “gentle” toothpastes have high Relative Dentine Abrasiveness scores (a scale that runs from 0-200). Anything with a score above 70 is considered “abrasive”. Turns out baking soda rings in at a mere 7, where most commercial toothpastes clock in at 20 or much more! My standby Sensodyne was at 79, and Colgate 2-in-1 tartar control/whitening is at the recommended limit of 200, with Crest Pro Health not far behind at an astonishing 189.
So with a little bit of searching, I found some baking soda-based recipes for toothpaste and nearly a year ago, I made the switch to homemade toothpaste (pausing to test out the Lush toothy tabs, which I think are amazing for travel, but kinda expensive for every day use. They also changed their packaging from cardboard to plastic, but that is an aside).
The toothpaste I make is super simple and I have been really happy with how clean my teeth feel. I have even noticed a reduction in sensitivity and did not receive any concerned comments last time I went in for a cleaning at the dental hygienist.
Definitely not-rocket-science recipe:
- 4 tbsp baking soda
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
- Optional: a few drops of peppermint essential oil.
I am not exact with these proportions, just approximately add these quantities to my little jar, and just stir it up. It is vaguely the consistency of a paste, although sometimes the water and baking soda separate a bit and it needs a little extra stir.
Also, while I did add the peppermint oil in my first few batches, once I got used to the baking soda taste, I have stopped adding it.
Saving the one that may gross people out the most for last. I am a rather recent convert to the world of tongue scraping. I had shied away from it for a long time because of the ick factor, but I am a total convert now. Posts like this were pretty convincing in advocating some of the benefits of tongue scraping (like removing the bacteria that causes bad breath, improving general oral health, and even improving your sense of taste). I got a super simple, inexpensive version from amazon (of course) and I am delighted.