You have probably heard the phrase “going green,” but have you heard it concerning your oral hygiene routine? Many facets of dentistry involve disposables due to patient safety, however, there are still plenty of ways our office goes green. This Earth Day we are celebrating various ways our offices “Go Green” plus suggestions on how you can go green at home!
Quick Fact: The EPA reports, “The total generation of municipal solid waste (MSW) in 2018 was 292.4 million tons (U.S.short tons, unless specified) or 4.9 pounds per person per day.”
How is Commonwealth Dentistry Going Green?
- Paperless patient charts and Check-in: Paperless charts and check in help reduce our physical waste, plus they help keep everything organized.
- Digital Radiographs/X-rays: Unlike traditional X-rays, these don’t require any chemicals to produce and because it is all digital there is no extra waste to dispose of.
- Amalgam separator: Amalgam is a mixture of metals used to create fillings. The use of an Amalgam separator allows for the removal of amalgam particles from the wastewater to reduce the amount of amalgam entering the sewage system.
- Central vacuum that uses no water and has amalgam traps
- Text and Email: Appointment reminders are sent by text or email
- Programmable Thermostats: This allows to adjust the temperatures based on office usage. There is no need to cool the office the same as during busy daytime hours and nighttime hours.
- Paper Waste: Reduced number of printers in each office and print double sided when possible
How can you Go Green in your Oral Hygiene Routine?
In the past we discussed ways to maintain our oral health at home, but what about the health of our planet? We can all make small changes to make sure the Earth stays green by improving our oral hygiene routine. Here are a few you can try at home:
- Turn off the Water. Conserve water by turning off the sink when brushing. Model this behavior for children as well.
- Brush Gently. The harder you brush the sooner your toothbrush will need to be replaced, creating unnecessary waste.
- Prevention is Key. Take care of your oral health by brushing, flossing, and using a mouth rinse. This will not only pay off monetarily but will also reduce the amount of waste produced from dental procedures.
- Green Toothbrushes and Toothpaste. There are a variety of brands that make toothbrushes made of 100% plant materials. Instead of spending years in a landfill like plastic toothbrushes these a completely compostable. Natural toothbrush breaks down easier, making it easier on our waterways.
- Repurpose. Old toothbrushes are great for cleaning more than just your teeth. Before you throw out your toothbrush consider using it to deep clean the nooks and crannies of your house.
The Importance of Going Green in Your Oral Hygiene Routine
It is up to us to make sure that the Earth is here for years to come, by making simple changes to our everyday oral hygiene routine jointly, we make a big impact. Consider making a few of the changes above to ensure our beautiful planet stays so for years to come.