eco friendly dental products

How to Choose Eco-Friendly Dental Care Products

One easy way you can minimize your environmental impact is by choosing eco-friendly dental products. There are many plastic-free and natural options for toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental floss. However, just because something is good for the environment doesn’t mean it’s good for your teeth. 

At Sunrise Dental, we want to help you develop a sustainable oral hygiene routine that won’t negatively impact your beautiful smile. Read on to learn how to choose the best zero-waste dental products to protect your teeth and gums. 

How to Choose Safe and Effective Eco-Friendly Dental Care Products 


A worn-out toothbrush is less effective, and puts your oral health at risk. It’s important to replace your toothbrush once every three months, or sooner if it is showing signs of wear. However, plastic toothbrushes can’t go in the recycling bin—around one billion toothbrushes are thrown away each year in the United States. 

While there are some recycling programs created specifically for toothbrushes, a simpler solution is to look for sustainable, plastic-free toothbrushes. 

The best plastic-free alternatives that are still good for your teeth are bamboo toothbrushes. Bamboo is a sustainable material because it grows very quickly. The bamboo handle (if used in its raw form) is also biodegradable and can be composted, as long as the bristles are removed.

When choosing a bamboo toothbrush, make sure to look for one with soft bristles. Softer bristles remove plaque from your teeth and gums without wearing down your protective enamel. 

Always avoid eco-friendly dental products that contain activated charcoal, especially if you have crowns, veneers, or bonding. Some toothbrushes have charcoal bristles and some kinds of toothpaste are also made with charcoal as an ingredient. However, activated charcoal is very abrasive and can quickly erode your enamel or dental restorations, leading to cavities and tooth sensitivity. 


The next dental product you can swap for a natural option is toothpaste. To find the right toothpaste to protect your teeth effectively, look for one that contains fluoride, xylitol, and/or calcium phosphate. 

  • Fluoride naturally strengthens your enamel to help your teeth fight off tooth decay and gum disease. 
  • Calcium phosphate also helps remineralize and strengthen tooth enamel. 
  • Xylitol is a natural, plant-based sweetener that actually prevents cavities by reducing bacterial growth. Although it’s perfectly safe for people, xylitol can be deadly to pets so, always keep toothpaste out of your pet’s reach.  

When in doubt, look for the ADA seal of acceptance. Toothpaste and other eco-friendly dental products with this seal have proven to be safe and effective at preserving good oral health. 

Dental Floss

Gently flossing between your teeth every day is essential for healthy teeth and gums. Flossing removes the bacteria that your toothbrush can’t reach, reducing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. However, most string floss is not biodegradable. Look for natural floss alternatives like silk or bamboo, which are just as effective at cleaning your teeth and also 100% biodegradable. 


Mouthwash is another good addition to your oral hygiene routine. Although it’s a great way to get fresh breath in a pinch, it should never replace brushing or flossing. If you’d like a natural option for freshening your breath, look for a rinse with fluoride and xylitol. Avoid mouth rinses that contain alcohol—they can dry out your mouth, which leads to increased bacteria growth and cavities. 

Family Dentist in Peoria

Biannual professional dental cleanings combined with effective, eco-friendly dental products can help prevent severe dental complications. At Sunrise Dental, we provide gentle dental cleanings to help you maintain a clean, healthy smile. If you’re interested in switching to new natural, eco-friendly dental products, but are worried about their effectiveness, feel free to discuss them with us at your next visit. Call 623-487-4870 today to schedule an appointment. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (7/20/2022). Image by Monfocus from Pixabay