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 firstname.lastname@example.org or use their contact form: http://www.recycline.com/contact.html. 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.