How Green is Your Dentist?

Who doesn't hate going to the dentist? You can now do your part to protect your smile and the planet by choosing a green dentist. The Eco Dentistry Association offers guidelines and certification programs to help dentists and their patients go green.
Standard dental processes produce waste and pollution. According to the Eco Dentistry Association, the dental industry could prevent 1.7 instrument sterilization pouches from entering landfills if they switched to non-toxic, reusable disinfection methods. There are just a few of the traditional dental processes that contribute to the majority of the waste produced in a typical dentist's office. The wasteful practices include disposable items to minimize infection, sterilization technique, mercury waste, conventional x-ray systems and traditional vacuum systems. Changing the approach to the way dentists handle these items can help put their clinic on the green dentistry path.

What is a Green Dentist?

Green dentistry reduces waste and saves water, energy and money when compared to conventional dental practices. A green dentist office utilizes digital imaging, no-VOC paints, cloth lab coats, head rest and tray covers made of cloth and green paperless office practices. A green dentist uses technology to communicate with customers digitally instead of traditional direct mail. Patient giveaways utilize recycled items such as toothbrushes made from recycled plastics. The Eco Dentistry Association provides tips to help dentists make their office green as well as advice on ways patients can help encourage their family dentist to go green.

Where to Find Green Dentists?

The Eco Dentistry Association features a listing of green dentists on their website. Individuals can search by state, city or zip code.

How You Can Lessen Your Dental Hygiene Impact

In addition to providing certification and guidelines to green dentists, the Eco Dentistry Association also encourages individuals to take part in their "Save 90 A Day" campaign. The campaign encourages you to turn off the tap water when brushing your teeth. This effort alone can save 90 glasses of clean, drinkable water a day. If every U.S. citizen embraced this simple campaign, the Eco Dentistry Association estimates 27 billion gallons of water could be saved each day.

You can also make your own personal dental hygiene more green by using toothbrushes made from recycled materials. Some toothbrushes can be recycled after use as well. Check with your local recycling center for details.

Source:

Eco Dentistry Association Website, http://www.ecodentistry.org

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