How Can I Learn to Be Greener?

heart in hedgeA lot of patients at our Georgetown dental office see all of the environmentally friendly things that we do and think, “Wow. I can barely recycle soda cans. How do they do all that?” It really isn’t as hard as it looks, it just takes the time and commitment to change your routine. We’d like to talk about a couple of changes we made in our office, and suggest a couple of changes that you can easily make at home to help reduce your carbon footprint, cut down on waste, and save the environment.

We Embrace Technology

Transferring all of our patient records from paper to electronics wasn’t just convenient, it was in an effort to reduce all that wasteful paper and file folders taking up space. Think of all the trees that have to be cut down and processed to print out all that intake paperwork. Now, we can do it on an iPad and easily access that information without using reams and reams of paper.

How can you embrace technology?

Have you thought about converting some of your utility bills to paperless billing? Or filing your taxes online and saving the finished forms as a pdf on your computer? Just think of all the paper you wouldn’t have to touch.

We Reduce Waste

When you come to our Georgetown dental office for an appointment, you’ll see soft, cloth towels in the bathroom rather than rolls of paper towels. Why? We’re cutting down on waste by using towels that we can easily pop in the wash and re-use, rather than rolls and rolls of paper that will clutter up a landfill.

How can you reduce waste?

Consider using a mop with a reusable, washable head for cleaning floors, switching to cloth dish-towels in the kitchen instead of disposable paper ones, and think about buying soaps and other liquids in bulk and refilling bottles rather than constantly having to throw them away.

We Save Water

When you come for your preventive cleaning, we’ll encourage you to turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth everyday. Leaving the water running wastes up to 90 glasses of water per day! This is something that we all do here at the office, and we encourage everyone to pass on our message of environmental stewardship.

How can you save water?

That’s easy! Take the “Save 90 a Day” pledge and show that you really do want to help make a difference and protect the world around you.

We hope that these little tips have made you realize that being environmentally conscious, both at work and at home, isn’t as hard as you might think. For more ideas, or if you’re due for your hygiene visit, give us a call today!

How Your First Visit is Different at Trade Winds

closeup of beautiful woman

If you’ve just moved to our area, or if you happen to be looking for a new Georgetown dental office, you made have heard through the grapevine that we are different than most. We’d like to show you how different we really are by describing what an initial visit is like at Trade Winds Dental.

Let’s Talk Green

The first thing that you’ll notice is that we are GreenDoc Gold Certified. This designation means that we go well above and beyond what most practices do in an effort to be environmentally friendly. We use no paper towels, no amalgam (metal) dental fillings, and have live plants throughout our office. You’ll also see that we recycle – and we’ll offer you a BPA-free toothbrush made from recycled plastic. When it’s time to change that toothbrush (we recommend every three months), bring it back in and we’ll donate $1 to Hope Alliance when we recycle it.

Digital is Better

After you’ve toured our office, we’ll take digital x-rays using the latest technology. If you ever need dental impressions, perhaps for a crown or other restorative work, we’ll be using an intraoral scanner rather than the old fashioned goopy impression material for the most accurate scans possible.

Advanced Cleanings

When it is time for your first cleaning, you may experience something unexpected at our Georgetown dental office as perform an oral cancer screening. We will regularly check for any changes so that we can detect any anomalies as early as possible. The earlier we find problems, the easier they can be to treat. We’ll then thoroughly clean and polish your teeth, possibly more thoroughly than you’ve ever had it done before. We may also apply a fluoride treatment for extra protection.

Comfort is Key

Before your visit is complete, we’d love to offer you a fresh smoothie, lip balm, or talk to you about how you can be more green at home. If applicable, we’ll be sure that your insurance benefits are being used to the fullest, and develop a treatment plan for any work that you’re looking to complete. Finally, we’ll be sure to answer any and every question you may have about your health and our services.

It’s not just our love of the environment that makes us different – it’s a personal touch that you won’t find from any other dentist in Georgetown. Why not call and make an appointment today?

Super Simple Ways that YOU Can Be Greener

quote by Jean Paul RichterAt our Georgetown dental office, we’re a little extreme about being green. Not only are we one of less than 10 dentists in Texas who are members of the Eco-Dentistry Association, our office one of only four who have achieved GreenDOC Gold Certification for our environmental efforts.

You may look at all of the things we do in our office and think, “Wow, I can’t really do anything to help the environment like THEY do.” But we wanted to assure you that there are TONS of things that you can do at home and at work to help the environment.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Recycling is one of the easiest things that you can do to help save the environment.

  • Drop those empty cans and bottles into the recycling bin at work instead of in with your trash. Encourage your coworkers to do the same by working on your jump shot!
  • Gather up your newspapers and take them to a recycling drop-off once a month.
  • Use cloth napkins at the dinner table instead of paper towels. (Fun tip! Use colorful bandanas instead!)
  • Use cloth shopping bags instead of plastic when you go for groceries. (They’re also stronger and won’t hurt your fingers when you carry a ton of bags inside the house.)

