As people are becoming increasingly aware of the harmful effects of plastic waste, they are diverting themselves to using more eco-friendly and natural alternatives for commodities made commonly of plastics. Survey has shown that people from all over the world dispose of almost 5 billion toothbrushes yearly.
An ordinary plastic toothbrush generally loses its efficacy within 3-4 months and should be replaced with a new one. This adds up to more than 1% of worldwide plastic waste. These plastic toothbrushes are not recyclable and take hundreds of years to decompose. They often end up in the ocean and adversely impact marine life too.
Bamboo or wooden toothbrushes are beautiful alternatives to plastic toothbrushes and are gaining popularity gradually. Let’s find out what makes natural toothbrushes so good and why you should replace your plastic Toothbrush with one of them.
Bamboo Toothbrush: What is It?
Bamboo toothbrushes look like ordinary plastic manual toothbrushes. They have a handle, a brush head, and bristles attached to the head. The handles of such toothbrushes are made up of bamboo.
Though people often regard natural toothbrushes as an innovative concept, it is one of the most primitive types of toothbrushes. As indicated by the Library of Congress, toothbrushes with Bamboo handles and boar bristles were first invented in China. Modern Bamboo toothbrushes, however, do not use boar bristles and have nylon bristles instead.
Also, modern bamboo toothbrushes are not entirely biodegradable. The nylon bristles used still count as plastic waste. Sometimes the bristles of bamboo toothbrushes are made with vegan-friendly, plant-based materials. As a result, they are a greener alternative to conventional toothbrushes.
Why is Bamboo Toothbrush So Hyped?
The primary reason for the popularity of bamboo toothbrushes is the desire of ordinary people to play a part in resolving the global plastic waste problem and making a difference. But it became a hot-selling commodity when various manufacturers boomed into the market, propagating the concept of sustainable living. Nonetheless, bamboo or wooden toothbrushes are an innovative concept to lessen the burden of plastic waste on Mother Earth.
The Benefits of Using a Bamboo Toothbrush
- Bamboo toothbrushes usually have wave-shaped bristles, making it super easy to clean the stubborn plaque and food bits that might have lodged in the hard-to-reach crevices of your teeth.
- They have ergonomic handles, allowing you to brush your teeth with natural flex and comfort.
- The nylon bristles used in bamboo toothbrushes help clean the stains and plaque effectively.
- The bristles are soft and flexible and help massage the gum while brushing your teeth to promote better blood circulation.
- Some manufacturers make bamboo toothbrushes with activated charcoal-infused bristles. The activated charcoal helps pull out all the plaque and stains from the teeth surface, aiding you in getting whiter teeth.
- Bamboo toothbrushes are often infused with neem extracts to provide antimicrobial properties.
- Bamboo toothbrushes are BPA-free and eco-friendly. Switching to a bamboo toothbrush encourages sustainable living.
Is There Any Disadvantage of Using Bamboo Toothbrush?
Using a bamboo toothbrush is not all good. It has some cons too.
- It is not 100% decomposable: While the bamboo handle of the Toothbrush is recyclable and completely biodegradable, the bristles are not made with sustainable materials and are non-recyclable.
- They can be expensive: Plastic toothbrushes are made in bulk and thus are cheap, whereas bamboo toothbrushes are a bit complex and are not usually mass-produced. Some manufacturers even make handmade bamboo toothbrushes. Thus, bamboo toothbrushes are comparatively pricier than plastic ones.
- Some manufacturers sell bamboo toothbrushes in plastic packaging, ultimately defeating the purpose of reducing plastic use. If buying a new bamboo toothbrush, try picking the ones in paper or natural fiber packaging.
Using and Caring for a Bamboo Toothbrush
Before using a new bamboo toothbrush, you need to clean it properly before you begin to use it. Thoroughly rinse the toothbrush bristles and handle before the first use. Bamboo residues and dust might remain between the hairs and on the handles. Rinsing them out ensures that the Bamboo dust doesn’t enter your system.
Bamboo toothbrushes are organic and need special care for better longevity. You might have kept your plastic toothbrushes inside enclosed shelves without drying them properly. But, keeping your bamboo toothbrushes in such a way will damage them. Prolonged exposure to a moist environment can cause mold to develop on the brush handle. The best practice is to shake off the excess water from the Toothbrush after use and store them in an open cup or toothbrush holder in a dry area.
If you take proper care of your Toothbrush by washing and drying them correctly, your bamboo toothbrush will last a long time. However, experts recommend replacing the Toothbrush every three to four months as the bristles might fray and lose efficacy.
What is the right way to dispose of your bamboo toothbrush?
Like most things used for maintaining personal hygiene should be disposed of correctly to ensure minimal exposure of people to your discarded item; the same goes for bamboo toothbrushes too. Experts suggest pulling the bristles out of the Toothbrush head and composting the wooden handle separately. The bamboo handle will degrade within six months.
Swap Your Regular Plastic Toothbrush with an Eco-friendly Bamboo Toothbrush Now!
Sustainable living is the talk of the town now. With experts inventing affordable eco-friendly counterparts of everyday use plastic items, an increasing number of people are choosing to adopt them in their life.
Modern bamboo or wooden toothbrushes are a product of climate-conscious minds, and widespread use is believed to help reduce our environmental impact. So, if you are still using plastic toothbrushes for oral hygiene, it is time to switch to a more environment-friendly option.
By Dr. Achille Kabore