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Pros and Cons of Bamboo Toothbrushes with Charcoal Bristles

Updated: Oct 11, 2019

Have you ever consider what people used to clean their teeth before toothbrushes? While recently conducting researching, we became aware of the invention of the earliest toothbrush. Originally, clothing, twigs, salt, and chalk were primary tools for cleaning teeth. During the Ming Dynasty, twists with bristles started to appear, but nothing similar to the plastic toothbrushes we have today. Dental hygiene is paramount, and thus there are literally dozens of toothbrushes from soft, medium, and hard bristles to those made without any plastic components.

Early concepts of brushing our teeth were definitely more biodegradable than the plastic we use today, but it is fair to say they were less effective. Is there a type of toothbrush today that we can use that is safer for the environment but just as healthy for our teeth? Dental experts believe there is—the bamboo toothbrush is biodegradable. It is as effective as plastic or the plastic-electric brushes used by many. Bamboo toothbrushes with charcoal bristles are just one type, as some have nylon fibers. However, it is fair to say the bamboo style brush is definitely more earth-friendly than the plastic counterpart we are used to seeing all over stores and dental offices.

But, wait—isn’t bamboo rare? Some of us were taught bamboo is unique; however, the lesson forgot to say there is more than one type of bamboo in Asia and the South Pacific. There are the bamboo plant panda bears eat, and at least three other species they do not eat. Bamboo can be a lot like pine in the US, prolific based on the variety of plant species.

Bamboo is technically a grass and can be cut without killing the plant. When you mow grass it doesn’t die, it continues to grow. This makes bamboo a highly renewable, eco-friendly resource. Bamboo grows faster than any wood and can be grown and harvested without the use of pesticides.

So, let’s take a look at the pros of using bamboo toothbrushes, now that we know bamboo is not as rare as we might have thought.

Pros of Bamboo Toothbrushes

  • Bamboo toothbrushes are more biodegradable than plastic.

  • Bamboo is antimicrobial, which plastic brushes lack. It means the toothbrush is more resistant to bacteria that can grow on plastic.

  • Bamboo brushes are made with biodegradable brushes, like charcoal bristles instead of plastic or nylon. Although, some do have nylon heads, so you want to verify that your bamboo toothbrush does not have nylon bristles.

  • Charcoal bristles are also considered biodegradable and better for your oral health compared to plastic or nylon.

  • Bamboo brushes are compostable, and the best ones are sold in compostable boxes.

Cons of Bamboo Toothbrushes

  • Some are sold in plastic packaging.

  • Others have nylon bristles.

  • Expensive compared to plastic

When you are shopping for toothbrushes, you want to make sure you are getting what you pay for. The pros of bamboo toothbrushes are only possible when you ensure you are getting a biodegradable head and packaging. Otherwise, you are not helping by switching to a mainly biodegradable toothbrush.

Now let’s consider the charcoal element to the biodegradable brush. Charcoal bristles are biodegradable. Better still, the bristles can resist bacteria just like the bamboo handle.

Some people ask if you need to use charcoal toothpaste with the toothbrush. You could, and in fact, there are many benefits to using the combination besides being friendlier to the earth.

Activated charcoal toothpaste helps naturally whiten your teeth and eliminates more bacteria than other toothpaste sold on the market. Actually, when it comes to shopping for toothpaste to go with your new toothbrush, you might want to consider it.

Several products like neem, charcoal, and natural peppermint are healthier cleaning agents than what is sold for a few bucks at a big box store. You want to consider your toothpaste along with the benefits of a charcoal bamboo brush to make sure your mouth is getting the best attention it can get.

Now its time to address the cost of bamboo versus plastic. More bamboo products are coming on to the market, and there is an abundance of the bamboo plants used to make these products. Unfortunately, the cost of making bamboo toothbrushes compared to plastic is not the same. It is cost-effective to keep churning out plastic despite what it does to the earth.

Bamboo charcoal brushes should be replaced every three to six months, like your plastic brush. If you have to spend more on the toothbrush, but it has the same longevity, it may not seem like the most cost-effective for your pocketbook. The glaring truth is that it is not cost-effective, but the moral code you live by is where you find the savings.

Knowing you are doing the right thing now to lower the carbon footprint and create less waste and pollution should be enough to convince you that bamboo or other biodegradable toothbrushes are better than what you save monetarily speaking.

You owe it to future generations to improve on what the past generations have provided, including finding ways to purchase products that will help the earth and you. Your oral health should be a consideration for the cost of the product. Bamboo is healthier, and the bristles are better for you than nylon or plastic. Don’t let the price be a turnoff because the benefits far outweigh the cost.

Remember, with bamboo charcoal toothbrushes, you are gaining an antimicrobial material on the brush head and handle. You have a brush that comes in a variety of soft, medium, and hard bristles that ensure your teeth are adequately cleaned. You also have charcoal toothpaste to help add to your hygiene.

With compostable material, comfortable handles and bristles, there really should not be a choice between plastic or bamboo. Comfort, hygiene, and the earth are all considered when it comes to bamboo charcoal toothbrushes versus the plastic alternative. Helping to save Mother Earth can be as simple as changing the way you brush your teeth.

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