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How Does Orthodontics Affect The Environment? | FACTS 2020

How does orthodontics affect the environment? A straight, white smile and healthy teeth are important to us. We screw up the courage to go to see the orthodontist to make our teeth straight and healthy. Sitting on the chair awaiting the application of hardware to make it so, we have no thought of sustainability. That’s okay because our orthodontist does. He has a duty not only to us but to the environment. We don’t even think of the carbon footprint of his office. We don’t recognize there are items inside that office that impacts our world. Our orthodontics professionals do their best work to make both better. In this post, we’ll show you how they do it? Let’s crack on…


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How Does Orthodontics Affect The Environment?


The First Step

The first thing the orthodontist will do is get an image of our mouths. Imaging has evolved from analog to digital. X-rays impact our world by leaching radiation into the soil and air. Radiation impacts the water and soil we, the birds, and the animals use to sustain life. That makes digital imaging safer for nature and for people. Add to this the chemicals used in developing X-rays. The absence of films, paper, storage, and chemical waste improves the carbon cost of the office, thereby improving damages to our world.


The Second Step

Applying the hardware to our teeth is the second step in a straight, gleaming white smile. Orthodontics placed only once decreases breakages. This keeps solid waste out of the landfills. Solid waste impacts nature by leaching heavy metals and other chemicals into the soil and groundwater. Orthodontists doing their best practices regarding preserving our world make sure our braces are perfectly positioned only once.

Now that’s done, the doctor has to clean the examination room and prepare his utensils for the next patient. Properly disposing of these chemicals is a must not only for the health of the people inside the office but for the world outside it. Many, if not all, doctors use companies strictly set up to properly dispose of these chemicals and other medical waste.


What About Sustainability In The Office?

Keep in mind that the doctor’s office itself is as sustainable as he can make it. For example, using fewer lights and making them LED helps lessen its impact on nature by using less and better energy. On the other hand, they have to see what they’re doing. Using as much natural light from the windows as humanly possible is a great sustainable point, and one of our doctors use the most. If the office doesn’t have windows in the examination rooms, then the doctors use the next best thing: LED focus lights.

Setting the thermostat at the proper setting also helps save energy. We do it at home, and presumably, doctors do, too. An office is no different. The patients in the waiting room should be comfortable as well as the employees and the doctor. This is conducive to a more pleasant dental experience. It saves money on the power bill as well as the office’s carbon footprint.


Isn’t Sterilization About Using Chemicals?

Sustainability is about using items either naturally sourced or reusable. Orthodontists use stainless steel utensils. What plastics are used are recyclable. This leaves the stainless steel in need of sterilizing for use on other patients. Waste is kept at a bare minimum. While it’s true many doctors use chemicals for sterilization, there are other methods just as effective or perhaps more so. The use of UV light, for example, is good for killing all manner of bacteria without releasing into the outside world any compounds detrimental to it. High temperatures offer the same safety.

Keep in mind that all doctors must comply with state and federal statutes on the safety and hygiene of not just their instruments but that of their offices as well. The chemicals used for sterilization must be properly disposed of in order to maintain that safety and hygiene.




Do Orthodontists Recycle?

Of course, orthodontists recycle. Paper, paper and/or plastic cups used for rinsing the mouth, tongue depressors, latex gloves, cardboard boxes for office supplies, and dozens of other things are recycled every day. Many people ask if braces are recycled. In a way, they are. They’re melted down to be formed into other things. Invisalign structures get tossed in the recycle bin. This practice reduces the impact and tackles how orthodontics affect the environment.


What About Technology?

Almost everything is digital nowadays. Less to no paper makes our world safer and more sustainable. For example, receiving digital appointment reminders by email or text, and digital receipts aid sustainability. Carefully following directions in caring for our braces means fewer breakages. This keeps solid waste out of landfills which preserves our world’s soil and water.


What You Can Do

Green living and sustainability aren’t effective if patients don’t pitch in to help. Using green dental aids at home not only preserves the integrity of the dental appliance but preserves the integrity of nature.If you look online or even in your nearest pharmacy or department store, you’ll find natural ingredients in dental products like silk floss, toothpaste, mouthwash, and even toothbrushes.

These are not only better for your mouth, but they’re beneficial to our world. Many of these products are biodegradable, minus fluoride, and plus no artificial colors, sweeteners, preservatives, and some are even vegan. They freshen the breath and whiten the teeth naturally.


Does Orthodontics Affect The Environment? Final Thoughts

The natural movement has gained weight and speed in this country. People are looking for green, sustainable businesses, products, and practices. We are doing our utmost to provide our patients with only the greenest of services and dental products. It’s about respect. The planet has sustained human life for millions of years, but we’ve abused it. Giving back has become the most important thing in our lives. Add to that the fact that we want patients to have the best and most healthy and natural experience we can give you.




We continue to search out ways to make our world healthier and how orthodontics affect the environment. We will not stop finding ways to make your orthodontic experience sustainable. Give Drs. Gorton and Schmohl a call to discuss how they can give you a greener smile.

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