There are many choices for toothbrushes available on the market today. And given that it isn’t the most exciting item to buy, most consumers don’t pay much attention to it, anyway. However, it’s essential to invest in good quality products as oral health is a crucial part of our overall health. Also, it’s necessary to protect your smile and avoid damage to your teeth or gums. This brings us to another question – Is a bamboo toothbrush better than a plastic one? If yes, then what makes it a better choice?
Despite receiving its share of criticism, even today, plastic remains a popular choice for toothbrushes. This is due in part to its convenience and extremely low cost. But, given the severe impact of plastic on our planet, change is on the way. More consumers are starting to look at non-plastic options like a bamboo toothbrush as a viable alternative.
Are Plastic Toothbrushes Harmful?
A plastic toothbrush does a great job keeping our teeth clean, but it’s also polluting the planet and potentially harming our health.
The problem with plastic is that, while it works great as a durable material, it doesn’t break down the way other materials do. Meaning every bit of plastic ever made still exists somewhere out there in the world. The only way to get rid of plastic is to recycle it or burn it.
Plastic & The Waste Problem
According to ADA, it is advised that we switch to a new toothbrush every 3-4 months. Considering this, National Geographic states that the U.S alone discards around one billion toothbrushes every year, and if we look at the whole world then around 23 billion plastic toothbrushes annually. Now, imagine the amount of plastic waste associated with it. Also, remember a plastic toothbrush, of course, has plastic in it, and so, it can take about 400 years to decompose completely – Now that’s alarming!
The problem is that most people don’t recycle their plastic toothbrushes. In fact, less than 20% of people recycle them. This means that around 50 million pounds of used toothbrushes end up in landfills in the U.S alone.
How Plastic Is NOT Good For You, And The Planet?
The little bits of plastic are incredibly dangerous for marine life. Nearly 700 species have been documented as having encountered plastic debris, with nearly 400 involving entanglement and ingestion. Between entanglement, ingestion, and ecosystem damage, the threat of plastic pollution impacts marine species both large and small.
And then there are all those chemicals leaching out into the environment—and possibly into your mouth. In addition, most toothbrushes contain phthalates, which have been linked to diseases like asthma, altered reproductive development, male fertility issues, and more. In addition, if we don’t store a plastic toothbrush right, it might become home to disease-causing bacteria.
Bamboo Toothbrush: An Eco-Friendly Alternative To Plastic Ones
Although bamboo toothbrushes have been on the market for over a decade, they weren’t widely popular until recently. Now, they are being hailed as an environmentally-friendly dental care product. But before you make the switch, find out more about why bamboo is an excellent alternative to the conventional plastic toothbrush.
How A Bamboo Toothbrush Is Better Than Plastic Toothbrush?
A bamboo toothbrush is more sustainable than a traditional plastic toothbrush as bamboo is biodegradable and biocompatible. They’re free from plastics, harmful chemicals, and bleach. Also, bamboo is a type of grass that regenerates much more quickly than trees.
In fact, bamboo can grow up to a foot per day and reach heights of 100 feet in five years. It also absorbs carbon dioxide as it grows. In addition, it is easy to harvest bamboo in large quantities compared to other tree species.
A bamboo toothbrush is better for our health and the environment when compared to plastic ones. This is because the natural materials in a bamboo toothbrush do not contain phthalates or other chemicals found in plastic products. They also decompose more quickly than plastic toothbrushes.
This means we generate less to no plastic waste that goes into landfills when it’s time for you to switch to a new toothbrush. In addition, bamboo is naturally anti-bacterial and doesn’t hold onto bacteria as plastic toothbrushes do. And by all accounts, we can use a bamboo toothbrush for around six months before needing a new one.
Bamboo Toothbrush Without Nylon Bristles
Bamboo toothbrushes have a lot going for them, including the positive aspects of the material and its production process. However, it’s essential to consider the use case, price, and personal preference when deciding which type is best for you. If you do decide to switch over to a bamboo toothbrush, there are many excellent options available on the market today. Be sure to check out Life Without Plastic‘s lineup of bamboo toothbrushes and picks—they’re the most eco-friendly you can find.
The handle is only one part of the puzzle when it comes to a sustainable toothbrush. The bristles are very important, too! Luckily, the brand is making an eco-friendly toothbrush that’s compostable in its entirety.
This toothbrush has no plastic at all—not even in the bristles. Instead, it uses boar hair, a byproduct of the Chinese meat industry. So, this sustainable toothbrush is 100% PVC, lead, phthalates, and BPA-free. And, the boar hair are thoroughly disinfected and cleaned before use, so you don’t need to worry at all!
As with any bamboo toothbrush, extra care needs to be taken to keep the bristles clean and sanitary. We recommend rinsing them out in hot water every week to prevent mold from growing. Since the entire toothbrush is biodegradable (unlike other bamboo brushes, which have nylon bristles), there’s no need to remove the bristles before composting them. Just toss it in your compost bin when its time is up!
Bottom Line: Considering the facts, it would be safe to say that bamboo brushes are significantly better for the environment than plastic ones. Plus, they generate less waste, making them a more sustainable option. So, if you’re concerned about the impact of regular brushes on landfills and other natural resources, then switching over to a bamboo toothbrush is a great choice!