Find the best eco friendly toothbrush for your family and say goodbye to plastic toothbrushes forever with the help of Baba Me.
Do you know how many plastic toothbrushes are out there? BILLIONS! and every single one ever used is still out there intact somewhere, polluting the planet.
You can help fight this problem by switching to a natural bamboo, beechwood or cornstarch toothbrush instead. These sustainable alternatives are made from renewable resources so they won’t last forever like those made from plastics.
Plus, these brushes have been proven to be just as effective at cleaning your teeth as their plastic counterparts! Read on for our top tips and what to look for in an eco friendly toothbrush to suit your family.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Shop
- What size do I need- adult or child?
- Would I prefer a soft of medium Bristle? (Always choose soft for children)
- Handle Material- traditional toothbrushes use plastic, a natural toothbrush usually features bamboo or other plant based material
- Bristle Material- Bpa free nylon, or fully compostable plant based material? Some bristles are infused with bamboo charcoal fiber for extra thorough cleaning
- Brand- Some brands hold higher eco credentials than others! For example, every brush sold by the Humble Co supports a child in need.
About Environmentally Sustainable Toothbrushes
If you’re looking to swap your plastic toothbrush or electric toothbrush for something more eco friendly then we suggest looking in to moso bamboo toothbrushes. Other eco friendly and sustainable toothbrushes are made from natural materials like biodegradable beechwood and cornstarch.
Cornstarch and bamboo toothbrushes will biodegrade in either your home or commercial compost. You can choose between soft-bristle or medium bristles from most ranges of eco friendly toothbrushes, with hard bristles also available. And best of all- they are just as good at cleaning your teeth. And of course, don’t forget the kids- there are lots of zero waste kids toothbrushes out there with super soft bristles for even the youngest, most sensitive gums.
Some of our favourite bamboo brushes are from popular brands like Truthbrush, Curanatura, NFco and Jack N’ Jill for the little ones. These toothbrushes are eco friendly, plastic free and feature a bamboo handle with nylon bristles mixed with bamboo dust whilst some have castor bean oil on the bamboo brush. Some have charcoal bristles or bristles made from castor oil which are just as effective in removing plaque and food debris from teeth and gums. Most are completely waste free because most of them come in recyclable packaging.
Remember, there is no planet b! The best eco toothbrushes are vegan and plastic free. Whilst boar bristles in toothbrush heads as toothbush bristles may be eco friendly, we prefer the vegan brushes route.
What Can I Use Instead of a Plastic Toothbrush?
Bamboo is quick growing so it is a sustainable source of wood. Bamboo is therefore a popular option for toothbrush handles. Charcoal infused bristles will help remove stains and protect against bad breath.
When you are finished with the brush, snap off the biodegradable bamboo handle and it can be composted, used in the garden as plant support or name marker or repurposed for use as a small scrubbing brush until the bristles are no longer usable.
Plastic free toothpaste is another option to add to your zero waste toothbrush routine and comes in tablet form or in natural form in a glass jar. You can even pick up zero waste dental floss so you can have a completely plastic free dental routine!
Most people don’t realise it, but billions of plastic toothbrushes are thrown away and never recycled every day because they can’t be broken down into their components for reuse. In fact, In the UK alone 200 million plastic toothbrushes are discarded every year!
And while some may argue that disposables are recyclable, the thing is that a major reason they’re not recycled in the UK today is that most of them are made from polypropylene (PP), which can’t be broken down into its basic components and reused.
A plastic toothbrush with plastic handles or bristles will end up clogging our landfills for eternity.Meanwhile, a wooden toothbrush is made from a natural, sustainable resource that biodegrades in soil.
Why Should You Switch?
There are so many reasons to ditch plastic toothbrushes for their biodegradable counterparts like a bamboo toothbrush. The first and very obvious reason is plastic pollution. Plastic takes a hundred years or more to break down which means every toothbrush you ever owned still exists!
Making eco friendly swaps can be difficult which is why the bathroom is a good place to start ditching plastic products for their zero-waste alternatives. Unlike their plastic counterparts, eco friendly toothbrushes like a bamboo toothbrush are biodegradable and sustainable.
Bamboo is often the go-to material by eco-brands because of its sustainability and renewability. Bamboo as a tree does not require artificial irrigation and chemicals like pesticides. Once your eco friendly toothbrush made from sustainable bamboo reaches the end of its life, you can simply toss the bamboo biodegradable handle into your compost bin. Make sure to remove the bristles beforehand.
In addition to this, the manufacturing process for traditional disposable brushes requires a lot of resources and toxic chemicals are created as waste products during the production phase.
What are the Benefits of Using Eco Friendly Toothbrushes?
On top of all these negative aspects about plastic toothbrushes, they’re even more damaging when it comes down to the health of humans and animals, as they often contain BPA (a chemical that mimics estrogen) which is known to cause a wide range of different types of adverse effects on our endocrine system.
If you like to buy packs of toothbrushes, the NFCO twin pack of brushes is a good set for you. The handles are made of cornstarch, this is biodegradable and will reduce to a chalk-like stick within a year of being put into a home compost. This reduces to 90 days in commercial compost. Nylon is the material for the bristle and nylon is recyclable so make sure to put it into your recycle bin.
Personal care products that are made from natural and sustainable materials and ingredients are becoming more popular each year because many people want to reduce their plastic waste. Some of these products even come in plastic-free packaging, which helps reduce plastic waste even further.
For Adults & Little Kids
The best bamboo toothbrush is not only for adults, but it’s also for little children and the whole family. It has a nice balance and is easy to use when you have to clean your children’s teeth.
