When many parents and caregivers buy toothbrushes for their kids, they buy expensive battery-powered options with cartoon characters they can recognize on them in hopes that they will be more inclined to brush their teeth. All that plastic – and all the batteries inside them – really add up over time, so below, you can find some reasons why it may be better to avoid spending your money on these toothbrushes and go for something a little more eco-friendly, instead.

What You’re Really Paying For

When you spend money on an expensive battery-powered kids’ toothbrush with a cartoon character on it, you are not paying for a quality toothbrush. Instead, you are actually paying for the character on that brush, and there’s some pretty good evidence to suggest that a character will have absolutely no impact on the development of healthy brushing habits among children. If you take the time to help your child develop those habits, they will become habit – even without a character smiling back at your child from his or her toothbrush.

Why These Brushes are a Bad Idea

Every single battery-powered toothbrush you buy is made of plastic, and while you might not think a single toothbrush will have much of an impact on landfills, it does add up. By the age of 50, if an adult has switched his or her toothbrush every 3 months as recommended by the ADA, he or she will have gone through 200 toothbrushes. That’s just one person. Multiply that by 325 million people across the US, and even if some of them don’t replace their toothbrushes that frequently, the number is still astronomical.

Aside from the plastic, there are also batteries to consider. Even though most locations have ordinances and laws in place that prevent the improper disposal of batteries in the normal, everyday trash, many people aren’t aware of these and they toss the entire brush – batteries and all – right into the trash. The toothbrush itself won’t biodegrade for 1000 years or more, but the battery certainly will, and the chemicals inside leach into the ground.

A Bamboo Alternative

Instead of enticing your kids to brush with a toothbrush that has an image of his or her favorite character, it may be helpful to try an environmentally-friendly bamboo toothbrush and instead talk about the importance of treating the planet with care. You could explain how panda bears eat bamboo and how the bamboo in the toothbrush is grown especially for that purpose so as not to take food away from the pandas. You can even pair this with a great-tasting natural toothpaste that is definitely kid-approved. These things are incredibly important to young children, and they help to form incredibly healthy habits that will carry them all the way through adulthood.

The wonderful thing about kids is that they can get so excited and passionate about everything, whether it’s the latest animated movie, their favorite cartoon, or even helping to do their part to save the planet. Try a bamboo toothbrush for your kids (and for the whole family!) and see just how excited your kids can be when they know they’re making the planet a safer, happier, and cleaner place to live.

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