The simplest answer to this question, is that you do not have to do anything special to care for your bamboo toothbrush. When you purchase it, or even better, when it arrives to your doorstep every 60 days, all you need to do is use it for the designated amount of time and then throw it out. Buying and using a bamboo toothbrush has virtually all the same processes as depending on the plastic alternative, with a significantly lower impact. In this guide, you will learn all the little things you can consider to decrease your environmental footprint even further and ensure your bamboo toothbrush remains in the best condition possible for the duration of its use.
If you are looking to learn how to get rid of your bamboo toothbrush after using it for the recommended 2-3 months, check out our other blogpost. For a complete guide on how to properly and consciously dispose of your bamboo toothbrush, make sure to check out our detailed blog post about this topic.
How to Store Your Bamboo Toothbrush?
Just like your plastic toothbrush, you can simply store your bamboo toothbrush in a cup next to your sink whenever you are not brushing your teeth. However, if you do live in a particularly humid climate, the bamboo does tend to absorb water and takes longer to dry out than the plastic toothbrush counterpart. Bamboo material has been found to have antibacterial properties which people believe could also be applied to the bamboo toothbrush handles.
Pro tip : Some people have found that leaving the toothbrush horizontal dries it out faster and eliminates any accumulation of moisture and bacteria at the bottom of your toothbrush cup.
How to stop a bamboo toothbrush from going mouldy?
After you use your bamboo toothbrush to scrub your teeth and tongue, all you must do is rinse it with water. Then the most important part is to keep it dry. Since the toothbrush is not made out of impenetrable plastic, it does require you to be a bit more mindful with toothbrush care. To help the drying process you can quickly dab the toothbrush on a towel after each use to keep it in better condition for longer. You will notice that your toothbrush does change colour over time, with the light bamboo colour slowly shifting into a darker brown the more you use it. This is perfectly normal and simply is the sign of a well-used and well-loved toothbrush. All reports have shown that it can stay in good enough condition for the recommended two months use of the toothbrush, however if you do notice it fraying or cracking, you might want to consider switching it earlier.
How to take care of your bamboo toothbrush bristles?
Just like with a normal toothbrush, the bristles on a bamboo toothbrush are also made out of nylon. This means they require the same cleaning as a typical toothbrush. Simply rinse the bristles like you would your conventional toothbrush.
How to take care of your bamboo toothbrush handle?
During the use of your bamboo toothbrush, simply keep your handle dry. Keep in mind that the top portion of your toothbrush that you put in your mouth will change colour after use. Also depending on what tooth paste you use; you might notice the bamboo changing to a lighter colour from the frequent use.
What about the bamboo toothbrush packaging?
Once you receive your toothbrush, the first step in your journey with your new bamboo companion is going to be dealing with the toothbrush packaging. There are many bamboo toothbrush options now sold even at Coles and Woolworths which all come in single use plastic packaging. This is extremely confusing, however can be argued that smaller part of the whole ends up in the landfill. Ideally, you will be dealing with bamboo toothbrushes whose companies have stuck with their ethos past the brush and included biodegradable packaging as the standard option.
Can you compost or recycle bamboo toothbrush packaging?
Most bamboo toothbrushes are packaged in a thin layer of cardboard packaging which can both be recycled or composted. Depending on your situation, you can take your pick. Generally, composting in your home compost will be an environmentally better option as it requires less transport, processing, and energy than sending the cardboard to a recycling plant. There are some bamboo toothbrush companies which have a plasticky inner layer within the cardboard which can also be composted, however this layer requires an industrial compost. In some cities in the world, there are industrial composting curb side pickups, however, do not throw this type of ‘biodegradable’ packaging into your own garden compost. It requires much higher temperatures and specific oxygen compositions to break down. Something that food scraps and some brown compost material will not be able to replicate in your family composting kit.
How Frequently Should You Replace your Bamboo Toothbrush?
To keep your oral hygiene optimal and keep your dentist happy, the general recommendation from dental practitioners is to replace your toothbrush every two to three months. Of course, if you do scrub your teeth quite hard and find the bristles fraying earlier, you should replace it accordingly. To keep your mouth and teeth healthy, your toothbrush’s bristles should not be frayed and properly rinsed after every use.
This means that many dental practices are now recommending the bamboo toothbrush as the ideal utensil to keep your teeth clean. Not only does a bamboo toothbrush perform the same task as a regular, traditional plastic toothbrush, it is a fantastic eco friendly alternative in an industry filled with single use plastics.
What to do after you have used your bamboo toothbrush?
After the three month life span or until the toothbrush bristles have frayed, you have several options with what to do with it. You can either retire the entire toothbrush for alternative uses around your house: such as nail cleaners or dirt scrubbers, or you can simply remove the nylon bristles from the biodegradable handle prior to throwing it in the compost.
Is the extra hassle of a bamboo toothbrush worth it?
If everyone in the world would transition to a bamboo toothbrush, up to 850 million toothbrushes could be saved from the landfill. If you consider this in a visual way, you could lay out all the bamboo toothbrushes used in Australia every year tip to tip, they would encircle the earth once! That is almost 40,075km worth of toothbrushes thrown out every year! The plastic toothbrushes that are thrown out end up in the landfill where they do not decompose, or worse end up travelling down rivers and the waterways into the world oceans. There they add to the enormous plastic pollution issue of plastic oceans. If you want to learn more about the benefits of choosing a bamboo toothbrush, check out this blog post about the top 10 benefits of the bamboo toothbrush.
Is the bamboo toothbrush better?
Caring for the bamboo toothbrush is essentially no different than the plastic alternative, yet having a renewably sourced material brushing your teeth can significantly help create a positive impact on your health and the planet. So, what are you waiting for? Get on board and get yourself and your family a bamboo toothbrush delivered to your door monthly, or every 90 days according to your needs. This way you will be saving money, time, and the planet!