Why I Switched To A Bamboo Toothbrush

This post comes from our Australia contributor, Miann Scanlan. Follow along with her on Instagram @freepeopleaustralia!

Over the past twelve months or so, I’ve felt the pull of the conscious global shift in energies towards a more sustainable future for our planet. I’m really enjoying my journey toward a chemical free existence, especially discovering the many simplicities of what at first seemed like a daunting task ahead.

For the most part, the decisions to switch out chemical products for natural alternatives has been a conscious decision, but there have been moments when my body has guided me in the right direction. For instance, about a 8 months ago I was on the contraceptive pill. I knew it wasn’t right for my body but I kept taking it, thinking finding an alternative would be too hard. But it got to the point where I physically could not swallow the tiny tablet – I’d gag or couldn’t keep it down. Psychologically and physically I knew it was time to move on. The same thing happened recently. I noticed a uneasy feeling when picking up my plastic toothbrush and smearing fluorescent coloured sparkly toothpaste on the nylon bristles. It just didn’t quite seem right, and that sickening feeling arose within me once more.

Enter the bamboo toothbrush. I’d seen them in the health food stores and had always dismissed them as something only a hessian-bag wearing hippie would use. Man, was I wrong.

why to use a bamboo toothbrush

Did I mention, I love being wrong?

After about a week of using the new brush, I can’t believe I hadn’t made the switch sooner.  Not only does it clean just as well as the plastic alternatives, it looks prettier too! I decided to do some more investigating into other, less cosmetic, aspects of the industry so that I could convince all my friends to make the switch too.

why to use a bamboo toothbrush

I was shocked at what I found.

For just about every plastic product we use and overuse, there is another solution. My whole life I’ve avoided plastic water bottles so as to not contribute the unnecessary plastic to landfill, but never had thought to apply this practice to my oral care. Turns out billions of plastic brushes reach landfills globally each year. Unfortunately this doesn’t account for the millions of those that don’t make it into the trash – those plastics that end up in our waterways and eventually polluting our oceans, harming wild life and marine life.

More than filling tips, killing animals, and adding to the giant floating mid-ocean garbage patches the size of countries, the plastic brushes also take at least over a thousand years to degrade – which is why bamboo is so great. Bamboo is a fast growing, environmentally sustainable timber that regenerates itself naturally with minimal rain and without the need for harmful pesticides. The energy that goes into making a bamboo toothbrush is merely a tiny fraction of that which is required to produce the plastic alternative.

why to use a bamboo toothbrush

For a cleaner planet, clearer conscience, and happy teeth I recommend heading to your local health food store and doing some research on the types of brushes available. Also check out this blog post on other switches you can make for a more natural mouth care routine.

Find Miann at miannscanlan.com & instagram @miannscanlan and @freepeopleaustralia

Comments

  1. I agree with Aislinn above and want to know more. I’m starting in on this as well, and I’d love to know about where you ended up.

    “what switches did you make regarding the pill?”

  2. Hearing ‘chemical free’ irks me. Your all-natural stuff still has chemicals in it. Water, for instance, is a chemical.

  3. Thank you for posting this! I have been searching for an alternative to plastic toothbrushes. I kept searching under wooden toothbrushes and did not find anything. I had no idea bamboo brushes existed. I just bought a handful to use as stocking stuffers for Christmas. I saw a special on PBS that showed how plastic toothbrushes take hundreds of years to decompose and this is a much better alternative.

    Thanks again:)

  4. Thank you so much for this post! This blog has such great articles, and is influencing SO many people to be healthier and more environmentally conscious. Don’t ever change!

  5. Awesome post! I too have changed to a bamboo toothbrush. I like the way it looks and feels. I’m not sure where you got yours but I’ve been buying mine on amazon ..

  6. Be a little wary about which bamboo toothbrush you buy. Some bamboo-handled brushes have nylon bristles- not bio-degradable. Most of Got Wood’s don’t (one exception for children, fair enough).

    (my bamboo toothbrushes last up to 6 months, and when I need to change I use the old one as a plant stake for small herbs etc or I wire four or more together, brush ends side by side and use as a cleaning brush for anything (with bio carb, they are great for fiddly corners when cleaning bathrooms)

    Bamboo is a harvest which does require cultivated land, soil fertilisation and, some species require pesticides against fungus and insects. I’m currently investigating via academic papers the species of bamboos used in the majority of bamboo products which reach our shores from China and what their requirements are in terms of irrigation, fertilisers, pesticides etc.

    At the end of the day, even if to manufacture a bamboo toothbrush requires some burden on the environment, it will far less likely do so at the end of its life. IMAGINE if all plastic could be replaced my natural materials.

    J

  7. The plastic in your toothbrush is infinitesimal compared to the plastic collectively wasted daily. And guess how much fossil fuel you burn up taking delivery on four toothbrushes via courier from your feel-good-save-the-earth-eco online store. There are 350M people consuming – worrying about the plastic content of a toothbrush is absurd in the larger scheme. You can’t feed and care for that many people on free-range organic everything.

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