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Is a Bamboo Toothbrush Right for You?

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In the face of rising environmental concerns, eco-conscious Australians are choosing biodegradable products like the bamboo toothbrush.

What’s wrong with plastic toothbrushes?

According to the Department of the Environment and Energy, Australia generated a staggering 67 million tonnes of waste in 2016/17 alone. Much of this waste was plastic that couldn’t be recycled and was directed to landfills, contributing to the enormous burden of plastic waste on our planet.

Terracycle is able to help if you're someone who wants to recycle their plastic toothbrushes.

Should you use a bamboo toothbrush instead?

Switching to a bamboo toothbrush is a simple way to reduce the amount of disposable plastic you use. Aside from the bamboo handle, they’re very similar to traditional manual toothbrushes and are just as effective at removing food particles and plaque from your teeth.

Are bamboo toothbrushes just another eco trend?

Bamboo toothbrushes have seen a huge surge in popularity in recent years. However, they actually go all the way back to ancient China, where the first bristle toothbrushes were made from bamboo handles and boar hairs.

Are bamboo toothbrushes really eco-friendly?

Bamboo is biodegradable, so a bamboo toothbrush handle is better for the environment when compared to plastic, non-biodegradable ones. If you use a toothbrush with boar bristles, or remove the nylon bristles first, then you can compost your bamboo toothbrush when you're finished with it.

Choosing a Bamboo Toothbrush

Just as you would when choosing a traditional plastic toothbrush, you should choose a bamboo toothbrush with your specific needs in mind.

For example, choose a brush with a head that fits comfortably in your mouth and a handle that you can easily grip and manoeuvre. This is particularly important if you’re buying a bamboo toothbrush for children, as they have smaller jaws and limited dexterity.

Pay attention to the bristles, too. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a soft nylon-bristled brush, but some bamboo toothbrushes are made with coarser boar bristles. These bristles may be too rough for some people and lead to enamel abrasion, sensitivity and gum irritation.

To make sure you’re cleaning your teeth effectively, you should replace your bamboo toothbrush as often as you would your plastic toothbrush. The Australian Dental Association (ADA) recommends replacing your brush every three months, or as soon as it shows signs of wear and tear like bent or splayed bristles – whichever comes first.

If you’re wondering whether or not a bamboo toothbrush is right for you, it’s always best to ask your dentist.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.