Eco Friendly Toothbrushes – Do Patients Care?
Most dental professionals would agree that sustainable toothbrushes are a good thing, but many remain uncommitted to using them in the practice.
Switching from tried and tested plastic toothbrushes to an eco-friendlier option requires assurances on quality, hygiene and patient interest.
Several of the world’s leading oral hygiene brands, such as Wisdom and TePe, now make sustainable toothbrushes that tick the first two of these boxes, but how much do patients care?
How big is the demand for eco-friendly toothbrushes?
If data from Google is any indication, the demand for sustainable alternatives to plastic toothbrushes is huge.
In the UK alone, bamboo toothbrushes are searched for 1,600 times a month on average.
The global bamboo toothbrush market was valued at $30.2 million in 2021 and is projected to reach $81.1 million in 2031.
This would represent a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6% from 2022 to 2031.
Every month hundreds of people in the UK are also searching for eco-friendly toothbrushes, sustainable toothbrushes, and plastic free toothbrushes.
Why are bamboo toothbrushes so popular?
Plastic toothbrushes take hundreds of years to degrade in landfill but 99% of all toothbrushes are still made of plastic and billions are discarded by their owners every year.
To combat this problem, bamboo has become the toothbrush material of choice for many manufacturers and end users for the following reasons:
- Lower environmental impact - bamboo toothbrushes have a lower carbon footprint compared to plastic and electric toothbrushes.
- Fully biodegradable - bamboo takes around only 6 months to break down in compost.
- Sustainable - bamboo is self-regenerating as the bamboo plant does not die when cut down, it simply replenishes itself without the need for replanting.
Wisdom re:new bamboo toothbrushes are made from 100% natural bamboo (handle and head) and 100% plant-based filaments derived from sustainable castor oil plants.
Are bamboo toothbrushes hygienic?
One of the reasons that some many people are switching to bamboo brushes is because bamboo is naturally antimicrobial.
That means it is less prone to bacterial growth than traditional plastic toothbrushes.
But because bamboo can degrade faster than plastic, special care should be taken to place bamboo brushes upright in an open-air container after rinsing to prevent moisture build-up.
What other alternatives are there to plastic toothbrushes?
Another greener alternative to traditional plastic toothbrushes is bioplastic toothbrushes.
Bioplastic toothbrushes also use plant-based filaments from castor oil but with a handle made almost entirely from sugar cane renewable raw material.
This composition helps recirculate up to 95% of the carbon dioxide emissions through the life cycle of the toothbrush.
TePe GOOD is a range of bioplastic toothbrushes available in a variety of different sizes.
Are sustainable toothbrushes as good a quality as plastic?
Both TePe and Wisdom claim that the quality, design and feel of their non-plastic toothbrushes is the exact same as the plastic ones.
When it comes to removing plaque electric toothbrushes remain the most effective option, but manual sustainable brushes can provide effective removal with proper use.
Another key factor affecting the quality of all toothbrushes is end-roundedness of the bristles.
End-rounded bristles, which can be found on all Wisdom re:new and TePe GOOD toothbrushes, are better for cleaning and preventing gum injury.
Where can I buy eco-friendly toothbrushes?
Kent Express offers next working day delivery on all sustainable toothbrushes when you buy online, including bioplastic and bamboo brushes.
Other eco-friendly dental products are also available, including recycled hand towels, recycled paper cups and biodegradable micro applicators.