Turns out that one of the… erm… interesting dental side effects of wearing a mask out-and-about is a far greater insight into… ahem… breath smells. We’re definitely giving the garlicky lunches a miss at the moment!
Inspired by the need for day-long freshness, our recent adoption of bamboo toothbrushes and this month’s plastic reduction theme, we decided it was time to look into zero waste and biodegradable alternatives to standard dental hygiene products and packaging.
Our criteria? Treatments backed up by dental science, 100% plastic-free and less than a fiver…
>> Plastic-free dental floss (£4.95 for a refillable starter kit)
We’ve finally trained ourselves to never, ever flush dental floss down the toilet, where it can tangle up sewer workings and get enmeshed in vast fatbergs.
But while we continue to obey our dentists on the daily flossing, we’ve always felt uneasy about the knots of non-biodegradable plastic fibre chucked into the bathroom bin each day.
Fortunately for our consciences, Kaiapuni have created a biodegradable dental floss that’s full of minty flavour and clinically effective. It even comes packaged in a neat refillable tin.
>> Plastic-free fluoride toothpaste tabs (£4.25 for 30 tabs)
These white toothpaste tablets might look vaguely sinister, but they’re definitely on the side of good!
The tabs are made from the same ingredients as standard 1450ppm fluoride toothpaste, minus unnecessary fillers and chemicals, dehydrated into a shelf-stable tablet form. All the good stuff that helps prevent tooth decay and none of the bad stuff, with the added benefit of 100% biodegradable packaging.
To get them working their magic on your pearly-whites, pop a tablet into your mouth, chew for a few seconds until it forms a paste, then brush and rinse as usual.
>> Plastic-free chewing gum (£3.49 per box)
Peppersmith chewing gum is smart on the outside with its tamper-proof, recyclable, non-plastic packaging. It’s also smart on the inside with natural flavourings and tooth-friendly ingredients.
Dentists actively recommend plant-based xylitol, one of the key ingredients, since it slows bacterial growth and helps prevent acid attacks on tooth enamel.
Eucalyptus oil, Hampshire-grown peppermint and menthol combine for powerfully fresh breath. Essential if you’re spending extended periods of time behind your mask!
>> Copper tongue scraper (£4.50)
In case you’re thinking we’ve gone a bit ‘woo’, don’t worry! We’re sticking firmly to the science.
Tongue scraping is proven to remove 75% of the sulphurous compounds that cause stale breath. Brushing your tongue with a toothbrush only takes care of less than half of that amount!
Of course, that does mean that brushing your tongue is still far better than doing nothing. So if you’re feeling pretty fresh after trying out some of the products above, you may be content to stick with that.
How are you adjusting to mask-wearing? Have you, like us, been more aware of your dental hygiene? Are you keen to try a plastic-free toothcare routine? Share your thoughts with the Greenredeem team on Facebook and Twitter.