Should I buy a bamboo toothbrush?

Have you been thinking about making the switch to a bamboo toothbrush and ditching the plastic?

It is said we produce more than 448 million tons of plastic every year – crazy, right?! Toothbrushes often can’t be recycled and so the majority end up in landfill, taking hundreds of years to just break down. It is recommend we change our toothbrush every 3 months, so that’s on average 4 toothbrushes per year, per person. If we make this one small switch we can significantly reduce our plastic consumption. So could you be ready to make the switch to bamboo?

Benefits of switching to a bamboo toothbrush

Goodbye plastic!

Switching to a bamboo toothbrush means you’re significantly able to reduce your plastic consumption. The advice is to switch your toothbrush every 3 months, as the bristles on any manual toothbrush can mis-shape during this time, meaning the toothbrush won’t be as effective at brushing. However, if your bristles fray or change shape earlier than 3 months then it’s recommended to switch when this occurs.

Recyclable packaging

Often when you buy a bamboo toothbrush it comes packaged in more environmentally-friendly packaging. Plastic toothbrushes however come in plastic-riddled containers and casings which again is just adding to your plastic consumption. Definitely check with the shop you are buying from to ensure your toothbrush will come in recyclable packaging as this can vary.

Compostable, biodegradable and reusable

If you take the bristles off the bamboo holder, then the holder can be home composted – it will take over 6 months for it to do so. Alternatively you can reuse this holder in the home, for example by using it as a wooden plant stake to help your plants grow upright. If you have neither a home composter or no use for it in the home, then simply pop into your recycle waste – check your local council which bin is best as they vary significantly by council.

The bristles vary significantly depending on their material. However there are many which are biodegradable which is something to look out for. One thing to note is that whilst boars hair is more sustainable that the nylon, they are much tougher and therefore can cause receding gums. So researching the right toothbrush for you is very crucial.

A sustainable resource

Bamboo toothbrushes are of course using the sustainable resource of bamboo. This is one of the fastest growing trees on the planet and so there are no issues with it running out – for this reason it is a great environmentally-friendly material to use – particularly in products like toothbrushes which need to be replaced on average every 3 months.

A lower carbon footprint

Bamboo toothbrushes have a lower carbon footprint, compared with plastic toothbrushes. With bamboo they don’t need to extract any oil from the wood.

Different styles and colours

Similar to plastic toothbrushes, there are lots of different styles and colours of bamboo toothbrushes also. This is largely a personal preference.

Adults and kids sized bamboo toothbrushes

There are also adults and kids sized bamboo toothbrushes available. For my son I have the Georganics bamboo kids toothbrush which is a nice size and circular in shape which makes it easier to hold. For me, it’s nice to know my son will grow up using a bamboo toothbrush and not know any different until he is older – so we are doing what we can from an early age to implement sustainable practices, plus the toothbrush itself is great.

Some of the downsides to a bamboo toothbrush

Prone to mold quicker than a plastic toothbrush

Due to their material, bamboo toothbrushes are prone to getting moldy quicker than the plastic varieties. That being said it’s easy to avoid – the bamboo toothbrushes just need to completely dry out. So it’s a good idea to keep them upright to allow this to happen. Actually this is one of the advantages of the Georganics toothbrushes, in that they have a flat base to allow them to free stand.

Slightly more expensive

Bamboo toothbrushes are slightly more expensive than their plastic equivalents. But do your research and look at different options to find the toothbrush that is the best price-point for you.

Remove the bristles before disposing

Before getting rid of your bamboo toothbrush, it is advised that you should take the bristles off either by tweezing out the bristles or through snapping the head off. However if the whole toothbrush does end up in landfill then it is significantly better than having a plastic toothbrush there instead as will over time biodegrade.

So, is a bamboo toothbrush right for you?

Of course only you can decide this. What I would say though is always read reviews of the toothbrushes as many bamboo toothbrushes (from my past experience), can have overly soft bristles which mean you don’t get a proper clean and leaves you feeling like you haven’t properly brushed your teeth. So do your research properly to find a bamboo toothbrush that could work well for you.

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