Bamboo Toothbrushes vs. Plastic Toothbrushes: Which Toothbrush is Better?

by Simeon Nikolov on November 30, 2021


As the planet grapples with environmental issues, more and more consumers are looking into more environmentally friendly alternatives for everyday products. One such product is the bamboo toothbrush.

Today, plastic toothbrush is still the predominant brush used, but we can’t deny the rising popularity of bamboo toothbrushes. But are bamboo toothbrushes better than the standard plastic toothbrushes that we’ve been using for decades? Let’s find out if they’re just an eco-friendly fad or a real alternative to plastic toothbrushes.


Why plastic toothbrush is bad for the environment?

The average American throws away about 300 plastic toothbrushes in their lifetime. They can take up a lot of space in a landfill and will not biodegrade for a long time, if at all. Efforts to recycle these toothbrushes have been largely unsuccessful. Plastic toothbrushes add to plastic pollution and the plastic crisis that plague countries worldwide.

Several studies have shown that there is a high chance of toxins getting into our water supply. This is due to the fact that when plastic gets in contact with sunlight it can release chemicals, which have been proven to be carcinogenic.


Why are bamboo toothbrushes eco-friendly?

Bamboo toothbrushes are made from bamboo, which is not only biodegradable, but also provide a more natural and comfortable brushing experience than traditional plastic toothbrushes.

 Bamboo has many benefits including being sustainable, biodegradable, and recyclable. It also has natural antibacterial properties that prevent bacteria from building up.

In recent years, bamboo has been used to make new kinds of toothbrushes that claim to be better for the environment. Bamboo is a sustainable resource that can actually grow up to a foot in a day.

When bamboo is harvested the bamboo plant continues to grow, making it a renewable resource. The end result is a toothbrush that can last for months with no break-down in quality while also being environmentally friendly.

Toothbrushes made from bamboo don’t contain plastic micro-particles, which can be harmful when ingested by animals and humans alike.


Do Bamboo Toothbrushes Clean Better Than Plastic Toothbrushes?

 With its natural antibacterial properties, bamboo has been shown to be more effective at removing plaque than a plastic toothbrush. But there’s no definitive study that supports the notion that bamboo toothbrushes clean better than plastic toothbrushes.

 As long as you follow the American Dental Association’s (ADA) recommended brushing, then you’ll have clean and healthy teeth. The ADA recommends that you brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes twice per day in order to maintain good oral hygiene. Just buy the best bamboo toothbrush that ticks all the right boxes when it comes to your hygiene and environmental needs.


 Are Bamboo Toothbrushes Safe for Our Teeth?

Bamboo is an eco-friendly material as it doesn’t require any pesticides or fertilizers to grow. But is bamboo safe for our teeth? There may be scientifically backed reasons for not being afraid to use bamboo toothbrushes. The main argument for this idea is that bacteria cannot live in the fibers of a bamboo toothbrush.

 Some dentists say, yes bamboo toothbrushes are safe to use. Some bamboo toothbrushes have bamboo bristles which many people less abrasive than plastic and nylon brushes. The bamboo handles are non-slip and good for gripping.


Do Bamboo Toothbrushes have Bamboo Bristles?

 Many bamboo toothbrushes still use nylon bristles, but you can still get a bamboo toothbrush with boar hair bristles. This makes bamboo toothbrushes compostable and biodegradable.


Do Bamboo toothbrushes Get Moldy?

Yes, if not properly cleaned and taken care of, bamboo toothbrushes can grow mold. Keep in mind that bamboo is an organic material that can get moldy when left in damp conditions.

It's still safe to use a bamboo toothbrush, but you should take care to properly dry the toothbrush after every use.


How long do bamboo toothbrushes last before replacing them?

If you’re wondering what’s the average life span of bamboo toothbrushes, the answer is about 3 to 4 months. However, this will depend on how often you brush your teeth and the quality of the bamboo toothbrush you use.

Although bamboo toothbrushes last longer than the typical plastic toothbrushes, you must replace your toothbrush when there’s visible fraying or damage on the bristles, even if you’ve only been using it for less than 3 months. Damaged bristles are more prone to bacteria and mold.


Are bamboo toothbrushes approved by the American Dental Association?

The American Dental Association (ADA) has a list of approved oral care products, but only a few of these products are toothbrushes. The ADA is not known to have endorsed any specific type of toothbrush. What’s clear though is that the ADA recommends the use of soft-bristled toothbrush, whether manual or electric, plastic or bamboo.


How do you properly clean a bamboo toothbrush?

The material used to make the toothbrush will affect how it is cleaned and whether or not it should be replaced. Bamboo toothbrushes are made from natural fibers and can be composted after use.

Follow the general guidelines in cleaning your bamboo toothbrush:

  1. Never share your toothbrush with anyone. Sharing toothbrushes can transmit saliva, microorganisms, and bacteria.
  2. Rinse the bamboo toothbrush thoroughly after use. Make sure to remove any remaining toothpaste and debris.
  3. Shake off any excess water from the bamboo toothbrush. Dry using a towel.
  4. Store your bamboo toothbrush in an upright position to allow them to air dry. Wet toothbrush attracts bugs and bacteria.
  5. Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or when the bamboo toothbrush shows significant damage or fraying on the bristles.


Can You Sanitize Bamboo Toothbrushes?

Any kind of toothbrush can harbor bacteria, especially when not properly cleaned and cared for. If you really want to disinfect your bamboo toothbrush, you can soak it in mouthwash. This can reduce the bacterial load by as much as 85%.

Microwaving bamboo toothbrushes or putting them in dishwasher are not recommended as the heat can damage the bristles. You can use toothbrush sanitizers that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


How do you dispose of bamboo toothbrushes?

Bamboo toothbrushes are one of the most sustainable products on the market today. They are compostable, biodegradable, and will not clog landfill waste. To dispose of them properly, you can cut them up into small pieces and place them into your compost heap. You can also cut off the bristles at the top and bottom of the handle with scissors before placing them in your food waste recycling box.


Bamboo Toothbrush Can Be the Start of an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

Bamboo toothbrushes make up a small percentage of the toothbrush market, but their environmental benefits are worth noting. Bamboo is a renewable resource that can be grown annually without causing damage to the environment. The toothbrushes are biodegradable which means they will decompose even if not disposed of properly. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, ditching your plastic toothbrush and switching to a bamboo toothbrush is a great start for an eco-friendly lifestyle.