Bamboo toothbrush benefits 

Bamboo toothbrush benefits

An increasing trend towards sustainability, reduction in carbon emission, and reduction in the use of plastics has led to the introduction of bamboo toothbrushes.

It is estimated that there’s a gross production of over 4.7 billion toothbrushes annually that takes 700- 1000 years to decompose. The BBC estimates that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans, so we need to replace our toothbrushes with bamboo toothbrushes. 

Bamboo toothbrushes are gaining popularity these days, so let’s dive into the bamboo toothbrush benefits, and disadvantages over traditional plastic toothbrushes, and the best bamboo toothbrush brands in the market.

What’s a bamboo toothbrush? 

A bamboo toothbrush is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic toothbrushes. In a bamboo toothbrush, the handle is made from natural, dried, and biodegradable bamboo.

Nylon bristles are added to the wooden handle after it’s shaped in the desired form, which are non-biodegradable. Plastic toothbrushes, on the other hand, are made from multiple oil-based hydrocarbon plastics. 

What are bamboo toothbrush benefits?

The bamboo toothbrush benefits supercede traditional plastic toothbrushes. Some of them include:

Bamboo toothbrush benefits

Effective in removing plaque

It is believed by some folks that bamboo toothbrushes don’t effectively remove plaque from the teeth. In contrast, several studies suggest that they are equally or sometimes more effective in removing plaque from the teeth than plastic toothbrushes. 

Biodegradable

Bamboo toothbrush handles are biodegradable, making them more environmental friendly than plastic toothbrushes, which take 700-1000 years to decompose.

Made from sustainable material

Toothbrush is a huge industry and requires toothbrush material that’s is easily and abundantly available. Bamboo is a rapidly-growing, renewable resource, making it sustainable material choice for toothbrushes.

Eco-friendly

The most devastating environmental impact of plastic is the waste that ends up in the rivers and oceans. It also has a significant effect on climate change.  

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the life cycle emissions of plastics, which includes its production and disposal, was 1.8 billion tons and accounts for 3.3% of global emissions. 

Choosing a bamboo toothbrush can help reduce the demand for plastic and decrease the amount of plastic waste entering landfills and oceans and its effects on climate change. Bamboo toothbrushes require 95% less plastic during manufacture than regular plastic toothbrushes. 

A study in the UK showed that a person with an average life expectancy of 80 years disposes almost 6.3 kg of plastics in the form of toothbrushes throughout his life. 

Toothbrushes with biodegradable bristles

The majority of bamboo toothbrushes available in the market have nylon bristles, however, some manufacturers use organic castor bean oil-based soft bristles in their toothbrushes. Castor bean oil is a plant-based polymer processed into toothbrush bristles and breaks down without leaving microplastics. They are better than nylon bristles, which are derived from crude oil.

Safety and Antimicrobial properties of bamboo shoots

Bamboo toothbrushes are safe to use. In some Asian and African cultures, bamboo shoots are eaten. Fertilizers are used in less than 5% of industrial bamboo plantations, as fallen leaves provide sufficient nutrients to the growing shoots. Also, toxic chemicals aren’t used in the cutting and processing of bamboo shoots due to their natural antimicrobial properties. 

Moreover, its antimicrobial properties also inhibit the growth of bacteria on the toothbrush handle.

Recyclable Packaging

Most bamboo toothbrushes come in minimal or plastic-free packaging. They are packed in sustainable cardboard made of recycled craft paper. Also, using bubble wrap in shipping packaging is avoided, reducing the environmental impact. 

Contemporary and ergonomic Design

Most bamboo toothbrushes feature contemporary, comfortable designs and smooth finishes, providing a comfortable grip and brushing experience.

What are the disadvantages of a bamboo toothbrush?

Despite several bamboo toothbrush benefits, they also have some potential disadvantages that you should consider:

Bamboo toothbrush benefits

Nylon bristles – non-biodegradable

Most bamboo toothbrushes use nylon or other synthetic materials for the bristles, which are not biodegradable. While some brands offer biodegradable bristles made from plant-based materials, they may not be as durable as synthetic bristles.

Needs dry storage and proper care to prolong its lifespan

Bamboo toothbrushes may not be as durable as plastic toothbrushes, especially if the bamboo handle isn’t dried properly after every use. Although bamboo toothbrushes easily lasts for 3-4 months, recommended time to change your brush. However, improper handling may degrade or splinter the handle, reducing its life.

Mold growth

Bamboo is a natural material that can absorb moisture, which may lead to mold or bacterial growth if the toothbrush is not allowed to dry properly between uses. Proper care and storage are essential to prevent this issue.

Availability  

Bamboo toothbrushes may be less readily available than plastic ones in some areas. However, they are becoming increasingly popular, but they may still be more challenging to find in certain retail stores.

More Costly

Bamboo toothbrushes may be more expensive than plastic toothbrushes, especially if you opt for brands that prioritize sustainability and eco-friendly packaging. However, the cost difference is often minimal, and many view it as an investment in reducing plastic waste.

