I'm not eschewing modern science in protecting my teeth and avoiding gum disease. This is one of the worst aspects of ZW - the science denialism. We know and have known for decades what works to keep teeth and gums healthy, and yet people want to go back to the XIX century in trying to maintain their health. Why? Why is it so difficult to accept scientific consensus?
Buy dental floss in plastic containers, you don't need to hit your dentist up to order you 5,000 yards of it. (Doesn't that actually undermine the "minimalism" of ZW?) Buy a plastic toothbrush with soft bristles, you can get them at the Dollar Store in packs, for fuck sake. Many people can't afford or don't have access to "wooden" toothbrushes, use whatever is available to you. I use an electric toothbrush at home and take a cheap plastic brush with me when I travel. Generic dental floss from the drug store will work. Use samples of floss and toothpaste given to you by the dentist during checks-ups. Using regular thread to floss can set you up for an infection, please don't do that. Follow the science. Use the floss that is manufactured and tested. If you can afford it, look into a battery operated or electric toothbrush, the number of rotations of the brush will help reduce plaque by orders of magnitude. I've seen battery operated Oral B brushes for as little as 8-10$ USD at Walgreen's. I buy whatever toothpaste is on sale at Walgreen's. It takes me less than 60 seconds to pick out a tube and I'm not mixing potions every day or worrying about whether the enamel is going to come off my teeth with what I'm using.
Brush and floss x2 a day, don't eat a lot of processed or refined foods, and get a dental cleaning/exam x2 a year. Stop jumping through hoops trying to go back to Little House on the Prairie or XVII century England. It's embarrassing. Dental health is not a joke, inflammation in the mouth and gums is a sign of inflammation throughout other parts of the body which can increase your risk of cancer and heart disease. Keep it science based.
I have used almond oil from the grocery store with several drops of spearmint and peppermint tincture. Dentist said my gums were much healthier. Swish coconut oil in your mouth for a few minutes a few times a week, this is called oil pulling. Remarkable for dental care. I no longer spend hours with the dental hygienist, taking plaque off my teeth. I still use tooth paste sometimes when its the first thing i see on the counter.
Using string to floss your teeth is a bacterial infection waiting to happen.
When did ZW become a race to the 18th century? We have studies indicating that the over-the-counter toothpaste manufactured for that purpose is safe and effective on teeth. I buy the generic stuff from Walgreen's. Same with dental floss. Why you would put anything except a dental floss manufactured for that express purpose between your teeth right at the gum line is anybody's guess.
Don't become anti-science in your quest to be zero waste. It's embarrassing. Also when did Bea Johnson go to dental school? Because taking recommendations from her about your dental health is a huge mistake. Listen to your dentist, they're the professionals. Not the people using cabbage and turmeric on their teeth and flossing with sewing thread.
This is very useful. Thanks! If you get this message... I would like to have whiter teeth and get a treatment from my dentist to do so but I am concerned by the environmental impact of such a procedure. Do you have any insight on this topic? Thanks!