A: Bamboo toothbrushes handles are biodegradable, but some bristles aren’t. Horse or pig hair bristles are biodegradable but may be tough on your teeth, encouraging gumline recession, bacteria growth and malodor. Try nylon bristles, which are free from the typical chemicals found in plastics. To be eco-friendly, you’ll have to ply the bristles out before composting your toothbrush. Some bamboo toothbrush bristles have activated charcoal. Keep in mind, there are few studies on the effects of charcoal on teeth.
Make sure you keep your brush clean, rinsing well after brushing and keeping your toothbrush out of moist, damp cases. Small, moist spaces encourage bacteria growth. Replace your toothbrush every three months.
Caring for the environment through your dental care product choices is understandable. Plastic takes a long time to break down, up to 1000 years in a landfill. According to the Plastics Oceans Foundation, there are an estimated half-a-million pieces of plastic per square kilometre in some parts of the Great Lakes, equivalent to 2,500 pieces of plastic per area the size of a football field.
If you have any other questions about the effectiveness of the bio-degradable toothbrush brands you’re considering, talk to your dentist or, if you’re looking for a new dentist, schedule an appointment with us.