Ok, What Else Can You Do?

Once you get in the habit of recycling, add in another good habit to help save the planet. Some suggestions from our Georgetown dental team include:

  • Turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth! Letting it just sit there and run wastes almost 90 glasses of water per day.
  • Switch regular light-bulbs out for energy-efficient LED bulbs.
  • Buy a plant! Did you notice that we have green plants at our office? They’re not just for looks….. They help to clean the air and provide a soothing environment.

One Last Thing…

Putting these simple tips into practice will not only help save the environment…. They may also save you money! You may lower your trash bill without all of those recyclables in there, and those light bulbs will save you money on your electric bills.

For more ideas on how to live greener, ask us about it at your next dental appointment. SEE – it IS easy being green!

Make The World a Better Place This Earth Day

Earth DayApril 22nd is Earth Day, a worldwide celebration where we all take a moment to reflect on the natural world around us and do what we can to help preserve it.  At Trade Winds Dental, we strive to live green every single day, but we’re especially observant advocates on this annual holiday.

So think about it, what can you do to make the world a better place? The answers may be simpler than you think. Here’s a few suggestions:

Plant a Tree in Your Community – Plenty of organizations, such as the Arbor Day Association, the National Wildlife Federation and even many local nurseries have trees or seedlings available at low or no-cost. Trees are not only beautiful, they also help to clean the air, prevent soil erosion, and provide us with the oxygen that we need to survive. Plant a tree in your backyard or see if there’s a community planting event.

Head to the Farmers Market – We have a fantastic farmers market here in Georgetown. Buying fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, and more from our local farmers helps support both your community and the natural, beautiful world right around us. 

Support Ethical Trade – Have you thought about where the goods in your home or the clothing and accessories wear actually come from? Try to frequent businesses that support artisans with fair wages and services to third world countries, like StriveGreen in Austin. 

Advocate for Change – You may have heard the quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Remember that nothing changes until someone has the courage to stand up and say something. Start a recycling program at work or at home, set up a carpool, or ask your boss how you can help to make your workplace more green.

See, that’s not so hard! Connect to your favorite social media and blog feeds on Earth Day and see what other suggestions for environmental action are out there that you and your family can do. And be sure to ask the staff at Trade Winds Dental for ideas as well – we’ve got TONS of ways to help the environment in your everyday living.

Make it Local! Make it Green! Make the world a better place!

HAPPY EARTH DAY!

The Greenest Dental Office You will Ever See

Trade Winds Dental – The Green Zonegreen plants

Going green. From big businesses to tiny neighborhoods. People all over seem to be thinking about that color. How did green get to be the color of anything sustainable, biodegradable, or otherwise earth friendly? Plants! Plants are one of the most important resources we have next to water. Not only do plants shade us, feed us, make us happier, and clothe us… they also clean our air.

NASA Clean Air Study

About 30 years ago, NASA did a little study. They wanted to discover which plants could best filter the air of the space station. Plants to filter a space station? It is true! Not only do plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, they also absorb contaminants – dangerous contaminants like formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia and many more chemicals that have been linked to negative health effects. They can also filter out bacteria and mold by producing negative ions that attract and purify the air. And to add to that the list of benefits, plants work as air moisturizers, adding beneficial humidity to the environment.

Of course, now you want to know which plants made it to the top of NASA’s list. Here they are:

  • Dwarf Date and Broadleaf Lady Palms
  • Boston and Kimberly Queen Ferns
  • Spider Plants
  • Chinese Evergreens
  • Bamboo Palm
  • Weeping Fig
  • Devils Ivy
  • Flamingo and Peace Lilies
  • Lilyturf
  • English Ivy
  • Red Edged Dracaena
  • Snake Plant
  • Barberton Daisies and Chrysanthemums

Not all of them eliminate the same toxins, but all of these are fairly easy to grow and make an attractive addition to any room. Want to learn more? Get your hands on Dr. B. C. Wolverton’s book, How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 houseplants that purify your home or office.

We Took NASA’s Advice

Here at Trade Winds Dental we put this wonderful information to use in and around our dental office. Outside we have landscaped with native, drought-tolerant plants that require less water, creating a green zone for our patients to enjoy and our planet to benefit from. Inside, almost every room contains live plants, many of them the plants on the list above, and some that have since been discovered to clean the air just as well. These plants are a major component of our interior design because they add such a fresh and homey touch. Patients love them and some scientists suggest that looking at plants can make us heal faster. But what they are really there for is to improve air quality and provide you with a clean, soothing environment.

To find out all the other ways we are going green, check out our Greendoc Gold Certification by the Eco Dental Association. It’s not just our plants that give us that color rating!

Clean Water is Everyone’s Right: Why Trade Winds Dental Uses an Amalgam Separator

amalgamHere at Trade Winds Dental we are doing a number of things to protect water, reduce the amount we use, and encourage our patients to take part in the Save 90-A-Day Cause to save, you got it, 90 glasses of water a day by turning off the faucet while you brush.

