Over time, my oral hygiene habits have changed quite a bit. Here's how I take care of my teeth eco-style now:
Eco-Dent’s GentleFloss. This plastic-free, vegan, recyclable and biodegradable dental floss comes in a recyclable paper package printed with soy ink. Cost: $5.49 for 100 yards at Co-opportunity — A per-yard price that’s comparable to “regular” dental floss.
How does the eco-dental floss feel and work? Like dental floss, minus the artificial flavors if you’re used to getting the uber-synthetic stuff.
Tom’s of Maine Natural Whole Care Toothpaste — Spearmint. This stuff works great and feels refreshing — and apparently provides “anticavity & tartar control plus whitening.” I stock up on multiple tubes whenever they go on sale at the Co-op.
Yes, I know Tom’s of Maine got bought up by Colgate. We do indeed live in strange times, when some of the most effective eco-products on the market are owned by big bad corporations we avoided for years.
And yes, I know not all Tom’s of Maine toothpastes are satisfactory. I hate the fennel flavor, for example, which I bought by accident once. Katharine Wroth of Grist isn’t a fan of the cinnamon-clove flavor, which she bought on purpose for reasons I don’t quite understand. I’m also not a fan of the sodium lauryl sulfate-free option, because the stuff just isn’t as refreshing as the SLS-containing options. I’d also like to point out that despite its bad rep among green circles, Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database gives SLS a “low hazard” score of 2.
Ekotec toothbrush. I love this toothbrush for two reasons. One: Since I can buy replaceable heads for this toothbrush, it’s quite eco! Two: At $4.95 for a brush with two replacement heads, this toothbrush is a great bargain. You can buy just the refill heads too, making your toothbrush handle last a really really long time.
The toothbrush is well-crafted. No, the heads don’t pop off mid-brush. In fact, they’re a bit challenging to pop off when you want to replace them. The new heads click on easily though.
Be good to your teeth.