You never really know how important toothpicks are until you have just downed a ton of meat and have those pesky little fibers stuck between your teeth.
But while getting your hands on some good toothpicks is quite relieving, disposing of them can be tricky, especially if you’re trying to live more sustainably.
So to help you out, today we are going to talk about how to dispose of these items. So relax and you’ll soon have all the answers you seek.
Are toothpicks recyclable?
To add toothpicks to your compost, just break them into smaller pieces and toss them in there.
Alternatively, you could check if your city collects wooden toothpicks and other organic materials for composting.
Are toothpicks bad for the environment?
While wooden toothpicks are generally environmentally friendly, plastic and metal ones are not.
This is because wooden toothpicks are made from either bamboo or wood from other plants, both of which are replenishable resources. And while these toothpicks have a short lifespan, they are biodegradable and can be composted.
On the other hand, plastic and metal toothpicks have a longer lifespan but will stay in landfills for years to come.
And let’s not even start on the environmental ramifications of manufacturing these toothpicks in the first place.
Are toothpicks bad for your teeth?
Apart from the environment, a lot of people are concerned about the safety of using toothpicks. And for the most part, they are right – toothpicks can be bad for your teeth.
Some of their disadvantages include:
They sometimes break and get stuck in your gums
If you regularly use wooden toothpicks, this is a predicament you must be familiar with.
This usually happens when the toothpicks you’re using are poorly made or if you’re being too rough.
And the longer the broken piece remains stuck, the more inflamed your gums can get.
Ultimately, if you’re unable to remove it you will have to visit the dentist.
They can puncture your gums
The sharp pointy ends of toothpicks can accidentally puncture your gums, or even cut your mouth.
Such open wounds can, later on, get infected and cause you great discomfort.
They can break into swallowable pieces
If you are one of those people who chew on toothpicks, it is easy to bite off and chew a piece that could choke you. Some people, especially kids, can even swallow whole toothpicks.
They can compromise dental work
Any issue with your dental work can be made worse by using toothpicks. Your fillings could be dislodged and your veneers could be damaged.
So, if you recently had some dental work done, it is best to lay off the toothpicks, at least for a while.
Just toss them out
Ultimately, the best way to ensure you don’t ever have to worry about disposing of toothpicks again is to avoid buying them in the first place. Both your teeth and the environment will thank you for it!