With Earth Day coming up, you might be considering options to make eco-friendly shopping choices that are also good for the planet. I try to stay away from anything that's considered "single-use," especially plastic. I've switched to using metal straws, I guzzle water from an insulated tumbler, and I store food leftovers in beeswax wraps. Another simple way to reduce your plastic waste is to swap out your toothbrush.
The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush once every three months. On average, you'll go through at least four toothbrushes each year. Over 495 million adult manual toothbrushes were purchased in the US in 2020. Sadly, those toothbrushes are extremely difficult to recycle due to their shape and the materials they are made with. As a result, millions of toothbrushes end up in landfills each year. To combat this excessive waste, oral care brands have been working on a solution: replaceable head toothbrushes. As soon as I learned about them, I knew I had to try them out.
Courtesy of Walmart
Replaceable head toothbrushes are designed to reduce plastic waste. Whereas regular manual toothbrushes are made entirely with plastic, replaceable head toothbrushes have a reusable handle with plastic replacement heads. Every three months, you swap out the replacement head while keeping your reusable handle. By reusing the handle, you end up using a lot less plastic than a regular toothbrush.
Each replaceable head toothbrush is sold as a starter kit that comes with the handle plus one or two heads. You can find replaceable head toothbrushes from brands like Colgate and Oral-B in your local grocery store. Another brand, Quip, even makes an electric replaceable head toothbrush. The best part? They're the same price as your regular toothbrush. The starter kits cost just $10, and replacement head refill packs are $7.
Most of the reusable handles are made with aluminum, like the Hello Replaceable Head Toothbrush. I actually really like the metal handle better than my old toothbrush: it has more weight and the grips make it easy to hold on to. It's also gorgeous! I have the blue toothbrush with a white replaceable head, but it also comes in an all-black version.
Along with the stunning design, the toothbrush performs just as well as the manual toothbrushes my dentist usually gives me. The bristles are soft and have a "floss-like" feel to them, so they aren't too harsh for my gums. These Hello Replaceable Head Toothbrushes use 85% less plastic than a regular manual toothbrush. Over time, that means there will be a lot less plastic waste.
If you're looking for easy ways to go green—especially in honor of Earth Day—try using a replaceable head toothbrush. With one simple switch, you can protect your teeth and the planet.