The Eco-Dentistry Association is the brainchild of Dr. Fred Pockrass, a dentist, and his lawyer turned entrepreneur wife, Ina Pockrass. Six years ago, the couple created the model for eco-friendly dentistry, and today operates their own green-certified dental practice in Berkeley, California. They created EDA to help the dental industry start introducing more environmentally-sound practices. Here are the tips they recommend.
1. Choose Clean Green Tooth Care Products
Your home care routine (brushing, flossing, rinsing), works in conjunction with a professional teeth cleaning program to manage bacteria levels in your mouth. But certain brands of products contain chemicals that can upset the oral pH balance and lead to canker sores or other problems. Pick a paste that doesn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate, and make sure your mouth rinse is alcohol-free.
2. Turn off the Tap!
Did you know the average person wastes approximately 90 glasses of water every day by leaving the tap running while they brush their teeth? That 27 billion glasses of clean, drinkable water down the drain every day just brushing our teeth!
Find a Enviro Dentist
Dentistry is a healing profession. It’s important to have a satisfying relationship with your dental wellness team, and to know they share your values for wellness of people and planet. Search for an EDA dental professional in your area that incorporates eco-friendly practices.
Green Your Dentist
If you’ve got a dentist you love, but don’t love all the plastic and paper waste you see in the practice, visit Green My Dentist. You can print a letter to your dentist with compelling reasons to incorporate simple, cost-saving green methods into their business.
Paper & Plastic? Neither
Ask your dentist to use cloth products such as patient bibs rather than paper or plastic. Studies show that using cloth sterilization methods diverts nearly 5000 pieces of paper and 5000 pieces of plastic from the average dental practice in just one year. Using fabric patient "bibs" instead of 2-ply paper, 1-ply plastic bibs diverts 10,200 pieces of paper and 5,100 pieces of plastic from landfill annually.
Ask your dental office if they offer digital x-rays. Digital x-rays offer have 75-90% less radiation than the traditional ones while eliminating the need for toxic x-ray fixer solutions and lead foils.
Many dentists go the extra mile to protect the health of people and planet. Find out if your dentist offers these earth-friendly options:
- amalgam separators keep toxic dental materials from entering the water stream (they aren’t required in all provinces)
- digital radiography replaces the outdated traditional x-rays, decreasing patient exposure to radiation, and eliminating waste and pollution.
Find more ways that hi-tech and green dentistry are helping both people and planet, and ask your dental practitioner about them.
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