Interview: We wanted to launch a brand that had a strong environmental concern

Every year, an estimated five billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away and end up in landfills. This overuse of plastic, which is severely damaging our planet for many generations to come, is a concern not only for individuals who are trying to lead a more environmentally aware lifestyle, but also for an eco-friendly indie brand from Portugal, Bam & Boo, who have realised that zero waste dental hygiene is the way forward. To find out what Bam & Boo is all about, Dental Tribune Online spoke to Margarida Macias, who has been Chief Operations Officer since February 2018.

Margarida, when was the toothbrush introduced to the market? Bam & Boo started its journey into the dental market in September 2017. This happened mainly through online channels. The founders of the brand are Fernando Ribeiro and Nuno Catarino, who created and developed the concept. Currently, we are present in over 40 countries. What inspired Bam & Boo to go organic and vegan? We wanted to launch a brand that not only was innovative in the way in which it reached consumers, but also had a strong environmental concern. The toothbrush seemed like an obvious choice for us. We brush our teeth every day, dentists recommend that you change your brush regularly and most toothbrushes are made entirely out of plastic. It is estimated that more than a billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown into the trash every year in Europe alone. Bam & Boo wants to bring more sustainability, ecology and convenience to these little objects we use every day. And what is the general feedback from your customers? The feedback has been great. One of the things that motivates us is the kind of love we have been receiving from all over the world. On social media, namely Instagram and Facebook, we want to be more than a brand of toothbrushes. There, we also give advice and information on how to make the world more sustainable, such as “It’s not just a brush; it is changing the paradigm: how can we change, minimise or reuse every day?” You make your toothbrushes from bamboo. From where is this bamboo sourced and how are the toothbrushes produced? Our moso bamboo is sourced in Asia, where you can find the most of its kind. This sort of bamboo is one of the most common species of this plant. It has a high growth rate and does not need any pesticides or additives. Also, it consumes little resources and nutrients from the land. Regarding the production process: First, the bamboo is harvested from the mountains and cut into sections. Afterwards, we let the bamboo sections dry to prevent mildew. A worker then, with the use of a milling machine, shapes and polishes each bamboo section into a toothbrush. Lastly, holes are drilled into the brush head and the bristles are inserted. The fact that our products are handmade is really important to us. What is so special about bamboo as a material? Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world, and it is considered one of the most sustainable raw materials on the planet. The bamboo we use for our toothbrushes is organic and grown in the wild. It is also naturally antibacterial, making bamboo a great choice not only for the environment but also for oral health. How significant is environmental awareness in dentistry in your opinion? Can you confirm any trends that indicate that companies, customers, etc. are more environmentally aware and appreciate products made from sustainable materials? We have been increasingly contacted by dentists that are becoming more environmentally aware or that have been asked by patients about eco-friendly alternatives to plastic toothbrushes. You have just recently extended your product portfolio with bamboo cotton buds. Do you plan on introducing more dental products to the market, like biodegradable floss? Actually, yes. In a couple of months, we will be introducing a biodegradable floss that also comes in reusable glass packaging. What sets Bam & Boo apart from other companies that also sell environmentally friendly toothbrushes? We offer a subscription model that conveniently delivers a new toothbrush to the customer’s house every three months or any period that the consumer chooses. This way, no one has to worry about replacing an old toothbrush any more. Do you have any advice on how to recycle the toothbrush properly? The handle is made out of 100 per cent biodegradable bamboo and can be disposed of in your compost bin or you can give it a second use. The bristles are made from BPA-free nylon 6 and should be recycled with plastic. We recommend cutting them off or removing them with pliers. All the packaging materials—an envelope without plastic, a carton without glue and a protection bag made of polylactic acid, which is biodegradable and derived from renewable resources such as corn or cassava starch—are biodegradable too.

Tags: bam & boo, bamboo, biodegradable, environment, interview, toothbrush
August 17, 2018
Open news on Dental Tribune

Research links processed starch to dental caries

NEWCASTLE, UK: Given the abundance of dietary recommendations that can be accessed these days, understanding what we should and should not eat can be a difficult task. It may come as a welcome surprise, then, that a recent review commissioned by the World Health Organization has shown that a diet rich in wholegrain carbohydrates is less likely to negatively impact oral health than a diet high in processed carbohydrates.

The findings come from a review of 33 papers on starch and oral health, conducted by researchers at Newcastle University. The analysed papers were studies of foods containing rapidly digestible starches, such as white bread, cake and pretzels, or slowly digestible starches, such as legumes and whole grains, and these foods’ relationships with dental caries, oral cancer and periodontal disease. The researchers found that there was no evidence to suggest an association between the amount of starch eaten and dental caries. However, rapidly digestible starches were linked to an increased risk of dental cavities, since amylase, a component of saliva, is able to break these starches down into sugars. Further findings from the review suggested that slowly digestible starches might offer protection against periodontal disease and lead to a lower risk of oral cancer. However, these findings are based on fewer available studies and weaker data. “Despite an ill-advised fashion for eliminating carbohydrates from the diet, a carbohydrate-rich diet is shown to be fine for oral health so long as it is low in sugars and is based on wholegrain varieties of carbs such as pasta, couscous and wholemeal bread,” said lead researcher Dr Paula Moynihan, Professor of Nutrition and Oral Health at Newcastle University’s School of Dental Sciences. “The key for shoppers is to look for wholemeal and wholegrain on the labels,” Moynihan added. The WHO is in the process of updating its guidance regarding carbohydrate consumption. Currently, it recommends keeping free sugar intake—sugars added in the manufacturing process or present in fruit juice, honey and syrups—to less than 10 per cent of one’s daily caloric intake. The paper, titled “Effects of starch on oral health: Systematic review to inform WHO guideline”, was published online in the Journal of Dental Research on 3 August 2018 ahead of inclusion in an issue.
August 17, 2018
Open news on Dental Tribune

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Beyond Digital Impressions

Walter Renne DMD

Beyond Digital Impressions

The webinar covers details about the basics of scanning, merging with CBCT, guides, 3D ortho and milling.

Digital smile design and virtual waxing for patient communication and accurate implant surgical guide fabrication. Learn how romexis digital smile design can be a helpful tool for patient communication and how to translate the 2D smile design into 3D using Plancad Easy.
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