Tooth is a stylish and environmentally considerate toothbrush that does what it has been designed to do well.
There is a lot to like. I could happily use this on a daily basis.
The design and subscription system has been well thought out.
Tooth takes advantage of some of the most sustainable materials available. But unfortunately, the systems don’t exist in the UK to properly dispose of the PLA based heads, potentially negating some of the benefits.
- Eco friendly materials
- Premium look and feel
- Good subscription options
- Brush heads are not easy to dispose of
- A more expensive option
- Brush head colours
Where to buy the tooth.eco brush
Tooth is available direct from tooth.eco only. It is not currently stocked in retail stores or available via any other outlets.
Consider these other brushes
There are countless manual toothbrush options, but the number of true eco/sustainable options is somewhat more limited.
We cover the topic in more detail in our article on the best eco-friendly toothbrushes.
Those that are designed to be more environmentally considerate face similar challenges to Tooth in terms of just how easily they can be recycled.
We are always reviewing the current range of options. As it stands, as crazy as it may seem, it is potentially better to invest in a regular manual (plastic) toothbrush, because these can actually be recycled thanks to initiatives that have been setup.
Tooth in-depth review
Tooth or tooth.eco as they are known is an environmentally considerate manual toothbrush.
It has been designed and brought to market by Joshua Oates & Kiana Guyo.
The product launched on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter in September 2019. It was successfully funded and was due to ship in April 2020. With the impact of COVID, the inevitable under estimated timelines of a startup, the final product shipped 18 months later in October 2021 and is now available for anyone to purchase.
Variants of this toothbrush
There are 2 different parts to the tooth.eco toothbrush. You have the handle itself and then the brush head.
All the handles are made from recycled aluminium but are available in 4 different colour options. These are:
Then you have the option to choose between 3 different stiffness of bristles. Your choices are:
The brush heads are available in 4 colours, ash, charcoal, rose and white. Not champagne like the handle.
What’s in the box?
The exact box contents depends on what package you buy/subscribe to. The typical box includes:
- 1 x Tooth handle
- 1 x Brush head
- Recycled aluminium handle
- Replaceable brush heads
- Heads made from bio based plastic
- Stylish and ergonomic
- Subscription packages
Design, usability, clean & general use
Tooth has specifically been designed to be a more environmentally friendly and considerate product.
It perhaps comes as no surprise that it is packaged in a cardboard box made from FSC certified material and any ink on the box is made with soy.
The overall package for 1 handle and 1 head is larger than I had expected. It is about the same width as an A5 piece of paper but a touch longer and of course a couple of centimetres thicker.
Even the box that had the 1 brush head in was about 3 times larger than it needed to be. But, to be fair to Tooth, it may well be that same box is used if you order a 3 pack of heads.
This is a manual toothbrush. I will cover the eco credentials shortly. But, it is worth knowing that one of the main appeals here is the head is replaceable. With a regular toothbrush, you replace the whole thing each time you need new bristles. Theoretically at least a lot better for the planet because only the head is being disposed of.
I have the ash coloured handle. Basically, it is silver.
You have the option of charcoal (black), rose (pink) and champagne (gold).
The handle feels good quality and is quite lightweight. It is a touch heavier than a plastic handle, but it isn’t as heavy as I had anticipated.
It has an interesting design to the handle. It is wider at the top where the head attaches. It then things in the middle, before getting a bit wider at the base.
The Tooth logo is debossed into the bottom part of the handle.
There is a curvature to the handle too, so it is not a long flat piece of aluminium.
It isn’t slippery in hand. This is because the handle isn’t perfectly smooth, there is a very slight texture to it.
Overall I like it. Those with limited dexterity or arthritis etc might find the handle a little too slim to comfortably grip onto.
Constructing the handle from metal gives Tooth a more durable design, but also a more premium feel. Do be aware there is no flex in the handle either.
The replaceable brush heads simply push into and pull out of the brush handle. There is a right and wrong way to put them in. I initially put them in the wrong way. It seems many others have done this too. Tooth does include a flyer in the box that explains how to do it.
The bristles need to be facing up like the logo on the handle.
It is a nice snug fit to the head which is good. Mine certainly doesn’t feel loose.
The brush heads are available in 4 colours, ash, charcoal, rose and white. Interestingly there isn’t a champagne head like the handle.
The ash head doesn’t quite match the handle like you might expect. The handle has that metal look and there is a distinct difference in the colour of the head. This is to some extent expected, they are different materials. But, it isn’t quite the match you might hope for.
Different manufacturers have different bristle configurations on their brush head.
Some have a flat profile, others have a W profile.
