Should you be making the switch to a bamboo toothbrush?
Bamboo toothbrushes are becoming increasingly popular due to their impressive environmental and sustainability credentials.
Bamboo toothbrushes cause less greenhouse gas emissions, less acidification (of land, marine and freshwater), less ecotoxicity, less eutrophication, a lower risk to human health (in terms of of cancer risk), use less land, deplete less Ozone, and use less energy and less water when the the overall production, delivery and use is compared with normal plastic toothbrushes and electric toothbrushes.
97% less plastic
Most bamboo toothbrushes use nylon bristles which, despite some false claims, are not biodegradable and therefore not zero waste. Others use hog hair which is not cruelty free and not as hygienic.
Although bamboo toothbrushes have nylon bristles, they do not have plastic handles and usually have plastic free packaging. Bamboo toothbrushes are therefore currently the best option for minimal use of plastic – using 97% less plastic than normal plastic handled toothbrushes.
6-11 times lower impact on climate change
Electric vs Manual
There is good evidence that electric toothbrushes are more effective at plaque removal than manual toothbrushes. For most people though, using a manual toothbrush with a good technique will be perfectly adequate to maintain their oral health.
When weighing up the efficiency and environmental impact, bamboo toothbrushes are the best manual toothbrushes currently available.
Choosing a bamboo toothbrush
- Pick a brush with medium strength bristles, unless otherwise advised by your dentist
- Look for smaller heads for better precision cleaning
- Curvy or flat bristled heads are both fine
- If you are buying for your family, pick a pack that contains different colours or designs for easy identification of which brush belongs to who
- Choose a brand with plastic free packaging
- Choose cruelty free toothbrushes
- Don’t get distracted by misleading claims of biodegradable bristles
- Don’t place too much emphasis on marketing ploys such as charcoal infused bristles
A good manual toothbrush
- 97% less plastic compared to a plastic toothbrush
- Environmentally friendly handle and packaging
- Cheap and effective when used with a good brushing technique
- Medium strength bristles
- Different designs for easy identification
- Cruelty free (and suitable for vegans)