Wednesday, April 2, 2008

#199 - Brusha Brusha Brusha

Choosing a Greener Toothbrush

Brush your teeth. Round and round.
Circle small, gums and all.
A small, soft toothbrush the round-and-round way, will keep your gums healthy and stop tooth decay.
So brush very carefully three times a day.
Go round and round. Round and round.

OK, those of you between the ages of, I'd guess 30 - 40, are all singing along and reminiscing about Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Greenjeans. The rest of you, however, are starting to wonder if I'm off my freakin' rocker. The good news? You're all correct. There are no wrong answers here.
Today's post, if you haven't guessed already, is about brushing my teeth. Which, btw, I only do twice a day and I do the up-and-down thing, not the circle small. Does that make me a bad person? No. What does make me a bad person is the fact that, for the past five years or so, I've been using an electric toothbrush. Yes, apparently Burbanmom is too lazy to move her wrist up and down for four minutes a day. Well look out Richard Simmons because from now on, that's going to be my new exercise regimen.

Yes, last week my electric toothbrush finally kicked the bucket. I replaced it with a new eco-friendly alternative - the Preserve Toothbrush. According to their website:

The Preserve's handle is made of polypropylene. It is an efficiently recycled material--its strength does not break down in the recycling process. Polypropylene's recycling efficiency means it is commonly reprocessed and cleaned... Polypropylene is available in many sources of post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled plastics, labeled #5. Presently our main source is from recycled Stonyfield Farm® yogurt cups... The Preserve's materials are also completely recyclable. The handle and bristles are effectively recycled together--the polypropylene and nylon actually strengthen as they combine in the recycling process. Preserve's postage-paid envelope assures that your used brush will be turned into plastic lumber.

So that's nice, right? After I use it for six months I can mail it back to them and they'll downcycle it for me. OK, it's not as earth-friendly as using my finger, or brushing with a willow branch or something, but it's definitely a step in the right direction. And so, in honor of my new toothbrush, I present to you my version of the Tommy Toothbrush jingle (sung to the tune of Three Blind Mice):

Brush your teeth. Up and down
Unplug from the wall, it's not hard at all.
A small soft toothbrush made from poly-propylene.
Will keep your teeth healthy and you'll feel a little green.
But not in a green-teeth way, cuz that doesn't seem clean.
Go brush your teeth. Brush your teeth.

[Sitting here, waiting for Preserve to call me and either offer to buy my song or pay me to stop]


Two batteries (albeit rechargeable ones) every six months. Also will avoid all the impossible-to-open clamshell packaging they use to encase the replacement heads.

Difficulty Level: 1 out of 5

It's nice to go back to a manual brush. Really. I screwed up when I bought this one, though and got a soft bristle brush instead of a medium. Now I'm stuck with it for six months. Oh the hardships I must endure to be green.


organicneedle said...

I switched to these about a month ago. I gave them a + review on the blogoroonie, but my husband has since bailed. Now my 4 year old and I use the Preserve and he has gone back to the OralB. (The baby will only brush with something with an animal head on it. Plastic...not real.) He, the hubby, claims the handle is at too weird an angle. I have to say...the feel of the Preserve products is a little cheap...a little too lightweight. (I just reviewed the razors a few days ago and they also have that lighter than air feel.) It doesn't bother me though...tiniest of sacrifices to reduce a little plastic. I also like that the little case can be used for a traveling. Small thrills.

Anonymous said...

You're right: it's not the best answer. But it's the best that we have right now. I haven't found a more environmentally-friendly toothbrush, although my friend Axelle (that Philistine who doesn't believe in Madonna) told me she's started scrubbing her teeth with a wash cloth instead of a toothbrush. Hmmm...

Oh, and keep brushing with the soft brush. My dentist tells me we shouldn't be using anything harder than that. Otherwise, we end up destroying our gums instead of gently massaging them and have to have oral surgery like a certain legal librarian that I live and sleep with.

daharja said...

I've never liked electric toothbrushes, and after a brief trial of one, went back to manuals and have always used them. Just personal preference. My teeth haven't fallen out, I haven't had a filling in years, and no root canals yet - touch wood!

And heres a confession - I don't floss either!

Bad me! *slaps wrist* Bad bad bad!

Seriously, though, good for you. Your teeth will be just fine. And what's wrong with a gap or two if they're not? Adds rustic charm!

ashley said...

I like the Preserve toothbrushes, too. Another toothbrush I want to try is sold by Vermont Country Store. It has natural boar bristles and claims to last longer than synthetic. I don't know what kind of plastic the handle is made of but if lasts a lot longer it reduces waste.

cristele said...

yup, my dentist tells me the same about soft brushes. Dont use harder brushes than soft! Hard brush just pushes your gums and it does not grow back.