If bamboo toothbrushes are made of biodegradable and natural materials, do they need more care or treatment than plastic toothbrushes? Do they last as long as plastic brushes? Do they require any maintenance to stay in good condition?
These are questions we hear often, so read on to find out the answers!
Tips to keep your bamboo toothbrush in good condition
When switching from a plastic toothbrush to a bamboo brush, it's only natural to wonder if it will last as long or if it needs any special treatment to stay in good condition. After all, most people are used to brushing their teeth in the morning, chucking their plastic brush into a cup or pot, and forgetting about it until the evening!
The good news is, bamboo brushes are naturally antibacterial and pretty hardy, so you don't have to do anything out of the ordinary to care for them. This is one change to help the environment that genuinely is easy to make!
However, here are a few things to you should do to keep your bamboo toothbrush clean, fresh, and in tip top condition!
1. When you first get your bamboo toothbrush, recycle the packaging
Receiving or first opening your bamboo toothbrush is just like with a plastic brush - there's nothing extra you need to do at all before using it.
All our packaging, from the envelopes we use to the individual boxes our toothbrushes are packaged in, is made recycled and/or recyclable paper and cardboard - even the padding in the envelopes - so you can simply pop it in your paper recycling.
2. Don't brush too hard!
This is a common misconception, but you DON'T have to brush hard to clean your teeth properly! Yes, even with a manual toothbrush!
In fact, brushing too hard and 'over-brushing' can actually damage your gums and the top layer of enamel on your teeth, making them look duller. So if you want gleaming pearly whites, stop brushing too hard and instead brush gently but more carefully! This will also help the bristles stay in good condition longer too.
Ideally you should use a toothbrush with fairly soft and flexible bristles that can work into gaps between teeth and gums, and brush for two minutes each morning and again in the evening. Hold your toothbrush at a 45° angle to your teeth, first brush with gentle pressure in circular motions away from the gumline, then back and forth across all the surfaces in your mouth and on your teeth.
Learn more about proper toothbrushing technique from the NHS here.
3. Rinse it off
Once you've finished brushing, rinse the handle and bristles thoroughly under the tap to wash away any toothpaste and debris. If you've brushed hard enough to bend any bristles, you can straighten them back into place with your fingers.
4. Let your toothbrush dry properly after use
The ONLY thing you need to do differently when using a bamboo toothbrush is let it dry after using it! Whilst bamboo has natural antibacterial properties, it's not impenetrable like plastic, but if you help it to dry properly it'll last just as long as your old plastic toothbrush.
Once you've finished brushing your teeth, simply give it a quick rub with your towel then set it somewhere to dry. Lying on a flat surface is just fine as long as the water can drain away, but we recommend not to use a cup - any drips will collect in the bottom of the cup and build up every day, which is a little bit gross and won't do your brush any good over the weeks or months.
Our own ring-shaped ceramic toothbrush holders are designed to hold your bamboo toothbrush loosely upright so it can air dry and drips can drain away, while keeping the bristles clean and hygienic.
And that's really all there is to looking after your BAMWOO toothbrush!
To recap: how to look after your bamboo toothbrush properly
- Nothing when you first get it. Just recycle the packaging.
- Brush your teeth with proper technique
- Rinse it well after use
- Allow your brush to dry properly
How often should you change a bamboo toothbrush?
Standard dentist advice to is to replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months, no matter what it's made of.
When it's time to replace yours, first see if you can re-use it in another way (cleaning bike chains or as a marker in your vegetable patch maybe?), and then once its life really is over make sure you dispose of it properly.