Natural bristle toothbrushes create less plastic waste, they are biodegradable, they can be gentler on teeth and you can avoid putting unnatural plastics in your mouth. They can be made from boar hair, plant-based materials or embedded with charcoal. Choosing a toothbrush with natural bristles can help to reduce plastic waste.
In this blog post we will explore nine benefits of using a natural bristle toothbrush, from being gentle on teeth and gums to being biodegradable and environmentally friendly. Whether you’re passionate about sustainability, concerned about chemicals in your personal care products, or simply looking for a more effective way to clean your teeth, a natural bristle toothbrush may be just what you need.
Benefits of Switching to a Natural Bristle Toothbrush
Check out the benefits of switching to a natural bristle toothbrush.
1. Better for the environment
Natural bristle toothbrushes break down more quickly than nylon bristle toothbrushes. They will clean teeth as well as nylon and won’t be hanging around in the environment for years after.
Choosing a toothbrush with a natural handle like bamboo is a great choice as it will break down over time and can be composted at home. If you have an eco-bin, you can also throw it in to be collected by your local municipality.
Check out my previous article here on bamboo toothbrushes to find out more.
2. Gentle on teeth and gums
Natural bristle toothbrushes are soft and more flexible than synthetic bristle toothbrushes, making them gentle on teeth and gums.
Unlike synthetic bristles, natural bristle toothbrushes are biodegradable and will break down over time.
4. Naturally antimicrobial
Natural bristle toothbrushes have natural antimicrobial properties that help keep bacteria at bay.
5. Helps to protect your gums
Natural bristle toothbrushes can be gentler on the gums than hard, synthetic bristle toothbrushes, which can protect your gums from damage.
Natural bristle toothbrushes are made from natural materials, so they don’t contain any harmful chemicals.
7. Great at removing plaque
The bristles of a natural bristle toothbrush are effective at removing plaque from teeth.
Natural bristle toothbrushes are durable and can last for several months with proper care.
9. They feel natural in your hand
The nicest thing about natural toothbrushes is the natural feeling of bamboo. Natural bristle toothbrushes will usually be on natural timber or bamboo handles. This is a lot nicer than a plastic handle to hold.
3 Types of Natural Toothbrush Bristles
Natural bristles can be made from boar hair, natural plant-based materials and embedded with charcoal. Here are common natural toothbrush bristle materials.
1. Boar hair
Toothbrush bristles have been traditionally made from boar hair. These toothbrushes can be difficult to find. The boar hair will be is sourced from a special breed usually breed usually used for meat. The hair is harvested and then boiled to straighten and clean it before attaching it to a natural handle. Boar hair is a natural material that is biodegradable but these toothbrushes are very hard to find.
Check out Boar hair bristle toothbrushes here on Amazon.
2. Natural plant based bristles
Natural plant-based bristles can be made from castor bean oil, tapioca or corn and therefore are biodegradable so will break down naturally over time. Plant-based bristles (100%) can be composted but can take a few months to break down. It is recommended to hot compost them, as the heat will help to speed up the process.
I’ve recently bought a toothbrush which has plant-derived bristles and I can’t tell the difference between them and those of a regular toothbrush. The handle itself is made from recycled plastic, which I will return to a plastic recycling facility when I am done. If you want a fully biodegradable toothbrush I would suggest getting one with a bamboo handle and 100% plant-based bristles.
3. Charcoal Bristles
Toothbrushes can have bristles with activated charcoal embedded in them. Charcoal has been known for its cleaning and whitening properties and has been shown to freshen breath and remove bacteria.
Here are charcoal bristle toothbrushes from Amazon.
Regular toothbrush bristles
Toothbrush bristles are usually made of nylon which is a plastic made from crude oil. It is put through a chemical process which turns it into long stretchy fibers. Toothbrushes with nylon bristles were first made in 1938.
Nylon is a synthetic substance which is also used in parachutes, stockings, clothing, rope and tires. Nylon will take years to degrade, it is made from coal and petroleum which are non-renewable resources and toxic gases can be released in its production.
Nylon has been used as toothbrush bristles for many years and is the standard. They clean the teeth well and are recommended by dentists. A good compromise if you still like to use nylon bristles is to buy a bamboo handled toothbrush with nylon bristles.
The bamboo will biodegrade quicker and the nylon bristles only make up a small part of the brush.
For a fun way to make your own toothbrush at home check out this video.
Natural bristle toothbrush benefits | Summary
Natural bristle toothbrushes are a great choice for you and your family as they make less plastic waste, they are biodegradable, they can be gentler on teeth and you can avoid putting unnatural plastics in your mouth. Natural plant based bristles are a great choice and a natural option which is comfortable in your mouth.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.