Is a Bamboo Toothbrush Right for You?
As more and more people reconsider plastic products, bamboo toothbrush isbecoming a popular alternative to the plastic kind. We produce more than 359 million metric tons of plastic every year, and a lot of it ends up in landfills. Plastic isn’t designed to break down. Some plastic products like straws and toothbrushes are difficult to recycle. Bamboo toothbrushes aren’t a new product, but before you make the switch, find out more about why bamboo may be an excellent alternative to reduce plastic waste at home.
What is a bamboo toothbrush?
Bamboo toothbrushes are manual toothbrushes, similar in design to what you would find on any store shelf. A bamboo toothbrush has a long handle and bristles to remove food debris and plaque from your teeth. The critical difference is that the long handle is made from more sustainable bamboo instead of plastic.
Bamboo toothbrushes are one of the oldest types of toothbrushes. The earliest toothbrushes were made in China using bamboo and other natural materials, like using boar’s hair for the bristles. Today’s bamboo toothbrushes use nylon for the bristles like most toothbrushes today. Some manufacturers still use boar’s hair for the bristles or infuse the bristles with activated charcoal.
Are bamboo toothbrushes better for the environment?
Bamboo does have a smaller ecological footprint than plastic because bamboo plants grow quickly, regrowing what was taken for the production of the toothbrush. Bamboo is also biodegradable if used in its raw form, such as for toothbrush handles.
When the nylon bristles are removed, bamboo toothbrush handles can be composted, reused as garden plant markers, or other household uses! However, just like plastic toothbrush handles, they will take up space in a landfill if just thrown away.
Fully biodegradable toothbrushes do exist, with natural fibers for the bristles. Keep in mind that these natural bristles tend to be rougher than nylon bristles, possibly causing wear on your enamel and contribute to receding gums. Speak to your dental hygienist about biodegradable toothbrushes or environmentally-friendly toothbrushes, and they may have recommendations.
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