The 7 Best Bamboo Toothbrushes, According To Dentists

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By Kim Quindlen and The Commerce Team
Originally Published: 

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.


The Dentist’s Pick: PLUS ULTRA

Dr. McNamara says, “One of the brands of bamboo toothbrushes I recommend is PLUS ULTRA, their bristles are soft and of great quality, the brush head has a great surface area design that can be used on many different types and shapes of teeth, they are BPA-free, and have an eco-conscious design overall.” The sustainable toothbrushes feature unique wave-shaped nylon bristles designed by dentists, and the handles are emblazoned with affirmations like “hello, gorgeous,” and “hello handsome.” The packaging is biodegradable and made with plant-derived dyes.

According to a reviewer: “Excellent product- soft bristles, sturdy handle/grip, and it helps fight plastic waste? Perfect!!”


The Best Budget Multipack: Nuduko

This 10-pack makes it easy to switch out your eco-friendly toothbrush every 90 days (or as soon as you notice wear and tear), so you don’t have to go through the extra step of remembering to reorder. Boasting a 4.5-star overall rating after more than 8,000 reviews, the BPA-free toothbrushes feature soft nylon bristles that are gentle on teeth and gums. The two bristle colors make it easy to differentiate your toothbrush if you live with one other person, but each handle is also individually labeled, so you can still tell them apart if you’ve got more people in your household. Plus, the toothbrushes arrive in recyclable packaging for an environmentally responsible shopping experience.

According to a reviewer: "I’ve been wanting to find a great fully-sustainable tooth brush brand for my self and my son for a while. These brushes are deliver! Good value, soft bristles and a nice size for both of us.”


The Best Boar Bristle Toothbrushes: Gaia Guy

If you want to skip the nylon bristles in favor of a fully biodegradable toothbrush, this set with boar bristles is for you. The bristles are medium-firm, so you’ll want to be extra gentle while brushing, and it’s a good idea to soften them up by placing them under warm water before use. You may also want to store these brushes outside the bathroom, as they’re more likely to grow mold in damp, humid conditions. The six-pack arrives in paper packaging, which is recyclable and biodegradable.

According to a reviewer: "Okay, I'm a super stickler with biodegradable products.I love these toothbrushes! Okay, yes, they did shed when I first started using the first one, but it has stopped doing this. [...] Anyway, they clean really well. I'm surprised at how well it cleans, which says a lot.”


The Best Design: Wowe Organic

This set of bamboo toothbrushes with colorful bristles makes oral hygiene just a little more fun — and also makes it easy to distinguish your brush from among the bunch. The toothbrushes have extra-soft BPA-free bristles that go easy on teeth and gums, and the zero-waste paper packaging is recyclable and biodegradable.

According to a reviewer: "Perfect soft bristles that are just firm enough to get food out from between teeth. It rinses clean and smells fresh. I'm glad I bought the four pack. It will encourage me to replace my toothbrush at the right time. I committed to stop using plastic toothbrushes this year and these turned out to be great.”


The Best Handle: Terra Futura

Most bamboo toothbrushes feature flat handles which may be a bit uncomfortable to hold at first, but these ergonomically designed toothbrushes feature contoured thumb supports that makes them feel a bit more like standard toothbrushes. And for even more brushing ergonomics, the heads are angled 15 degrees for better reach, and have wavy BPA-free nylon bristles for more effective brushing. The bristles are soft, and the color variation means you can tell yours apart from any family members’ or roommates’ brushes. The packaging is made from recyclable paper.

According to a reviewer: "II really like the bristles in this tooth brush - soft, yet I feel like they’re getting the job done. The handle is comfortable and feels very strong.”


The Best For Kids: EcoFrenzy

For a smaller-sized bamboo toothbrush, grab this colorful set perfect for kids. Each one features a comfy and smooth bamboo handle that’s comfortable for smaller hands to hold, and the BPA-free bristles are organically colored to make brushing more fun for little ones. According to the manufacturer, it's suitable for toddlers and those up to eight years of age. The set has earned an impressive 4.6-star overall rating after more than 2,000 reviews, and arrives in recyclable paper packaging.

According to a reviewer: "We love these for our littles. They are the perfect size and softness for little teeth. We love that they are different colors, making it easy to know who's is who's and the kids love that they have their own special color."


The Best For Travel: Your Basics Shop

This four-pack of bamboo toothbrushes comes with travel cases made with 30% wheat straw to keep bristles protected from germs until you reach your destination. Like bamboo, wheat straw is sustainable and biodegradable, making this a better pick than pure plastic. The soft bristles are made from polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), that — according to the manufacturer — is more durable and less water-absorbent than nylon. The bristles on each brush are a different color, making it easy to tell which brush is yours.

According to a reviewer: “I absolutely love these, the bristles are soft and the cases work amazing!! I’ve bought bamboo tooth brushes before, but the fact that these have cases sold me!

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 is 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.