A while back I mentioned I tried using a zero waste bamboo toothbrush to help reduce my plastic waste. I still don’t get how the nylon bristles are biodegradable unless it’s a special grade nylon that biodegrades down quickly, but anyway more on that later.
I recently gave it another try a few weeks ago and quickly in a day got over I’m brushing my teeth with a twig, which initially put me off. Neither have the bristles like regular toothbrushes started making my teeth feel like they’re on edge after 3 weeks which is a big deal for me.
I had to replace my electric toothbrush around December last year and switched brands. I was having gum issues from my plastic retainers as saliva couldn’t get in to keep gums and teeth clean and healthy. My plastic retainers I’m sure, were also the cause of my teeth looking more discoloured. I don’t drink, smoke or drink coffee so the retainers were the only thing I could think of making them look discoloured.
Around the New Year I visited an American dental hygienist in Barcelona who taught me how to clean my teeth properly. Since then my gum inflammation has gone! Only occasionally a sensitive tooth. I mentioned to her regular toothbrushes make my teeth feel on edge and she said it’s probably best then to stick with the electric toothbrush.
However I went back to the bamboo brush for several reasons:
The friend who recommended the dental hygienist sent me a photo of her baby bump. In the mirror I noticed the toothbrush the hygienist gives out. That was a maybe I should try it again.
The plastic! Replacement electric toothbrushes come in a pack of 2 but you can tell it was designed for a pack of 4.
I’d original purchased a pack of 4 bamboo toothbrushes I found on Amazon. P started using one with no complainants. If it was bad he would have said.
The plastic toothbrush head waste. Plus disposing of the unit when it starts to die. Bamboo toothbrushes you can put straight into compost. How cool is that! No more of my toothbrushes floating in the oceans and seas or clogging up landfills if they don’t get recycled. Instead giving back to the environment in a positive way. HOWEVER, after reading F.E.T.E’s, the toothbrush brand website faq’s you have to pull the bristles out (see a few points below) for plastic recycling, then you can recycle the handle. A bit misleading.
The way the new electric toothbrush buzzed to remind me to charge it up. It reminded me of Facebook emails I get ‘kindly’ reminding me to check in on what others are doing. I never do. Those emails are deleted. Unfortunately my email account must have an agreement with FB to never let unread FB emails end up in the junk folder. This happens to other emails I want to read but might not for a few weeks and think why I haven’t I had an email from so and so only to find them in junk. I occasionally use FB so haven’t unsubscribed. Back to bamboo toothbrushes.
Charging the electric toothbrush! Plus electricity bill charging.
2 replacement toothbrush heads cost around €15-17 depending on where you shop! The pack of 4 bamboo brushes by F.E.T.E are £12.99/€14-15 plus shipping. The packaging recommends replacing every month, however I think you can get 2-3 months out of 1 brush making them more cost effective. The brands website says 3-4 months. Again misleading with the packaging! That said 3 weeks in I’ve noticed the bristles start to fray out.
I was being hypercritical wanting to reduce my plastic waste and continue using an electric toothbrush. I’ve still kept it however. It’s a little too new to take to the punto verde/local recycling centre.
I wasn’t seeing any gum regrowth from new brushing technique with the electric toothbrush.
My teeth feel cleaner using a ‘regular’ toothbrush with new brushing technique and I swear some gum is growing back.
It no longer feels like I’m brushing with a twig. Neither has the nylon made my teeth feel on edge and it’s been nearly a month. However it would be nice if they could explain more how the nylon is biodegradable or say it’s not petroleum derived nylon. After checking their website they do explain, yet say it’s partially biodegradable, which again is misleading from the packaging.
So many reasons why I decided to start use a bamboo toothbrush! Honesty my teeth feel better from switching back to a regular toothbrush after an electric toothbrush. It’s also down to knowing how to brush my teeth properly, willing to give something a try and sticking with it. Also knowing I’m being hypercritical and wanting to make a change even if it’s a toothbrush at a time.
Do you use a zero waste toothbrush or know of a brand where the bristles are more biodegradable? Do you find some decisions so simple yet have so many deciding factors when breaking it down?