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  • Writer's pictureEmily Burton

Four ways to switch towards a more sustainable dental routine

Updated: Jun 3, 2021

You may have already considered more sustainable options with the food you eat or the clothes you wear, but have you ever thought about oral hygiene? The average person gets through 300 plastic toothbrushes in a lifetime. This means billions end up in landfill every year, not to mention the toxic chemicals used in most conventional dental products. The good news is that there is a world of eco-friendly alternatives, from toothpaste to dental floss, so we can all begin to make better bathroom choices.

1. Bamboo Toothbrushes

Regular toothbrushes are made from polypropylene plastic and nylon bristles, which are both sourced from non-renewable fossil fuels. After use, they often end up in the oceans, causing harmful plastic pollution. You can easily avoid this by choosing a biodegradable toothbrush, often made from bamboo.

Why bamboo?

  • Bamboo is technically a grass, so it regrows after harvesting. In fact, it’s the fastest growing plant in the world! It is a sustainable alternative to wood as it means no trees have to be cut down.

  • It’s really strong and durable, guaranteed to last much longer than your regular plastic toothbrush.

  • Dentists recommend we all change our toothbrushes every few months. At the end of its life, you can easily compost the bamboo handle. Or, you could reuse it as a stake in the garden! Here are some more ways to reuse your toothbrush.

What we stock

  • At The Refill Pantry, we sell Green & Mango’s medium toothbrushes in 4 colours for adults and kids, as well as firm and soft options for adult toothbrushes, by Georganics.

  • We also stock recyclable toothbrush heads by Live Coco, compatible with Oral B electric toothbrushes, enabling you to make more sustainable choices with electric brushing.

2. Toothpaste and Tooth Tablets

What’s the problem with commercial toothpastes?

  • They contain chemicals and additives designed to make your mouth tingle after brushing, or produce a foamy effect.

  • They are packaged in plastic which is usually impossible to recycle. One billion plastic toothpaste tubes are thrown out every year, causing also a major impact on the planet and on our health.

  • They also contain microplastics, which are tiny plastic particles (smaller than 5mm), hardly visible to the naked eye. These end up in oceans and work their way up the food chain, meaning even humans are now ingesting microplastics in the air we breathe and the food we eat, which can have dangerous health consequences.

  • The majority are tested on animals, such as major brands Colgate, Sensodyne, and Aquafresh.

What we stock

  • Natural toothpastes like Truthpaste and Georganics, both fluoride free, use antibacterial ingredients found in nature, such as aloe vera, cinnamon, and peppermint, so you can avoid putting harmful chemicals into your mouth.

  • Our Ben and Anna orange toothpaste is a great option if you prefer toothpaste with fluoride.

  • Toothpaste tablets are also a great zero waste option and perfect for travel, such as the UK-based PARLA who’s products have been designed by dentists and contain fluoride. They dissolve in your mouth to create a paste, and leave you with the same fresh aftertaste as conventional toothpastes.

3. Plastic-free dental floss

What’s the problem with dental floss?

  • Most dental flosses found in supermarkets are made from nylon which is sourced through fossil fuels. Every strand of traditional dental floss takes 50 to 80 years to decompose.

  • Luckily, brands have come up with a range of eco-friendly alternatives, made from bamboo, cornstarch or even activated charcoal.

What we stock

  • Non Plastic Beach biodegradable Silk Dental Floss and Floss Refills, now in stock at The Refill Pantry.

4. Eco-Friendly mouthwash

What’s the problem with mouth wash?

  • Apart from using large amounts of plastic packaging, conventional mouthwashes, they also contain sweeteners and hazardous chemicals such as formaldehyde and chlorine dioxide, designed to kill bacteria or whiten teeth.

What we stock

  • Make the final change to your oral care routine with natural, plastic-free mouthwash tablets. Not only will these save you huge amounts of packaging, but they contain just a few natural, non-toxic ingredients. At The Refill Pantry, we stock fluoride-free Georganics mouthwash tablets. Just dissolve one tablet in 10ml of water, gargle for at least 30 seconds and spit out without rinsing.

  • We also stock Georganics oil pulling mouthwash.

What is oil pulling?

· Oil pulling is an ancient Indian Ayurvedic technique that involves swilling oil around the mouth for 15-20 minutes to remove toxins and fully cleanse the mouth. · Coconut oil is the most commonly recommended for its anti-microbial properties · It’s a natural, sustainable and effective way to maintain your oral hygiene!

All our products are cruelty-free, and come in zero-waste packaging (recyclable glass and cardboard)

Make the transition towards more natural, sustainable dental products and you’ll be doing a favour to both your body and the planet 😊 The Refill Pantry 26 London Road St Albans AL1 1NG The Refill Pantry Carpenter’s Farm Shop 106 St Albans Road AL4 9LJ


· Toothpaste Small/Large

- Peppermint - Spearmint · Firm Toothbrush

· Soft Toothbrush · Kids Toothbrush · Oil Pulling Mouthwash Spearmint · Tooth Tablets Spearmint 120 · Mouthwash Tablets Peppermint 180 Green & Mango

Medium Toothbrush · Pink/Purple/Green Kids Toothbrush · Pink/Blue/Green The Humble Co Bamboo Interdental Sticks · 0.4 (pink) · 0.5 (red) · 0.6 (blue) · 0.7 (yellow) Truthpaste

Large · Fennel · Peppermint Denttabs (With Fluoride) Parla UK-made Toothtablets (62) Ben & Anna Orange toothpaste With Fluoride Charcoal Toothpaste4 Live Coco Oral B-compatible recyclable toothbrush heads twin pack

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