We can all agree that the humble toothbrush is one of the items that we couldn’t live without. When it comes to disposing of this necessity though, you may not be sure how to recycle and replace your toothbrush or how often to do it.
Discover our best tips for replacing and recycling your toothbrush properly below, as well as the differences between plastic and bamboo toothbrushes so you can make decisions that are better for your teeth and the planet.
- How often should you change your toothbrush?
- Plastic toothbrushes VS. bamboo toothbrushes
- Why are plastic toothbrushes bad?
- Can you recycle plastic toothbrushes?
- What are the benefits of a bamboo toothbrush?
- How do you recycle a bamboo toothbrush?
How often should you change your toothbrush?
We recommend that you get a new toothbrush every 3 months. By this point, it’s usually worn out and not cleaning your teeth as well as it should. Not to mention, your toothbrush will have also accumulated a bunch of bacteria in its bristles over this time.
It’s also important to change your toothbrush after you’ve been sick, as this bacteria can still be present on the toothbrush. This is just one of the main tips for self-isolation oral care during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Plastic toothbrushes VS. bamboo toothbrushes
Now that you know how often to replace your toothbrush, you might be wondering which toothbrush to choose.
There’s a good chance you’ve been using the classic plastic toothbrush your whole life: from childhood with the mini brush covered in your favourite cartoon character (which might’ve played music if you were really lucky) to the trusty Colgate 360 with the bonus tongue cleaner you’re probably using right now.
Although these may do the job of taking care of your teeth, in recent years more people are becoming aware that these aren’t the best toothbrush choices for taking care of the environment.
Why are plastic toothbrushes bad?
There are several reasons many people choose to not brush their teeth with a traditional plastic toothbrush:
- Manual toothbrushes are manufactured with polypropylene plastic and nylon, which are produced with non-renewable fossil fuels
- A plastic toothbrush can take over 400 years to decompose
- Toothbrushes make their way into the ocean and are washed up on our beaches. This can cause harm to marine life, especially when broken into little pieces
- They remain in landfills and release chemicals into the air
- If everyone in the world replaced their toothbrush as recommended every 3 months, 23 billion toothbrushes would get disposed of each year
Can you recycle plastic toothbrushes?
In Australia, you can’t just throw your plastic toothbrush and toothpaste into the regular recycling bin. Instead, the best way to recycle your plastic toothbrush is through the free Terracycle Oral Care Recycling Program.
In addition to this, you can make the most of your old toothbrush before disposing of it by using it for little cleaning jobs around the home, including:
- Shower and bathroom tiles
- Car wheels
- Pet cleaning
Many people still prefer to seek a toothbrush alternative that is friendlier to the planet while keeping their teeth in top shape. This is where the bamboo toothbrush comes in!
What are the benefits of a bamboo toothbrush?
We highly recommend purchasing recyclable bamboo toothbrushes and interproximal brushes for the good of the planet and your smile.
Here are some reasons to use a bamboo toothbrush:
- Bamboo is a sustainable, renewable resource which is growing in abundance
- The bamboo handle is 100% biodegradable
- Bamboo is naturally antimicrobial, meaning it reduces the growth of bacteria, viruses, and mould on the toothbrush
- The bamboo handle can be easily recycled when you’re due to buy a new toothbrush
How do you recycle a bamboo toothbrush?
Recycling a bamboo toothbrush is as easy as following these three simple steps:
- Once you are ready to discard your bamboo toothbrush or bamboo interproximal brush, grab a pair of pliers or tweezers to pull the bristles out of the head of the brush.
- Collect the nylon bristles in a pile, ready to recycle. The easiest way to collect them without making a mess is to put the bristles in a plastic bottle to keep the recyclable plastic waste in one place. If pulling out the bristles is too tedious a task, you can simply snap off the whole head instead.
- With the bamboo handle, you can now simply bury it into the ground in your garden!
Replacing your toothbrush regularly and the correct way will ensure you can keep both your teeth and the environment as clean as possible! This is especially important during the current Coronavirus operating restrictions while you can’t make an appointment with your dentist for a regular check-up and clean.
Emergency Dentist on the Gold Coast during COVID-19
Our Gold Coast dental clinic in Broadbeach can currently schedule emergency dental appointments for patients with pain, swelling or dental trauma. If you are experiencing a dental emergency, please call our team on 07 5526 8722 to make an appointment with a Broadbeach dentist.
You can find the latest updates on our operating restrictions on our social media accounts below and on our COVID-19 updates page. To be the first to find out when we can resume routine dental treatments, including general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry, sign up for our newsletter!