Taking care of your favourite bamboo toothbrush is not that much different from caring for a normal plastic toothbrush.
As long as you follow some basic cleaning and storage rules, your bamboo toothbrush will last as long as a plastic one. It’ll probably be in a good enough condition that you can upcycle it after the 3-4 month toothbrush replacement period.
The most important maintenance rule to follow is keeping your bamboo toothbrush in a dry environment.
Moisture encourages the growth of bacteria and germs on the bristles, which can make you sick.
Put the toothbrush in a place where the bristles can air-dry. Putting it upright in a cup or rack works great.
Never store your bamboo toothbrush in a closed container. The bristles will dry more slowly, attracting disease-causing pathogens. If you want to use a closed container, look for one that allows airflow through to keep the toothbrush dry.
If you have to travel with your toothbrush, make sure it is completely dry before you put it in a closed container.
Also, check that the toothbrush holder is dry. Mould and mildew can form on the handle.
A moist toothbrush is not just bad for your health; it also reduces the lifespan of the toothbrush. Unlike plastic, bamboo is more vulnerable to water damage.
If the toothbrush stays in a moist environment, the handle could begin to rot.
Another important tip for couples is to make sure the toothbrush heads don’t touch. Bacteria could easily transfer between the toothbrushes. If your partner has a flu or throat infection, you could also catch it.
Instead of putting your toothbrushes in a cup, get a dedicated toothbrush rack that has a hole for each brush.
Clean It Every Time You Brush
That 3-second rinse under the faucet won’t do. Every time you brush your teeth, rinse the toothbrush thoroughly for at 15 seconds. This removes debris and plaque the bristles have picked up from your mouth.
If you have an infection like flu or strep throat, you should be even more thorough with the cleaning to make sure bacteria don’t remain on the toothbrush.
Though it is hard to re-infect yourself with a flu, some infections like strep throat can recur if you don’t properly wash the toothbrush.
For a deep clean, you can use a UV toothbrush sanitiser or just dip it in antibacterial mouthwash.
Tip: Towel-drying the bristles and handle after rinsing gets rid of the moisture faster than air-drying on its own.
Keep it Far Away From Sources Of Germs
Your toothbrush can contain millions of bacteria, including some really bad ones like E. Coli and staphylococcus.
Some of these bacteria come from inside your mouth while others come from the environment, particularly the toilet.
Flushing the toilet with the lid open sends airborne viruses and bacteria around the bathroom and some of them settle on your toothbrush.
Keep the toothbrush a good distance away from the toilet and always close the lid before flushing the toilet.
Also avoid putting the toothbrush near a hand dryer vent. The hot air that comes out is not exactly the most pristine.
Replace The Toothbrush On Time
The same 3-4 month replacement rule for ordinary toothbrushes also applies to bamboo toothbrushes.
As soon as you notice the bristles fraying and bending, get a new toothbrush and dispose of the old one.