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Best bamboo toothbrush 

There are several brands of bamboo toothbrushes in the market and I have listed a few popular brands featuring their unique, and reliable products:

Bambo Earth

Bambo Earth offers bamboo toothbrushes with soft, medium, and charcoal-infused bristles. They focus on sustainability and use recyclable and biodegradable packaging. Their wooden brushes have a waterproof coating with a stylish splinter-resistant design. The bristles are gentle on the gums and are suitable for people with gum disease. They also provide a pack of 10 brushes at a reasonable price. 

Brush with Bamboo

Brush with Bamboo provides toothbrushes that are USDA-certified 100% Biobased bristles, FSC-certified bamboo handles, and compostable packages. They produce over 5 billion toothbrushes annually. The company is also registered with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Bamkiki 

Bamkiki is an Australian-designed and owned company. Their eco-friendly and natural bamboo toothbrushes are made from sustainably sourced MOSO (Phyllostachys edulis) bamboo, a superb quality timer. They also donate 5% of their profits to the Royal Flying Doctor Service in their oral health program. So far, they have donated 2690 toothbrushes to this program. 

The Humble Co.

The Humble Co. is a Sweden-based company that offers eco-friendly and innovative products to its consumers. They have sold 60 million products since 2013 and have supported oral health projects in vulnerable communities in 50 countries around the globe. 

The Humble Co. offers bamboo toothbrushes with soft and medium bristles, as well as toothbrushes specifically designed for children. 

They have a wide range of products with BPA-free nylon bristles, biodegradable handles, and recyclable packaging, and are dentist-approved. Their handles are covered with plant-based wax cover to prevent mold growth. 

MABLE

Mable® is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Their products are made and sourced in China. The bamboo used for toothbrushes and travel cases is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. 

The toothbrush handles are USDA’s BioPreffered Program as 100% Biobased and can be composted after use. The Maso bamboo is FSC certified, ensuring it is sustainably sourced. The brushes have non-BPA nylon bristles, the packaging is recyclable, and orders are shipped plastic-free. 

MABLE offers beautifully shaped toothbrushes with and without charcoal-infused bristles. They also have a bamboo toothbrush travel case in their inventory, so if you’re traveling soon, grab one. 

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What is the best electric bamboo toothbrush?

There are limited options for electric bamboo toothbrushes on the market. The following brands are known for their good quality, sustainable electric bamboo toothbrushes;

Bamboo buddy

Bamboo Buddy is a dentist-led Australian brand; their products are vigorously tested across western Australia and provide the same care as plastic toothbrushes. They provide changeable electric toothbrush heads, and you can choose from 

  • Soft charcoal-infused bristles – stain-removing ability (grey bristles)
  • Nylon 1010 bristles – made from corn starch oil for sensitive teeth (Pink bristles)
  • PBT bristle – made from recycled plastic (blue bristles).

Other brands that provide electric toothbrushes are the Turtle tribe®, Pious Skin, greenlit USA, and Kaylaan.

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What are charcoal-infused bamboo toothbrush and their benefits?

Bamboo toothbrush benefits

Charcoal-infused bamboo toothbrushes are a type of toothbrushes where the bristles are infused with activated charcoal. Activated Charcoal is a highly porous form of carbon known for its ability to absorb impurities and toxins and neutralize odor-causing bacteria. It also whitens and brightens teeth by removing surface stains from the teeth.

The bristles of a charcoal-infused bamboo toothbrush are typically made from nylon. Although bamboo toothbrushes are generally considered more eco-friendly than plastic toothbrushes, it’s important to note that the bristles of charcoal-infused bamboo toothbrushes are typically not biodegradable.

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How often do you replace a bamboo toothbrush? 

It is recommended to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months and the similar rule applies for bamboo toothbrushes too. However, you can replace them earlier if bristles become frayed, flattened or splayed. Also, bamboo toothbrush handles allow growth of mold if kept in humid environment, so if the handle turn black, its time to replace it.

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What are the tips and care for your bamboo toothbrush?

In addition to regular replacement, it’s essential to care for your bamboo toothbrush to prolong its lifespan properly. 

  • Rinse it thoroughly with water after each use.
  • Store it in a dry place and avoid leaving it in a moist environment. 

By following these tips and replacing your bamboo toothbrush as needed, you can maintain good oral hygiene while minimizing environmental impact.

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How to dispose of bamboo toothbrushes?

The nylon bristles on the bamboo toothbrush are not biodegradable, so you need to first remove the bristles from the handle with a pair of pliers. Once the handle is free of bristles, it can be disposed of in a composting bin. Throw the bristles in your usual household waste. Bamboo toothbrushes show a 95% reduction in non-biodegradable plastics compared with plastic toothbrush, which has no biodegradable features.

The cardboard packaging can be recycled as paper. 

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