For children’s oral care, their toothbrushes should have soft bristles and a small brush head to fit around their growing mouths. It is recommended you should change your toothbrushes every 6 weeks so it is vital to make the switch to a sustainable alternative.
It is recommended that parents clean their children’s teeth until around age seven. This is easiest done if you sit with your child on your lap and their head is resting on your shoulder. You can easily reach around their whole mouth with their toothbrush. They can finish the job or start it but you are responsible for getting all of the surfaces completely clean for them.
If like many people you are trying to reduce waste then you’ll almost certainly be looking at the number of single-use plastics you buy and figuring out ways to cut them out. Changing to an ecofriendly toothbrush is a great place to start.
Not all eco-friendly product switches are created equal. Some like washable nappies or even switching to reusable food wraps instead of cling film require an initial outlay that is far greater than the weekly cost of buying disposable plastics. And even though you ‘ll probably save money in the long run not everyone can afford the upfront costs.
Other commitments to reduce plastic waste require time and effort that it can be difficult to maintain, such as shopping at a local farmers market to avoid plastic packaged veggies or making your own homemade deodorant and dishwasher tablets.
However there are some switches that are so simple you ‘ll be wondering why you didn ‘t do it years ago and changing to a plastic free toothbrush is definitely on that list. They are cost-effective, last just as long and are just as good at cleaning your teeth. Yet they look better and are kinder to the planet.
Choosing the best bamboo toothbrush
When looking for the best bamboo toothbrush the primary things to consider are the size. Do you need a child toothbrush or an adult bamboo toothbrush? It’s also important to think about how firm you would prefer the bristles to be.
When it comes to the bristles you have a number of options both in terms of how soft they are and when they are made of.
Studies have shown that soft bristles brushes are just as effective at cleaning your teeth as medium bristles yet are less likely to do any damage. Softer bristles are generally recommended for children and those who have sensitive gums and dentists tend to recommend soft bristles for all although many people prefer a firmer (medium) bristle.
Once you have chosen how firm or soft a toothbrush you want you can also look at what the bristles are made from.
Prefer an Electric Toothbrush? How about a Bamboo Electric toothbrush?
If you prefer to use an electric toothbrush, there’s no need to compromise on that preference on your search for the perfect eco friendly toothbrush. Several leading eco friendly toothbrush brands now produce electric bamboo toothbrushes, featuring a bamboo handle, rechargeable batteries and replaceable heads.
The best electric bamboo toothbrushes will have plant based fully compostable toothbrush heads and will be USB chargeable rather than using single use batteries.
The average person will need to replace toothbrush heads every 4-6 weeks; you will notice the bristles start to wear down. Keep your carbon footprint minimal by stocking up on toothbrush heads rather than having regular deliveries.
How to Keep Your Bamboo Toothbrush Clean
You can look after your natural toothbrush in much the same way you would look after traditional toothbrushes. Do however be aware that zero waste toothbrushes will be susceptible to water damage- this is natural sustainable materials like wood or corn starch which are not water resistant.
- After each use, rinse your natural toothbrush with warm water to remove any debris.
- Store your sustainable toothbrush in a cup that allows drainage, so that the wooden handle can dry fully between uses- unlike your average toothbrush made of plastic, prolonged moisture will shorten the life of your wooden brush.
- For extra hygiene, you can occasionally rinse your brush in boiling hot water or using a baking soda solution.
Eco-credentials of bamboo toothbrushes
If you are looking for a brush made from entirely plant-based materials then go for Hydrophil. This company has developed a bristle made from only plant-based material meaning there’s no petroleum-based nylon which is the most commonly used material.
At minimum, you want to ensure that the brush feature wooden or bamboo handles and that the toothbrush bristles are made from bpa free nylon, plant based or other sustainable material. Be aware of eco friendly toothbrush options made from recycled plastics- it may be better than some other plastic branded brushes, but there are still better options available!
Boar hair is a good plastic free option but is not favoured by those with higher standards of ethical practice. We much prefer a cruelty free, certified vegan option. The Humble co produce plant based toothbrushes, featuring a moso bamboo handle and bpa free nylon bristles. The produce a children’s toothbrush with small head to suit little mouths, as well as zero waste toothbrushes for adults.
Other things to consider would be where the toothbrush is manufactured- are the products sustainably created? Are farmers and employees paid fairly? Does the manufacturer handle ingredients which are tested on animals and operate cruelty free policies?
Some brands will support those in need or campaigns to protect the environment, for example, every Humble brush sold helps a child in need receive a zero waste toothbrush, oral care or education around dental hygiene.
Don’t forget to look at the packaging, opting for compostable materials such as paper or cardboard over plastic.
Other Zero Waste Bathroom Ideas
Having a zero-waste bathroom is a good start to sustainable and eco friendly living. And that’s why we at Baba Me HQ love the best brushes with a sustainably grown bamboo toothbrush handle and using a biodegradable toothbrush!
Bamboo toothbrushes are the perfect sustainable alternative to plastic toothbrushes as at the end of life they will biodegrade down, no need for a special recycling program (though the bristles might). You can also get a bamboo case for when you are travelling.
Of course, eco friendly toothbrushes are just one of many switches you can make on your zero waste journey- and we’ll be here for you when you are ready to ditch even more plastic in your health, bathing or beauty routine.
A Final Message
Your oral care routine is a great place to start if you are beginning a journey towards sustainable living. The good news is, there are plenty of great eco friendly toothbrushes out there that will do just as great a job, if not better than a regular toothbrush, at keeping your pearly whites clean and fresh.
No matter what, ensure that your new sustainable toothbrush is bpa free, is approved by dental professionals and is made from truly sustainable materials- not all zero waste toothbrushes are created equally!
Good luck and don’t forget to check out our other posts for more help and tips around sustainable living.