Have you ever wondered where your toothbrush ends up after you toss it in the bin? Does the thought of rubbing peroxide and bleach into your teeth make you cringe?
Dental waste, which includes toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, and plastic packaging is a big contributor to our single-use plastic problem.
In Australia, over 30 million toothbrushes are used and disposed each year, which equates to 1,000 tonnes of landfill each year. Dental waste can also end up in our ocean, harming marine life.
So what happens to your toothbrush when it ends up in a landfill?
It remains there indefinitely because burning them causes more pollution with toxic chemicals and greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere.
While this might sound like a mission for Captain Planet, a successful 24-year-old entrepreneur from the Gold Coast was the one to come up with a solution.
When DIY teeth whitening kits initially hit the market, CHOICE found products with hydrogen peroxide levels as high as 16% (carbamide peroxide 44%). This was despite recommendations by the Australian Dental Association that home teeth whitening products should not exceed 6% hydrogen peroxide.
While there have been regulations to crack down on the industry since then, there are reports of products containing dangerously high levels of bleach and peroxide still being sold online.
The founder of LoveSmiles, Urissa Chinia developed her own natural product after medical professionals warned her about the impact of toxic teeth whitening kits on her health.
While there are some natural alternatives for at-home teeth whitening such as oil pulling, tooth powders and whitening pens, Urissa claims her product is the only fully biodegradable and recyclable kit on the market.
“Our product is made out of 100% activated coconut shell and includes a biodegradable natural bamboo toothbrush,” said Urissa.
“The activated coconut powder and charcoal ion bristles work together to naturally whiten, lift and remove dental plaque on the surface of the teeth.
When applying the powder with the brush, the ultra-fine staggered ends of the bamboo charcoal enhanced bristles push the natural coconut shell powder deep into the gaps between the teeth.
After a deep clean, the teeth are naturally whitened with most people experiencing results at around two weeks and the kits are designed for two users and last around 3-6 months, depending on the individual’s lifestyle.
If you’re a single and out there to mingle well then you’re in luck because it’ll last you even longer,” she said.
Unlike the Instafamous charcoal tooth whitening powders, like Warpaint and Cococarbon, LoveSmiles comes in fully biodegradable and recyclable packaging.
“While we have great respect for our competitors, we are about combating real-life environmental challenges and giving power to our consumers to make one small change to make a long-lasting difference,” said Urissa.
“In this case, I’m talking about changing the way we choose to whiten our teeth which I hope will start an ongoing ripple effect because let’s face it, the hundreds of choices we make each day impact ourselves and the environment.”
In addition to the product’s environmentally friendly status, Urissa has gone a step further in her crusade to help the planet.
“A portion of sales goes directly to helping injured wildlife through our partnership with the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast as well as planting Australian gum trees,” said Urissa.