The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
July 30, 2007

Beth visits the dentist

Meet my dentist, Dr. Michael Parrett. He’s great because he never criticizes or nags or does any of those other annoying things that cause people to avoid the dentist for years. And all his hygienists have the same pleasant, non-threatening chair-side manner. Every time I leave his office, I run my tongue over my teeth and say, “Mmmmmmm… It’s a great feeling!” just like in those Pearl Drops Tooth Polish commercials from the 80’s. Then I look around really quick to see if anyone heard me.

Anyway, true to form, Dr. Parrett and hygienist Donna were as nice as ever when I presented them with alternative oral hygiene ideas during my appointment today. When this blog left off on July 8, I had switched to baking soda instead of toothpaste (to eliminate the plastic tube) and a Preserve toothbrush (made from recycled plastic and recyclable by sending back to Recycline in free mailer), and I had written to Recycline, the makers of Preserve, to see if they have any programs for dentists who provide toothbrushes to their patients. Since then, Recycline sent me a sample kit to take to my dentist, and today I did just that.

First of all, I asked Dr. Parrett his opinion of brushing with baking soda. He said he thought it was fine for people as long as they don’t have gum problems from brushing too hard. I don’t. He also wants me to continue to rinse with Act fluoride rinse, since I won’t be getting fluoride from toothpaste. The jury is still out on that one, what with the new scare about sodium benzoate, the controversies about fluoride itself, and of course the plastic bottle.

So, happy and relieved about the baking soda issue, I pressed on. First, I returned the unopened/unused Oral B toothbrush I’d received at my last visit, and then I presented him with the Preserve sample pack. Looking at all the toothbrushes, he and Donna seemed genuinely interested in them. They read the material and asked me questions. They approved of the soft bristles, which Dr. Parrett said is the main thing they look for in a toothbrush. I don’t know if they’ll end up purchasing these toothbrushes for the office or not. But at least they are now aware of them.

If you’d like to request a Preserve sample kit for your dentist, you can contact Recycline at or use their contact form: It’s one thing to make individual personal changes to support the environment. It’s even better to create a few ripples to have an even broader effect, and I think this is one way to do it.

By the way, in the interest of full disclosure, I do not work for or receive payment from Recycline, although they did send a bunch of toothbrushes for me along with the kit for my dentist.

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4 Comments on "Beth visits the dentist"

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10 months 19 days ago

Great post, very informative. Keep up the good work, Thanks.

shiningsmiles last blog post

Roger, Gone Green
8 years 3 months ago

Back in the 1980s there was a research dentist at Georgetown Univ. in Washington DC promoting the use of a combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Supposedly it was great at fending off gum disease especially.

Not sure of the status of that, but thought I had seen a commercial product with that status. And H2O2 may well be available in a glass bottle somewhere (grin).

Meanwhile, topical fluoride is real good for teeth, but swallowing doesn’t do squat for ’em. Drinking fluoride is said to do all sorts of bad things, but even the proponents… Read more »

Beth in the Fake Plastic Fish Tank
8 years 3 months ago

Hi Sunny. Actually, you don’t need your recycling company to take the Preserve toothbrush. Recycline provides a postage-paid mailer so you can send it back to them. Then, they send it to a company to use in outdoor furniture.

I don’t think there are any recycled heads for electric toothbrushes, but I’d be interested to find out what Oral B tells you. I encourage you to contact them, just so they know this is an issue their customers care about. Then, let us know what you find out.


8 years 3 months ago

I like this option but I know the recycling company wouldn’t take it here. Also, what about someone like me to “gasp” uses an electric toothbrush. I switched a few years ago because I have trouble with stuff sticking to my teeth if I use a regular brush. I’ve always had perfect teeth but the dentist was starting to hound me. Switched over and now no problems. Are their recycled heads for my Oral-B? I know you probably don’t know but it makes me think I should contact them and ask. Thanks… Read more »