Hi again, i’m a month in my 6 months challenge. I have almost stopped using plastic bottles of water ( hard to avoid in some restaurants, though tea, beer, wine or soda water are all better alternatives, or when forgot to carry my refillable bottle). I’m not planning on purchasing another deodorant thanks to my alum stone. All my organic waste is now going to the compost on my balcony and later in my plants. It’s now time to find an alternative to plastic toothbrush. These can last quite long but still every few months throwing a full plastic brush in the bin is not good. I know in some places they are recycled, I don’t think it is the case in Thailand.
What are the options?
well, despite the fact that toothbrush is something used every day by so many people, there is no perfect environmental friendly alternative. Bamboo handles seem to be the way to go, but bristles is another story. If we go back in time (before nylon was invented), toothbrush’s bristles were made of pig hair… I believe you can still find some today, but if you care a little about pigs, I don’t think you should try to get those.
brush naked has a completely biodegradable option here however there are 2 issues with them, first the bristles are a bit hard and second they will last between 2 to 4 weeks… (Note: they are packaged in individual plastic wraps, but this is completely biodegradable plastic). They do have options that last longer using nylon bristles. You could order them online but not i don’t know the shipping fees and custom duties.
I therefore decided to look for the bamboo toothbrush options in Thailand. (you can find many from shopee, however it’s hard to know where they come from and even sometimes what they are made of). I finally got mine at refill station. These are a similar type than the longer lasting models of brush naked. The bristles are made of nylon plastic, i’m still trying to get more details from them.
Your other option is to order from zero waste & co. Again these are not biodegradable bristles, but they use castor bean nylon. Though this should be recyclable, I have yet to find a place where to recycle these here. At least you can compost the handle (or use it to label your plants/flowers in the garden).
Alternatives to toothbrush
You could try to use miswak, a teeth cleaning twig though this does not seem really convenient.
If you are few days without a toothbrush, you could use your finger (With toothpaste if you have any), with a piece of cloth wrapped around it. if nothing else, just swilling water around your mouth is better than nothing. (you can mix in baking soda if you have some).
Flossing could also be an option (to be combined with swilling).
oil pulling (you can use coconut oil for this) can be achieved by using oil as a mouthwash. But it is better to use as a complement of brushing your teeth than a complete replacement.
Oral hygiene is very important and at this time, I have not found a proper alternative to using a toothbrush. So I will go with bamboo toothbrushes until I find a better option.
As usual, please feel free to comment, question this post below.