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Best Manual Toothbrush 2020

How to Choose & Reviews

Looking for the Best Manual Toothbrush for the Perfect Smile?

At Oath, we can help you find the best manual toothbrush with the least impact on the environment.

Here’s something you may not know:

Amazon now ships in plastic bubble mailers. They no longer use the paper ones with plastic bubble inside. This is great because you can recycle plastic film at your local grocery store, or anywhere else plastic bags are accepted.

Go to plasticfilmrecycling.org to find a location near you.

Below you will find reviews of our top 5 picks of the best manual toothbrush. We’ll also share some useful tips on what to look for when purchasing a manual toothbrush.

Keep in mind that we’re only testing soft bristle toothbrushes since they are recommended by dentists. No one toothbrush suits everybody, so you’ll need to try a few to find the right one for your teeth and gums.

Full Disclosure: There are affiliate links below. If you purchase one of these items, Oath will receive a small commission for referring you. In the future, we hope to add all these zero waste alternatives to our catalog so you can shop in the least wasteful way possible.

Our Top Picks for Best Zero-Waste Manual Toothbrush

You may think that buying a toothbrush should be as simple as buying a pen. They’re all pretty much the same, right?

Wrong. There are so many manual toothbrushes with dissimilarities that are slight but can make a big difference.

There are so many manual toothbrushes with dissimilarities that are slight but can make a big difference.

Here are the top 5 manual toothbrushes you should definitely try.

The Source Brush by Radius

radius toothbrush packaging

This manual brush arrived in an eco-friendly cardboard box with paper padding and water-activated paper tape, but the product package is a PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) blister pack. If you order internationally, it will also arrive in a plastic FedEx bag.

radius toothbrush unboxking

The first thing we noticed was a very large head. It’s supposed to be gum-stimulating, but we couldn’t help but think of potential gum recession. Even the best toothbrushes with soft bristles are not ideal if they’re rubbing on your gums. However, after trying this one, all of us at Oath agreed that it wasn’t that uncomfortable.

radius toothbrush bristles close up

The brush heads are replaceable, and there’s a nice angle on the bristles for easily reaching your back teeth.

radius toothbrush 2 parts

The handle, which is made from recycled plastic, feels very comfortable in your hand and has a reversible handle design. There is even a little picture of a hand on the handle so you know where your thumb goes.

bogo little hand

Pros:

  • Made in the USA
  • Free shipping in the USA
  • Eco-friendly shipping box
  • Replaceable and recyclable brush heads
  • Handle made from recycled plastic

Cons:

  • PET blister pack
  • Large brush head
  • Still plastic

Check Price on Amazon

Final Verdict:
This manual toothbrush has replaceable brush heads, but many people may find it uncomfortable because of its large brush head. It features nice and soft bristles, and it’s very comfortable to hold, but it’s still plastic in the end. Granted, recycled plastic, but still plastic.


Bogo Brush

Not a very affordable brush for a one-time purchase, but you can save 40% if you subscribe. It came in an EcoEnclose poly mailer that’s made with 88% recycled material. They are also recyclable anywhere that accepts plastic bags.

The first impression – plastic everywhere. This version is a biodegradable brush made with flax, and we believe it’s made with the PLA (Polylactic acid) plastic derived from corn starch that’s mixed with flax. You need to go to a commercial facility to dispose of the PLA plastic, and they say it will compost in your backyard, which is deceiving.

close up bogo brush

Aside from the poly mailer, the brush was in a plastic tube. The toothbrush comes with a stand. Unfortunately, the one we got was stuck to the bottom of the tube, as there was no protective film for the sticky part, so destroying the package was unavoidable. And they call the plastic tube a “travel case”.

The seemingly comfortable handle turned out quite uncomfortable. The head rubs against your teeth, and the bristles are a bit firm for a soft bristle toothbrush.

Pros:

  • Compostable
  • Head size
  • Made in the USA
  • The company donates a toothbrush for every one purchased

Cons:

  • Price
  • All plastic
  • Unclear on the composition of the toothbrush handle
  • must be composted in a commercial facility
  • Removing the toothbrush stand destroyed the packaging (again, maybe just a defect in my package)

Final Verdict:
It’s great that this toothbrush is made with recyclable plastic, and that it has compostable features, but its high price, clunky nature, and the amount of plastic don’t make it a very good choice for your zero waste lifestyle.


Oral-B Pro Health

oral b single

Our local dentist gives this one out after a checkup. You can get this toothbrush in a 6 pack, 2 pack, or single pack. If you’re from the USA, head to Amazon for the best deal. If you’re from Canada, you can get it in your local Shoppers Drugmart or Wal-Mart.

oral b 6-pack

The brush has rubber cross-action bristles for massaging your gums, but the brush head is too large because of them, so it may be uncomfortable. The handle is also too large for most toothbrush holders. Definitely not a toothbrush for someone with a small mouth.

oral b close up bristles

Pros:

  • Very affordable price (especially if you buy on Amazon.com)
  • Recommended by dentists
  • Cross-action bristles
  • Rubber gum-massaging bristles

Cons:

  • Too large head
  • Too large handle for most toothbrush holders
  • Comes in a blister pack
  • Not recyclable

Check Price on Amazon

Final Verdict:
It’s undeniable that Oral-B is a trusted brand that’s constantly producing innovative, high-quality oral hygiene products. This particular toothbrush isn’t an exception, although some people may not like it due to its big brush head and handle.

