Bamboo Toothbrushes: Are They Worth It?

Many people are trying to make better decisions about plastic use, especially now that we have many environmental concerns that need to be addressed. One way to reduce plastic use at home is to switch to bamboo toothbrushes.

Some plastic products, like toothbrushes and straws, are almost impossible to recycle. According to National Geographic, nearly 448 million tons of plastic toothbrushes are made each year. This poses many problems as plastic doesn’t break down and is often not recycled.

Are bamboo toothbrushes better than plastic ones for the environment? And are they as effective as plastic ones? Let’s learn more about bamboo toothbrushes, their benefits, and how to care for them.

Holistic Dentistry and the Environment

Holistic dentists balance modern and natural medicine in their treatments, like not using mercury and some cosmetic procedures. They offer the best possible care for their patients and, by extension, the environment.

Holistic dentists are often eco-friendly even without being conscious of it. Their practices often reduce waste and pollution and use technology to benefit patients and the environment.

What is a Bamboo Toothbrush?

A bamboo toothbrush looks just like any other toothbrush. The only difference is that its head and handle are made of bamboo wood instead of plastic.

Bamboo toothbrushes may seem like a new eco-friendly trend, but they’re actually one of the oldest toothbrush types. According to the Library of Congress, the first bristle toothbrushes had bamboo handles and boar hair bristles, originating from China in the 15th century.

Modern bamboo toothbrushes are more likely to have nylon bristles than those made from boar hair. However, some still have bristles made with boar hair. Some are even infused with activated carbon, which can help whiten your teeth.

The packaging of a bamboo toothbrush may also be a bit different. They usually come packaged in a biodegradable cardboard box because the plastic used to make the packaging for regular toothbrushes is not good for the environment. They may also be wrapped in biodegradable plastic, but check the packaging to be sure.

Benefits of a Bamboo Toothbrush

You probably don’t realize how many toothbrushes you’ll go through in your lifetime. You’ll likely go through 300 toothbrushes if you replace them every three to four months. This translates to 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes a year worldwide. That’s a lot of plastic that ends up in landfills and oceans.

Using an organic toothbrush is one way to help reduce your impact on the environment. Bamboo toothbrushes are just as effective as regular plastic ones, and they have many benefits to offer.

Recyclable and Eco-friendly

Bamboo toothbrushes are an eco-friendly replacement for traditional plastic toothbrushes. They are biodegradable, and you can use them for other creative purposes around the house once you’re done using them for their initial task of cleaning your teeth, gums, and tongue.

It takes up to four to six months for them to decompose in a compost bin, depending on what’s inside it. You can also use them as wood for your fireplace, dispose of them at your local commercial composter, or plant markers in your garden.

Reduces Plastic Waste

Why are bamboo toothbrushes better for the environment? Recent studies have shown that bamboo toothbrushes have a lower environmental impact than traditional plastic and electric toothbrushes. Replacing plastic handles with bamboo ones reduces plastic waste once you dispose of them.


Bamboo is one of the world’s fastest-growing plants, and they require little water, fertilizer, and pesticide use. It’s renewable and sustainable, producing less pollution in manufacturing them.

Cleans Your Teeth

While they have bamboo handles, bamboo toothbrushes still have nylon bristles that provide the same care as plastic ones. They provide the same benefits as traditional plastic toothbrushes while being more eco-friendly.

Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing at least once daily.


Bamboo toothbrushes have soft nylon bristles that provide a gentle brushing experience, just like plastic ones. The bristles are safe for everyone, leaving less impact on your teeth and gums. They are also easy to remove when you are ready to dispose of them.

They are also available in different sizes and colors.

How to Care for Your Bamboo Toothbrushes

You can use bamboo toothbrushes like plastic ones and keep the same considerations when buying or caring for one. When selecting your bamboo toothbrush, consider the size, shape, and bristle type. You want a toothbrush that fits comfortably in your mouth, with soft bristles and an easy-to-grip handle.

Replace your bamboo toothbrush as frequently as any other toothbrush so you can clean your mouth more effectively. The American Dental Association suggests replacing your toothbrush every three to four months or when there is visible damage or fraying of the bristles.

How to Properly Recycle Your Bamboo Toothbrushes

Some bamboo toothbrushes have nylon bristles. Remove them with tweezers and place them in the non-recyclable trash bin. Once that’s done, put your bamboo toothbrush into the compost bin. It also helps to break it down into smaller bits with a hammer. Your toothbrush will eventually decompose after a few months.

Other Eco-friendly Dental Products

Aside from switching to an eco-friendly toothbrush, you can also get other environmentally-friendly products. Normal dental floss is often made of nylon, but you can also get plant-based, non-plastic dental floss made of pure silk. You can also get biodegradable flossers if you prefer using them when you clean your teeth.

Natural toothpaste and mouthwash may also interest you because they don’t have many chemicals found in most commercial ones.

Key Takeaway

People are making conscious lifestyle decisions to be more eco-friendly, like using a bamboo toothbrush. It’s a small change, but it helps reduce the plastics going to landfills and oceans.

Bamboo toothbrushes are similar to traditional plastic ones and clean teeth just as effectively. The only difference is that their heads and handles are made of bamboo, a sustainable, recyclable, and renewable material.

Visit Sunrise Dentistry for a holistic dental experience.

Our dentists at Durango CO, provide an excellent holistic dental experience for their patients. They practice mercury-free dentistry and consider your overall wellness when providing dental treatments. They can also recommend the best bamboo toothbrushes that will suit you best. Call us today for inquiries or concerns; we’re here to help.