With Tooth, there are 4 main rows of nylon bristles on the head. The outer row on the right and left side are marginally taller than the 2 rows in the middle.
At the very top of the head are 3 clusters of bristles that are even longer still.
These longest bristles are for reaching between the teeth. And the longer outer 2 rows I believe are designed to clean more effectively at the gumline.
Tooth offers the bristles in soft, medium and firm stiffness. I opted for soft. I wouldn’t recommend anyone pick firm.
They do not feel like the softest bristles I have ever used, but they are certainly gentle on the teeth and gums. They do appear to hold their shape well, which is good.
All the bristles are white in colour. There are no coloured bristles that fade in time to act as a sign you need to replace them. Some other brushes offer this feature.
As far as I can tell the bristles are ‘rough cut’. This means the tips of each bristle has not been rounded to make for an even softer brushing experience.
I am pleased with the overall clean that the toothbrush has given.
I can’t say the cleaning results are really better or worse than other manual brushes I have tried. They appear comparable.
I can’t say it has really bothered me in my use, but some have concerns about the aluminium handle coming into contact with the teeth as you brush. It is a bit rougher/harsher on the teeth and can be a bit less comfortable should you knock a tooth as you brush etc. I don’t think this is a deal breaker, but something to be aware of.
I have not purchased the accessories that Tooth offer, but there is a metal brush stand and a travel case available for those who want it.
The stand is made from the same recycled aluminium as the handle, but is only available in the silver/ash colour. It has a hole in it to ensure water can drain away.
The travel case is made from plastic. It holds the handle, with a brush head fitted and then an additional 3 heads. It can even be placed in the dishwasher.
It is a nice design. There is the outer sleeve that slides over the plastic frame into which the toothbrush and heads are placed. Rather innovatively, the stand for the brush actually magnetically attaches to the travel case, if you want to take that with you on the go too.
Right, so to the materials and eco credentials of this toothbrush.
The handle is made from recycled aluminium. This is a good option. It is long lasting and will be very easy to recycle if/when it is no longer needed. (Compare this to bamboo for example where you need access to composting facilities or recycled plastics which may not be accepted by household recycling collections, depending on the exact type of plastic it is).
The replaceable head is made from a tough bioplastic called Floreon.
Floreon is made from Polylactic acid (PLA), a plant-based material mainly derived from renewable resources such as corn and sugar cane. As such it is more sustainable than oil based alternatives.
Tooth.eco suggest it uses 99% less plastic than a regular manual toothbrush. I suspect this is true. I am not a mathematician to have run the figures, but it seems a fair statement.
The issue here is when it comes to disposing of this head.
PLA cannot currently be recycled with other plastics (milk bottles etc, which are collected as part of your household collection).
There is evidence to show PLA is biodegradable, however, the conditions needed mean it needs industrial composting. Tooth does advise commercial composting is required for it to break down.
Accessing commercial composting is the problem. At the moment, there is a lack of these industrial composting facilities world wide.
It’s a bit of a farce how all these companies are making “biodegradable” plastics, but we just don’t have the facilities to get rid of them. Some food and garden waste goes to industrial composting facilities, but this varies from council to council.
If you know your waste goes to such a facility, biodegradable plastics could in theory be thrown in with this waste. However, at the sorting plant, it may be confused for conventional plastic and be removed anyway.
They do suggest that if you compost it at home, in the correct conditions the body of the head will fragment into small pieces within 3 months and be completely degraded back to carbon dioxide and water within 6 months. This is highly unlikely for most people to achieve, from the research we have undertaken. In reality, you can’t just throw it on your home compost pile as it will take years to break down when it is as thick and the size of a toothbrush head.
The bristles are made from nylon which are not yet recyclable at home or biodegradable.
TerraCycle has schemes to recycle nylon bristles. However, this normally assumes the bristles are still attached to the head made of conventional plastics, not bioplastics. I don’t think they can handle the PLA in the brush head at this time.
It means, at this time, even when you compost at home or through an industrial process, the bristles need to be removed.
Tooth is working on a degradable version of the bristles so that the whole head can be composted in the future.
Sustainable and environmental dental care products is a bit of a minefield. In fact, this extends to our daily life, not just oral care products.
Not everything is quite what it seems and what you think might be better isn’t always unless very specific steps are followed. This isn’t a criticism of product manufacturers directly. The system for disposing of this waste doesn’t really exist yet.
So what is the take home message here? I think tooth is actually a great option when it comes to eco credentials. They have made the best choices and options given the available technology.
But, you need to be aware that we don’t really have the facilities available to biodegrade PLA here in the UK (and it’s a similar story elsewhere too).
