If you’re trying to reduce your carbon footprint, replacing your plastic toothbrush with a bamboo version is a great place to start. The best bamboo toothbrushes feature soft bristles that gently brush your teeth, so you can keep your dental hygiene at the top of its game in the most eco-friendly way possible. Plus, some have ergonomically designed handles for comfortable brushing, and others feature colorful bristles for a design-savvy touch to your bathroom.
As with any toothbrush, the kind of bristles you choose matters. Arabelle McNamara, DMD, is a dentist and owner of Sunset Dental in Ocean, New Jersey, and she recommends soft or extra-soft bristles as they can help maintain gums and preserve natural tooth structure. She says, “You want smooth, soft bristles, without any rough or sharp edges, so be careful when purchasing a cheap, poor quality toothbrush because it can lead to gum loss and decay.”
You’ll also want to replace your brush on the regular — at least every 90 days, according to Rob Raimondi, DDS, of One Manhattan Dental, although it’s a good idea to change it out sooner, just to be safe: “The brush starts to scratch the tooth and gum tissue. This occurs from the bristles breaking, much like split ends of one’s hair. This can physically damage your gum tissue, along with introducing bacteria into your gums and bloodstream.”
Last, keep in mind that nylon bristles are sourced from petroleum and are not fully biodegradable, so we’ve included an option made with boar bristles if you’re looking for the most eco-friendly toothbrush — but keep in mind these tend to be stiffer than soft nylon, so they may be a bit harsh on teeth and gums. With all that in mind, these are the best bamboo toothbrushes on Amazon, so you can keep your pearly whites in good condition while being kind to mother earth.
Still have questions? We've got you covered.
How long do bamboo toothbrushes last?
Like all toothbrushes, bamboo toothbrushes should be replaced at least every 90 days. Once your bamboo toothbrush is ready to retire, you have a few options for what to do with it next. Most are compostable, although with some, you'll need to remove the bristles first. You can also upcycle your bamboo toothbrush and use it to clean those hard-to-reach crevices around your home.
Are bamboo toothbrushes hygienic?
Bamboo toothbrushes are one of the oldest in existence, and were invented in 15th century China. While ancient bamboo toothbrushes used boar bristles, modern ones are made with nylon, the exact same material that the bristles of plastic toothbrushes are made from. They're just as hygienic as your run-of-the--mill toothbrush, but a bamboo option may be better for the planet.
Do bamboo toothbrushes get moldy?
Since the bamboo handles of these toothbrushes are made from a somewhat porous material as opposed to a nonporous plastic, they could in theory develop mold if you don't take care of them. Fortunately, caring for your bamboo toothbrush is as easy as giving it a thorough rinse, letting it dry completely between uses, and storing it in a place that will keep it dry. As long as you follow these steps, your bamboo toothbrush is unlikely to develop mold.