However, it’s not the best manual toothbrush for going zero waste. Also, some people reported that the bristles wear out too quickly.


Preserve

preserve toothbrush packaging

This manual toothbrush comes in a 6 pack. It’s much cheaper to get a deal on Amazon, as the shipping on the company’s website is quite expensive. If you have Amazon Prime, you can even get free shipping.

preserve toothbrushes in box

The brushes arrived in a cardboard box, but each was packed in a plastic wrapper. At the bottom, it says you can recycle it wherever plastic bags are accepted.

preserve toothbrush with dirt on it

There were specs of plastic dust or dirt on the brush after we unwrapped it. That’s unusual, as we’ve never opened a toothbrush package to find dust on it. But sometimes manufacturing dust remains, so always thoroughly rinse your toothbrush before using it.

preserve toothbrush side

The smooth handle made for a very pleasant brushing experience. Its shape is a bit weird at first but it feels good in your hand, and we really liked it. The brush head is just the right size, and the high-quality bristles are soft but not too soft.

preserve toothbrush over sink

Pros:

  • Affordable price (if you purchase on Amazon)
  • Made with 100% recycled material
  • Made in the USA
  • High-quality soft bristles
  • Perfect-sized brush head
  • Smooth handle with an easy-to-brush shape
  • Gimme 5 take-back program for recycling #5 plastic
  • Preserve is a certified B Corporation

Cons:

  • Comes wrapped in a plastic wrapper
  • To recycle the toothbrush, you have to either send it back or check if your local recycling facility accepts #5 plastic
  • Manufacturing dirt on the brush

Check Price on Amazon

Final Verdict:
This is a very good manual toothbrush. Preserve is great for turning plastic waste into recyclable products. However, their toothbrushes are still made with plastic, and there are only so many times that you can recycle plastic before it eventually ends up in a landfill.


Bamboo Toothbrush by Oath

Oath toothbrush with package

Our bamboo toothbrush is certified 99% BioBased by the USDA and cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny. It ships in 100% compostable envelope made from recycled paper waste.

The toothbrush box and bamboo handle can easily compost in your backyard, but be sure to remove the bristles before composting.

It’s not as comfortable to hold as a round plastic handle, but it’s large enough to get a good grip. For a bamboo handle, it is quite smooth. It won’t compare to plastic but it won’t hurt sensitive skin.

oath toothbrush top down view

The brush head is a perfect size, and it’s much smaller than most bamboo toothbrushes. The neck of the toothbrush is longer and thinner than most on the market.

The high-quality bristles made by DuPont are soft, and their shape enables you to clean your back teeth easily. We never had any issues with bristles falling out which is an issue with other brands.

Oath Toothbrush Close

Pros:

  • Certified 99% BioBased by USDA
  • Certified Cruelty Free by Leaping Bunny
  • Smaller head and thinner neck
  • thicker handle for better grip
  • All packaging is compostable, recyclable, and made from consumer waste
  • Free and low flat-rate shipping in North America

Cons:

  • The handle may not be as comfortable to hold as a round plastic handle
  • must dry after use and keep in an open-air toothbrush holder
  • bristles must be removed before composting

Buy Now

Final Verdict:
This is the best manual toothbrush if you want to go zero waste. The slightly limited design and shape of the bamboo handle may not be what you’re looking for, especially if you’re used to round plastic handles. However, the brush is more than worth it if you want to reduce your impact on the environment.

At Oath Essentials, we follow a zero-waste, plastic-free philosophy, and offer zero-waste alternatives that are safe for the environment. We also teach people how to live a zero-waste lifestyle.

There are plenty of benefits of using a bamboo toothbrush, so be sure to check out Oath Essentials and give this toothbrush a try.


How to Choose a Manual Toothbrush

This is the best manual toothbrush 2019 buyer’s guide. The information below will help you choose the best toothbrush for your needs.

When making your pick, keep in mind that it’s not all about the handle design and bristles. It’s also about the longevity and recyclability of a toothbrush, especially if you’re looking to reduce your impact on the environment. For instance, a bamboo toothbrush can fully compost (except the bristles).

Brush Head

When looking at brush heads, choose the one that perfectly fits your mouth. Most adults need a brush head that’s 2.5 cm long and 1 cm wide (1” x ½”), as it’s the most effective, and the easiest to maneuver. Also, make sure it’s pointed and super slim, so that you can easily clean your back teeth.

Bristles

There are various plant-based bristles, but they wear out very quickly. Animal hair bristles are not a smart choice, as they retain bacteria and obviously are not cruelty-free.

Charcoal toothbrushes are known to retain significantly fewer bacteria than other bristles, but there are very few studies to confirm it.

