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Reducing toothpaste waste and reusing dental floss

Paste-flossersReducing toothpaste waste? Am I really going there? Reusing floss. I kill myself. I really do.

Given how scornful I usually am about any newfangled packaging, I'm as surprised as anyone to find these in my kids' bathroom:

So let me explain... The trouble began with regular tubes of toothpastes. While I don't find it extremely difficult to squeeze out an appropriately sized dab of paste on my brush, apparently my kids do. At least my youngest. I swear, every time I'd go in their bathroom to find out if they were indeed brushing their teeth, I'd be greeted with cavity-fighting snakes of paste -- not on toothbrushes -- but in the sink, or on the floor, and unfortunately, even one time on the toilet seat! After a while, the toothpaste smeared on the bathroom floor was making it feel like an icky, sticky movie theater, that was fairly resistant to mopping. We tried Strawberry Tom's of Maine, but the metal tube sprouted holes and every time we squeezed it, paste oozed out in undesired directions. They wouldn't touch pure baking soda. All told, the rate we were going through tubes of toothpaste was shocking. Enough!

This tube of toothpaste with a lever lid and pump did the trick. They can get an appropriate amount of toothpaste on the brush, and I no longer find evidence of our bathroom having been finger-painted with Sparkle Fun. While I'm hopeful we won't need this pump style dispenser forever, it's working for the time being, and we're wasting a lot less paste. Surely they'll figure out how to use a regular tube of toothpaste before heading off to college?

Next up: flossing. Is it just me, or does flossing a kid's teeth seems like a cruel form of parental torture? Their mouths are so tiny and it's not an especially welcome task. I've found these mini flossers are the only way I can get the job done. While they are designed to be thrown away after each use, we write our names on the long part, rinse them off for reuse and I'm tellin' ya, they threaten to last forever. I suppose you could reuse dental floss as well. Rinse it off an hang it up somewhere? But that seems a bit less practical. And how would you identify whose floss was whose? Weird to say, but I really like these flossers, and have begun using them myself. I appreciate how much more reuse I can get out of them than regular string floss.

Can you believe I just posted about this? I still can't.

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