It would be nice if Tooth has a programme to allow used heads to be returned so that they can be properly recycled. Perhaps in time, this will be possible.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Slim, stylish and durable recycled metal handle
- Replaceable brush heads made from PLA bio-based plastic
- Cleans the teeth really well
- Different bristle stiffness – soft, medium & firm
- Available with and without subscription
- Optional stand and travel case
- Difficult to actually recycle the brush head – industrial composting required
Price & where to buy
I have included links to buying options here at the start of the review.
In the section below, I discuss the price more generally and in relation to similar products.
Make no mistake, Tooth costs more than your regular plastic manual toothbrush.
Whilst in time, it will likely change, the reality is, as it stands there is a premium to be paid for the most environmentally considerate products.
Tooth and its replaceable brush heads are available with and without a subscription.
The most cost effective option is the subscription.
However, you can make a one off purchase and then come back and subscribe to the brush heads at another time, if you would like to first try this product.
At the time of review, the one time purchase of Tooth is £20, for the handle and the head.
If you subscribe, the initial purchase price is reduced by £5 to £15.
When it comes to the subscription you can choose whether you wish to replace the head every 1, 2 or 3 months.
3 months is recommended and for the sake of simplicity, this is what I will use as the basis for further comment on pricing.
On from that there are then different plans. Your options are:
- Tooth.Plan.One – 1 brush head every 3 months – £5 (£5 per head)
- Tooth.Plan.Three – 3 brush heads every 9 months – £10 (£3.33 per head)
- Tooth.Plan.Six – 6 brush heads every 18 months – £15 (£3 per head)
The Tooth.Plan.Six is the most affordable and environmentally considerate package.
The slight downside to not having the brush head drop through your letterbox every 3 months, is that you are not getting that reminder to replace your brush head.
All too often people use their bristles for too long. For many, the physical act of a replacement head arriving at home is the motivation and use they need to actually change the head that they would have otherwise continued to use for a much longer period of time.
To give a rough benchmark of the cost, over 3 years, assuming you subscribe Tooth.eco will cost £48 or £0.04 per day to own.
A regular plastic toothbrush often costs around £3 a time, so you are looking at a cost of £36 or £0.03 per day.
It is a difference of about £12 over 3 years. This might not be as great as you might have expected, but it is still a reasonable difference.
Do bear in mind, this has an aluminium handle compared to plastic of most other brushes.
How you feel about this will depend on how passionate you are about more sustainable and environmentally friendly options.
Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and will vary based on location, supplier and time of purchase. These figures were correct at the time of writing and should not be relied upon as hard fact, but used as a guide during your decision process.
Summary of price & where to buy
- List of buying options included here
- £20 to buy as a one time purchase
- £15 for Tooth when purchasing on subscription
- Choose between 1, 2 & 3 month schedules for brush head replacement
- 3 different brush head plans
- Tooth.Plan.Six is the most affordable option
- Costs approximately £48 over 3 years or £0.04 per day
- More expensive than a typical manual toothbrush
Reliability & long term use
With a manual brush, there really is little to go wrong. So, in theory at least Tooth.eco should prove to be reliable for the long term.
Unfortunately, I am limited by just how much time I can spend testing this product. During my time with it, I had no cause for concern.
The bristles look and feel like they have been well fitted into the head. They appear to retain their structure well.
The greatest possible risk to the long term use of this brush is the fitting of the head. If you were to remove and refit the head frequently, perhaps the head itself might wear a little, so it is a less snug fit into the handle. I see this is unlikely though,
Unless you are travelling very frequently the head will be placed into the handle and left there most of the time, until it needs replacing in approximately 3 months time.
Tooth does actually come with a lifetime warranty (I believe only if you are subscribed), so should the worst happen, reach out to them for support and you should be covered.
Tooth is one of the better options if you are considering a sustainable and environmentally considerate manual toothbrush.
It comes with a price premium, but for that, you get quality materials and the peace of mind you are making a decision that should benefit the planet in the long run.
It simply isn’t possible to say it is the best eco toothbrush due to the wide variety of influencing factors.
At the time of review, the general waste system hasn’t yet caught up with the smart and innovative choice of materials used here. Recycling/composting the PLA brush head is extremely difficult and restricts the benefits that this product could be making.
- Height (without head) – 16cm
- Height (with head) – 19.2cm
- Width – 1.5cm
- Thickness – 0.8cm
- Weight (without head) – 25g
- Weight (with head) – 28g
All are approximates
Do you own or have you used the Tooth.eco toothbrush?
Are there certain features that you really like or dislike?
Let us know what you think about this brush and let others who may well be considering purchasing one know your opinions before they do.