As you might know from reading previous blog posts about sustainability on our website, we love to find alternative products for plastic.
A few months ago, we bought our first bamboo toothbrushes from Briut Essentials.
We have been using them for a while now, and thought it was about time to share our experiences with them!
Have you ever used an alternative toothbrush to the regular plastic kind? What did you think about it? Let us know in the comments below!
Plastic, plastic, plastic
Plastic toothbrushes are ubiquitous. Most drugstores and supermarkets worldwide solely stock a wide range of plastic toothbrushes.
Marijke currently works in a regular drugstore and counted the amount of toothbrushes in their assortment. There were over 60 different types of toothbrushes, in every color and shape imaginable.
These plastic toothbrushes are all packaged in yet another layer of plastic and colorful paper.
Only one of them was made of bamboo. It was only added to the assortment a few weeks ago, and guess what? It’s wrapped in plastic!
Sadly, because plastic toothbrushes are so widely used and seen in toothpaste commercials, people don’t often think twice before buying them – and eventually throwing them out.
Plastic is very versatile and is hence used to create so many different products. Although it is versatile, it is not environmentally friendly at all. Once you’re done with an item and throw it away, the item will still be on this earth for around 1000 years. Just remember, there is no ‘away’!
If you’d like to know why, check out this blog post! We’ve also written a list of 10 alternatives to common plastic household items, so be sure to check it out!
Looking for alternatives to non-degradable plastic toothbrushes
Although plastic toothbrushes are the norm, alternative products do exist! Many brands worldwide are now creating wooden toothbrushes, often using bamboo. We’re sure there’s a brand that offers these near you.
We spent quite a while searching for the perfect toothbrush online, because we were hoping to find one that is fully biodegradable. This didn’t proof as easy as we had hoped.
Bamboo is usually seen in household items such as cutting boards and serving plates, but is utilized in many ways. Although often used in wooden form, bamboo is a grass that grows extremely tall at a very fast rate.
Being a grass, bamboo is fully renewable. This makes it a very sustainable material. It stores more carbon and produces more oxygen than trees, it prevents soil erosion, and it can grow in numerous environments.
Another interesting thing about bamboo is that it is naturally antibacterial. This makes bamboo a safe material to use as base of a toothbrush.
First things first
OK, so let’s continue with what you actually came for, our experience with the toothbrush from Briut Essentials!
The first thing we noticed when we got our new toothbrushes, is the fact that they are solely packaged in paper! This is of course a great start when looking for more sustainable alternatives to plastic toothbrushes.
Too often we’ve come across biodegradable alternatives packages in plastic. This thus made a good first impression on us!
Sadly, the envelope was padded with bubble wrap, which cancels out the benefits of the compostable paper packaging. We were a bit disappointed to see this, knowing that fully compostable padded envelopes are an option too.
Nevertheless, when buying the toothbrush in a store, you’ll solely buy biodegradable stuff!
Plant based, charcoal infused bristles
Now one of the specific characteristics we were looking for in a bamboo toothbrush, was plant based bristles.
Most wooden toothbrushes are made with nylon bristles. Although they only make up around 5% of the entire brush, they are not biodegradable and will take 40 years to break down after we’re finished using them.
A great thing you just have to love about the bristles in the Briut Essential toothbrushes, is their fully degradable plant based bristles! And that’s not all. The bristles are also infused with charcoal.
Charcoal has the ability to absorb small particles such as tannins, which can cause staining on your teeth. The use of these bristles hence helps you keep your teeth white and shiny, and can also help prevent unwanted oral odour!
Looking in the mirror
Using a toothbrush with black bristles was quite odd the first few times, since we’re used to white nylon bristles. Especially combined with black charcoal toothpaste, you’ll take a second look in mirror when using them the first few times!
After holding the toothbrush for the first time, we immediately liked the feeling of it. Our opinion could however be slightly skewed as we really like the feeling of wood. Nonetheless, the shape of the handle is quite nice which gives you a good grip on the toothbrush while brushing in the morning.
The first few days
We do have to say that it did take us a few days getting used to these new toothbrushes. Before using these, we had never used wooden toothbrushes, and we do have to say we noticed some differences opposed to the plastic ones we were used to.
The thing that took some getting used to, was the structure of the wood and the size of the head of the toothbrush.
The head of a wooden toothbrush is slightly larger, and its edges are not as smooth as those of plastic toothbrushes. Bamboo – although being softish – sticks to your mouth a little. It doesn’t feel quite as slippery, if that makes sense. This makes you feel more aware of the ‘presence’ of the toothbrush in your mouth whilst brushing.
This is however probably not any different when buying bamboo toothbrushes of any other brand, as the ones we’ve come across seem to be shaped similarly.
We got used to this after a day or two though, and it no longer bothers us at all.
We’ve got mixed opinions on the firmness of these bristles. Jordy thinks they’re similar to the medium firm toothbrushes we used to buy, Marijke thinks they’re more similar to the toothbrushes classified as hard. They’re definitely not soft, but we both are satisfied with the firmness of the bristles these toothbrushes have.
After a few months of use
When we first started using our Briut Essentials bamboo toothbrushes we noticed some loose bristles in the handle which we had to pull out. This made us worry about the longevity of the toothbrushes at first.
After some days, one brush just lost just one hair, where the other lost about 4 bristles during the first few days.
Over the next few months however, none of the other bristles loosened up, and the toothbrushes are still in great shape! The bristles are still of amazing quality after approximately 10 weeks of use.
The handle is also still in a great state. It does has changed colour just below the bristles due to the use of charcoal toothpaste, but that doesn’t matter! The wood hasn’t worn at all, and still looks like it did before we started using them (aside from the head, which is now a faded grey color).
These toothbrushes have been amazing. They have held up incredibly well and we are thoroughly impressed.
Aside from being so happy not to pollute the environment with additional plastic, we also love the look of these toothbrushes. We like that they don’t have any unnecessary added paint. The wood is beautiful in itself – it doesn’t need a splash of color to appeal to us.
We would definitely recommend these toothbrushes to just about anyone!