I know I love my bamboo toothbrush!
Although, there is one little hitch that I have with my toothbrush.
It’s not fully biodegradable.
The bristles are made from nylon and have to be plucked out and thrown in the garbage before I compost the handle.
I know that this is still a much better option than throwing out the whole toothbrush, but there is still a nagging part in me that wants more.
So I set out to find a 100% biodegradable toothbrush, bristles and all.
This is what I found.
As far as I can tell, there are three options for a fully biodegradable toothbrush.
- Plant-based bristles
- Boar bristles
- Sticks (seriously!)
Let’s take a closer look at all three options, shall we?
- the entire toothbrush is compostable
- lasts 2-4 weeks (compared with 2-4 months with nylon bristles)
- more expensive than nylon bristles
Since I have not personally tried this toothbrush, yet, I cannot truly give my opinion on plant-based bristles.
Tammy, from Gippsland Unwrapped, actually purchased and used the toothbrush herself. The review is very thorough and well-done. I encourage you to give it a read if you’re considering purchasing a plant-based bristle toothbrush.
Boar Hair Bristles
The thought of brushing my teeth with pig hair is kind of revolting.
However, regardless of my personal feelings, combined with a bamboo handle, this is still a fully compostable option for toothbrushes.
I will do my best to keep my bias in check when discussing this toothbrush.
- stiff but soft enough that bristles won’t damage gums
- less abrasive than nylon
- lasts about 2 months
- fully compostable
- it’s boar hair
- needs to be dried out thoroughly between uses to extend bristle life
There are a few brands of toothbrushes that offer boar hair bristle options. Here are some links if you would like to explore further:
Naturborsten: available for purchase at Life Without Plastic.
Instead of brushing your teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste, you chew on a stick for 10 minutes or so after a meal.
Sounds pretty neat, right?
The miswak is a tooth cleaning twig.
It is made from the Salvadora persica tree.
- antibacterial properties
- helps control the formation of plaque
- anti-decay effects
- need to ‘brush’ longer- about 10 minutes compared with 2 minutes with a toothbrush
- users may clean the front of teeth while not cleaning the backs of them very well
- excessive use may cause gingival recession
Another common type of chew stick is licorice root. It has the same benefits and drawbacks of miswak but if you like the taste of licorice, it may be a winner for you.
A few things to keep in mind if you decide to try a chew stick are:
- make sure they are about the size of your hand in length
- if it becomes dry, soak it in water
- the end should be cut fresh
- do not store it near a sink or toilet for hygiene purposes
I must say, I am very intrigued by this biodegradable teeth cleaning option. I am definitely going to order one, so stay tuned for my in-depth review!
Perhaps in the future mainstream manufacturers will get their acts together and produce high quality, fully recyclable or compostable toothbrushes that rival conventional toothbrushes today.
Ahh, one can dream!
Please leave any comments or questions down below. Have you tried any of these teeth cleaning options? Let me know what you thought of them. I love to hear from you!