There are also silicone bristles, but it’s still unknown whether they’re as eco-friendly as nylon bristles, and if they can effectively remove plaque. You can also find bamboo bristles, but they’re often a combination of bamboo and nylon.

Most bristle toothbrushes these days are nylon, as nylon is known to be the best for cleaning your teeth. Polyester bristles are similar, but if you want healthy teeth, stick with nylon bristles.

Hardness of Bristles

Most dentists recommend soft bristles. They don’t remove as much plaque as medium or hard bristles, but they don’t increase the risk of gum recession.

Medium bristles remove more plaque but cause your gum line to recede over time if you brush too hard. This can lead to exposed dentin, which is a tissue that makes up the bulk of your teeth. If you have sensitive teeth, exposed dentin can trigger a lot of pain.

Hard bristles can cause the same damage but in a shorter time. Therefore, it’s best to always use a soft-bristle toothbrush. You only need to brush your teeth for at least two minutes to remove plaque from the surface area and between your teeth.

Bristle Shape

You can find bristles with shapes designed for better cleaning between your teeth, around your teeth, along your gum line, and much more.

Nevertheless, the shape of bristles doesn’t play a big part in removing plaque. The most important is to have polished bristles. That means the tip of the bristle is rounded and not pointed. This feature makes brushing more comfortable for those with sensitive teeth.

close up of toothbrush bristles
source

Handle Shape

The shape of your toothbrush handle should be comfortable and allow you to easily reach all the areas in your mouth, especially your back teeth.

For instance, round plastic handles are the most comfortable to hold in your hand, but barrel-shaped bamboo toothbrush handles are also quite comfortable. Don’t be put off by unusual shapes, as they may end up giving you a great brushing experience.

The Price

The shape of your toothbrush handle should be comfortable and allow you to easily reach all the areas in your mouth, especially your back teeth.

For instance, round plastic handles are the most comfortable to hold in your hand, but barrel-shaped bamboo toothbrush handles are also quite comfortable. Don’t be put off by unusual shapes, as they may end up giving you a great brushing experience.

Proper Brushing Technique

When it comes to brushing teeth, many people don’t do it properly. A lot of them move the brush left and right, but that doesn’t remove all the plaque between their teeth. Others don’t even brush the inside of their teeth.

Here are the most important cleaning tips you should follow to have healthy teeth.

First, use an extra clean toothbrush. Don’t assume that it’s perfectly clean right out of the box. Rinse it thoroughly with warm water before every use.

Place your toothbrush at an angle of 45° in regards to your gums. Start moving it back and forth, and make sure you clean the entire surface area of every tooth – outer, inner, and top chewing surfaces.

Don’t forget the inside surfaces of your front teeth. To clean those, tilt your toothbrush vertically, and gently move it up and down.

Once you’re done, rinse your toothbrush again, let it dry naturally, and place it vertically in an open-air toothbrush holder.

Remember to brush your teeth for at least two minutes, two times a day.

Don’t Forget to Floss

Flossing is essential for removing excess food particles, plaque, and decay-causing bacteria from the areas that your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing every day will help you prevent cavities and gum disease.

It doesn’t matter whether you brush your teeth first and then floss, or vice versa, as long as you do both.

You can floss your teeth either with dental floss, or an interdental cleaner.

Regular dental floss is usually plastic. Easy-glide floss is coated in Teflon which is toxic and these toxins will build up is your body.

The best dental floss you can use is natural silk dental floss that’s made from the mulberry silkworm. Corn floss (made from PLA), which is vegan, is also effective and safe to use.

When disposing of silk or corn dental floss, make sure you compost it. However, corn floss must be sent to a commercial compost facility.

When Should You Replace Your Toothbrush?

Make sure you replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. This is because the bristles wear out over time and stop cleaning your teeth effectively. If the bristles wear out sooner, get a new toothbrush right away.

It’s vital to note that you shouldn’t store your toothbrush in a closed container because that’s the best way for bacteria to grow. Use a cup or open-air toothbrush holder.

bamboo toothbrush in cup

How to Properly Dispose of a Toothbrush

Don’t throw your old toothbrush in the trash, because it will end up in a landfill and harm the environment. To properly dispose of a plastic toothbrush, contact your local recycling facility to check if they have a site for disposing of plastic toothbrushes.

Some manufacturers have a take-back program that enables you to send your plastic toothbrush to them and let them recycle it.

If you use a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush, you can compost it in your backyard. Before you do, make sure you remove the bristles, as they won’t decompose. Animal hair bristles will, but you know that they’re not a great choice.

Conclusion

Following this buyer’s guide for choosing the best manual toothbrush will definitely help you find the perfect product for your needs. It will also help you take great care of your teeth, as all the discussed cleaning tips and techniques will make your teeth whiter, shinier, and healthier.

The best manual toothbrush 2019 reviews above will help you narrow down your list, so be sure to give these products a try. You need to try a few brushes to see what suits you best. Start right now, and take a step towards a healthier and more beautiful smile.

Don’t forget to leave a comment and let us know which is your favorite.

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