How Sustainable is Your Toothbrush?

Sustainable Toothbrush

Toothbrushes have helped save people’s teeth from the onset of tooth decay and gum disease, becoming one of the biggest commodities in oral health. But because of these plastic bristled sticks, there isn’t much attention to how these toothbrushes are hurting our environment. As the demands of oral health increase, there’s much less attention on the impact the dental industry has on our world, as toothbrushes are just one of the many items that create plastic waste. 

According to sources from the EPA, over 50 million pounds of plastic is generated each year, most often landing in landfills, littering our ecosystems, and hurting animals. But toothbrushes are considered one of the most reliable tools for dentistry, making this issue ever more complex. In battles of health versus the environment, sustainability presents some of our only solutions towards these issues. If you’re looking to change your habits for the environment, then we are here to help you achieve those goals through some of the latest options for your smile. 

Do Sustainable Toothbrushes Exist? 

Yes! Sustainable toothbrushes do exist, but it’s a long way before sustainable toothbrushes will be able to meet ADA and EPA standards. Plastic toothbrushes remain one of the biggest commodities in the world due to their ability to be easily produced and distributed. Their wide availability to the public, plus their ability to follow ADA standards of care makes their design highly valuable for dental health. However, thousands of toothbrushes each day get thrown out, contributing to an environmental problem of massive proportions. Sustainability is still lacking in the dental industry, but it’s important to know that even if a toothbrush states it’s eco-friendly, it doesn’t mean it’s telling the truth. 

Take for example the term “bio-based.” This term has been floating around over the past few years, referring to the process of being made from resources that will degrade naturally. But these terms can be misleading, as studies from the EPA state that not all biobased products will degrade fully. When companies market their products with terms that sound environmentally conscious but aren’t. Ultimately, being sustainable also means looking at the products you choose and research the materials they’re made of to truly know if they’re sustainable. 

Some Excellent Sustainable Options For Brushing

While sustainable options can be rare, there are some great options for eco-friendly brushing. Some of the best options for sustainable brushing include: 

  • Bamboo Toothbrushes: Bamboo toothbrushes have become one of the biggest sustainable options due to the fact that they’re made from bamboo, meaning that when thrown away, it will easily decompose. 
  • RADIUS brand toothbrushes: This toothbrush is made from cellulose sourced from yield trees, allowing it to be decomposed. This toothbrush is also excellent for children due to its fun design. 
  • Electric Toothbrushes: Electric toothbrushes help reduce the amount of plastic produced and help people brush more effectively.
  • Replaceable Head Toothbrushes: Keeping a toothbrush handle and only changing out a replaceable head can also be a great option. 

Contact a dentist today to learn more about ethical sources for your dental care for more information. 


Alireza Movassaghi, D.D.S and Other Dentist Torrance Dental Associates is proud to be the home of Dr. Alireza Movassaghi, a USC School of Dentistry Graduate with 30 years of experience. His mission is to expand access to dental care throughout the Los Angeles area. When not engaged in providing expert dental care for his patients, he's taking in the latest soccer game and enjoying fine cars.
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