Another way we protect the earth’s water – and our community’s health – is by using an amalgam separator every time we remove a mercury filling. Attached directly to the vacuum system, our amalgam separator is extremely effective – certified to remove 99% of amalgam  – at keeping amalgam, or silver fillings containing mercury, from entering our wastewater supply and sewer system.

The Benefits of an Amalgam Separator

Many patients come to us to have their fillings restored or requesting that their amalgam fillings be removed and replaced with tooth-colored fillings. During the procedure, bits of the metal filling are washed into our water system. Without an amalgam separator, those bits of fillings would enter the public wastewater system. That’s important because one large amalgam filling contains as much mercury as in those old-fashioned thermometers we all used to use. That’s enough mercury to contaminate a 10-square-mile lake and cause restricted fishing. Six years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized that dental offices are the largest source of mercury discharged to publicly-owned treatment works. We just do not want to be part of that problem!

Why Keep Amalgams Out of the Water

We rarely think about water here in the US where we just turn a tap to be delivered a stream of pure, clean water. We turn on the tap all day long, even when we brush our teeth, and let it run and run. People may talk about limited water supplies, but the earth is made up of mostly water, isn’t it? Just look around; It seems as if there is water everywhere, so why is letting it run “a waste?” The truth is, fresh water is a commodity. More than 97% of the earth’s water is salt water. How much fresh water does that leave? Not much. But there is more. Of that 2.5% of fresh water, 68.7% is frozen – and not as bags of ice at the handy mart. That doesn’t leave very much water for people on the planet to use and drink, does it? Worse yet, in the last century, global demand for water has increased six fold.  

Water is also becoming increasingly polluted. Just take a look at America’s great rivers– about 40% of them are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or for aquatic life to survive in. As the demand for water increases, it becomes more important than ever to make sure the water we use is properly treated and cleaned before it is disposed of. Proper cleaning of water ensures that we may use water again and again. But some things just shouldn’t go in the water in the first place…and that includes the mercury contained in amalgam fillings.

To find out more about what we are doing to protect the earth – and you – visit http://www.tradewindsdental.com/greendoc-gold-certified today!

Trios 3 – Greener, Gag-Free Impressions

Trios 3As part of our dedication to going green, Trade Winds Dental has invested in the award-winning TRIOS 3 digital impression system. It is so much better for the environment, and our patients love it!

Impressions Make Me Gag!

Dental impressions. No one likes them. They don’t taste great, they are so very gooey and they often make people gag. That’s a real problem to have during the traditional impression process. Why? Every movement changes the impression slightly. And when accuracy is key, such as for fixed partials, we want the most precise impressions, possible. Not easy with that chunky, gooey mouthful! In fact, The Harvard School of Dental Medicine Study, says that 89% of traditional FPD impressions have at least one detectable error!

Impressions are Bad for the Environment!

In addition to the discomfort is the fact that traditional impressions aren’t exactly environmentally sound. Let’s take a look at that:

  • Most dental practices take an average of one impression a day according to a Dental Economics article, more if they offer orthodontics.
  • The plastic tray used to hold impression material always ends up in the landfill. Plastic takes approximately 450 years to break down!
  • Impression putty is made of either Polyvinyl siloxane (PVS) or Polyether. They are exceedingly long lasting and in the landfill, that’s not a good thing.
  • Impressions must be shipped to the laboratory. That means cardboard for the box, protective materials, and, of course, fuel used by the airplane or truck.
  • The gypsum models must be stored for future reference, either by the patient or by the dentist.

Who wants to do that?

Enter the Revolutionary Precision of TRIOS 3!

Our new award-winning TRIOS 3, lets us take impressions digitally. That means:

  • No mess
  • No goop
  • No gagging
  • No discomfort
  • No trays
  • No packaging
  • No mail

Instead, TRIOS 3 uses a hand-held wand to capture over 3000 2D images per second! Plus, it can work as an intra-oral camera and allow us to measure the shade of your own teeth for more precise restoration matching. The benefits are unparalleled and include:

  • Secure internet delivery to the lab – no mail to get lost, and a far smaller carbon footprint.
  • Digital impressions in color – this improves diagnostics and makes them easier for you to understand.
  • Real-time occlusion capture – lets us check your bite as we restore.
  • Digital models  – nothing to go in the landfill but great records to store digitally.

Our Investment in You…and the Earth

Because we don’t want to compromise on your care or in the way we care for the environment, we chose the TRIOS 3. TRIOS won the Pride Institute “Best of Class” Technology Award for innovation and leadership in intra-oral scanners three years in a row and is the most accurate digital impression system on the market.

To learn more about how the TRIOS 3 can keep you more comfortable while keeping the environment safer for the future, please give us a call. We are proud of what we do for patients in Georgetown and how we are working to change the face of dentistry globally.