Dilemma at the Dentist’s Office   2 comments

I had a dentist appointment this week, which is always accompanied by a bit of a dilemma. The problem is not the cleaning (I love the cleaning), or the x-rays (I tolerate the x-rays), but the give-aways. You know, the toothbrush, mini-toothpaste, and mini-floss that they hand you on your way out. I don’t want the toothbrush – I use a Preserve toothbrush that is made from recyclable plastic and that I can send back to the company for further recycling/disposal. (Note-it’s the handle that is recycled, not the bristles). I don’t want the toothpaste – I use Tom’s of Maine toothpaste that contains no sweeteners or petroleum-derived ingredients. I don’t want the thick plastic container with 3 yards of floss when I have 100 yards of vegan-waxed floss in a cardboard dispenser.

So what to do? Do I say “no thank you”? Tried that, it just felt too weird, and I would have to say it after every single appointment. Do I just walk away without picking them up? That’s my favorite solution, and I have done it more than once. But most of the time just before I step away they remind me to take the swag. So my third tactic is to just take the stuff. I keep one set as a spare, a guest set, and I put the others in a baggie. When the baggie fills up, I donate it to the Loaves and Fishes, the local homeless services charity.

I have found that in order to live consciously and with conscience I frequently have to balance alternatives. I don’t like choosing the lesser evil. The challenge is to find a solution that does not compromise my ideals. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it isn’t. Occasionally it is paralyzing, especially when there really isn’t a good solution.


Posted April 16, 2010 by mayakey in musings, personal care

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2 responses to “Dilemma at the Dentist’s Office

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  1. I think donating them sounds like a great solution!

    Carmela Chavez Liberman
  2. I think you found a good solution. I keep some for travel, but since my traveling days are minimal, I do pass them on.

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