Zero Waste & Orthodontics Don’t Mix

Mar 16th


It’s been a week since I had braces put on. I’ve concluded that this must be a form of torture. Between my teeth constantly hurting, stuff getting stuck in the jagged metal poking out everywhere and the realization that I can’t eat popcorn for two years I’m pretty irritated. On top of the physical discomfort I haven’t quite figured out how to present a professional appearance during meetings when I’m lisping and can’t close my mouth all the way around the gear on my teeth without causing my chin to dimple all over. Ok, I’m whining, I know.

But the worst part, for those of us who strive for a more Zero Waste, I’ve discovered that orthodontics, more so than your regular run of the mill dentist is a miniature disposable plastic factory. Just look at all the “goodies” I was sent home. Plastic packets of samples, disposable plastic floss threaders, disposable plastic toothbrush instruments and a plastic case to keep all my plastic wares in place. If I had been in less of a coma after three and a half hours of sitting in the orthodontics chair I may have had my wits about me to refuse the plastic grab bag full of the all the disposable goodies.

I will admit I’m damn happy that plastic bag included dental wax – even if it came in a a plastic case and is likely derived from petroleum.