Brushing our teeth has been part of our daily routine for so long we rarely give it a second thought. For thousands of years, we cleaned our teeth by chewing on sticks, until the first primitive sustainable wooden toothbrushes with boar hair bristles were invented.
The first mass-produced wooden toothbrush was created in the mid-eighteenth century before the plastic toothbrush as we know it was invented in 1938. Since then, the total number of plastic toothbrushes being produced, used, and thrown away each year has grown steadily.
It's estimated that 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes are now used worldwide every year, with the average person using 300 in their lifetime. Unfortunately, roughly 80 per cent of these end up in the sea and because plastic is essentially indestructible, virtually every toothbrush that has been made since the 1930s is still out there in the world somewhere.
Thanks to the rising awareness of plastic pollution, more of us are reconsidering our everyday choices. Recycling plastic was often hailed as the solution until it was revealed that only around 9% of plastics ever manufactured have actually been recycled.
Recycling is part of our every day, but what we often don't realise is that the majority of what we put in our recycling bin does not get recycled. There is a limited demand for products made from recycled plastic, which means a large proportion of the plastic we send to be recycled ends up being burnt or sent to landfill. It's clear; recycling is not the answer to the plastic pollution crisis.
We need to stop mindlessly buying products made from plastic and consciously choose items that are reusable or made from natural biodegradable materials.
Replacing plastic toothbrushes with wooden toothbrushes is a fantastic place to start.
Not only because they're eco-friendly and biodegradable, but also because they're naturally antimicrobial.
Why choose a sustainable bamboo toothbrush over a plastic toothbrush or an electric toothbrush?
The obvious answer, is because it is much better for the environment here's why; • Firstly, natural bamboo is cultivated organically meaning that it doesn't need pesticides or fertilizers to grow larger or in larger quantities; a much more environmentally friendly.
• Secondly, bamboo toothbrushes are 100% natural even the brush head is made of sustainable bamboo.
• Thirdly, the toothbrush bristles are made of nylon 4 a fast decomposable form of plastic. Much more sustainable then nylon 6.
• Plastic toothbrushes can take up to 1000 years to decompose
• Electric toothbrushes use batteries which are rarely decomposed of properly causing them to leak into bodies of water polluting them.
• These bamboo toothbrushes are fully compostable therefore can be thrown away along with your food-waste or other recycled materials.
As well as, the toothbrushes these willow trader toothbrushes come in biodegradable packaging.
Are wooden toothbrushes effective?
Yes, wooden toothbrushes are just as effective at cleaning your pearly whites as plastic toothbrushes.
Most wooden toothbrushes come in two types: those with nylon bristles, and those with charcoal-infused bristles.
Nylon bristles are the most common type. They are effective at sweeping away bacteria and plaque from around each tooth and tend to be softer than charcoal bristles.
People ask us where our toothbrushes are made. It ought to be no shock that our bamboo toothbrushes are made in China – this is a mindful choice, no longer just for convenience, price and the truth that the whole thing looks to be manufactured in China these days; however because China is home to some of the greatest natural and sustainably managed bamboo forests in the world.
Every Bristle bamboo toothbrush begins it’s existence in an FSC certified moso bamboo wooded area in Zhejiang Province. Moso bamboo is a gorgeous eco-friendly resource: it is strong, versatile, grows fairly quickly and can be harvested with very minimal machinery. It is also easy to grow organically, requiring little to no pesticides. For all these involved about our furry friends, Moso bamboo is no longer eaten via pandas – we wouldn’t choose to steal food from those guys. Once harvested, our bamboo is pushed down the avenue to our toothbrush factory.
Our manufacturer is a toothbrush expert – they make all types of toothbrushes and have been doing so for years, promoting many FDA and CE authorized products for the duration of the world. They have lately started to manufacture one of the first-rate bamboo toothbrush on the market (the Bristle toothbrush!) – so the more Bristles sold, the greater the demand, and the much less plastic brushes they will manufacture.
Charcoal-infused bristles are thought to be more effective than nylon bristles. Charcoal absorbs and binds bacteria together at a microscopic level and removes it rather than merely sweeping away as nylon bristles do.
The same absorbing properties also mean they are great for whitening teeth as they absorb the tannins found in food and drink which stain the teeth.
Which wooden toothbrush is best for me?
Nylon-bristled toothbrushes are great if you're looking for an effective clean that's still gentle on your teeth and gums.
The Willow Trader Bamboo toothbrushes with medium bristles are a great option.
They come in a pack of five, and each one has different coloured bristles, allowing you to allocate a toothbrush to each family member.
Charcoal-infused bamboo toothbrushes are great if you want something that's going to be a little tougher on stains and bacteria and will give your mouth a fresh and clean feeling.
Glorysmile bamboo charcoal Toothbrush from The Willow Trader come in a handy pack of four and packaged in 100% recyclable materials.
Other than sustainable bamboo toothbrushes and Bamboo charcoal toothbrushes.
Now available is stainless steel toothbrushes which are made using stainless steel and biodegradable bristles which are fine for decomposing.
These stainless steel toothbrush last longer than the plastic ones and are stronger. Another form of toothbrush is the wheat straw tooth brush similar to the sustainable bamboo toothbrush it is made using an bamboo ergonomic handle to allow for profiled grip.
However, instead of nylon 4 bristles this toothbrushes bristles are made from wheat grains formed into strands making this toothbrush also 100% natural and biodegradable.
Pig Hair toothbrushes
What’s tricky is the fabric of the bristles.
There is usually the regular choice of the usage of pig hair. Yes, a hundred percent natural and compostable, however now not quite cruelty-free. What’s more, pig hair is hole inside, making it the best breeding floor for bacteria. You can still find timber toothbrushes with pig hair if you desire to, specifically in Germany and Austria, where the ordinary craft of making brushes from natural substances is still very an awful lot alive. If you do favour to go for this option, I would advocate you to sterilize your toothbrush with boiling water every couple of days.
So what is the right choice?
In the end, it is always up to each and everyone of us to decide. Pig hair is without a doubt no longer something I would in my opinion prefer to brush my teeth with.
So for me, Brush with Bamboo is the quality option, because they have managed to minimize the quantity of plastic in the bristles to 38%. The other 62% are Castor Bean Oil. The plastic is nylon 4 so perfectly decomposable.
Compostable packaging is comparable to different biodegradable packaging, but there are some differences. The delivered environmental benefit ‘compostable’ has over popular ‘biodegradable’ packaging merchandise is you have a warranty that the materials used do no longer produce toxins as they deteriorate.
That capacity compostable products can furnish the earth with nutrients once they are absolutely broken down. Biodegradable merchandise additionally have no set timeframe in which they will damage down into the earth.
Whichever you choose you can rest assured that switching your plastic toothbrush for a wooden toothbrush is beneficial for your pearly whites and the planet. It might seem like an insignificant switch in the grand scheme of things but small steps lead to big changes.
Posted by Paul Williamson on