Next time you replace your toothbrush, think before you trash it. About 50 million pounds of toothbrushes are tossed into landfills each year. Just because your old toothbrush can’t be used to effectively clean your teeth doesn’t mean it’s not still handy around the house. To help protect the environment, Dr. Villani offers these tips on how to recycle and reuse your toothbrush.


Your toothbrush is designed to clean your teeth, but it can also be used for a variety of cleaning purposes around the house. Toothbrushes can reach between small crevices and spaces, making it useful for any of the following:

  • Clean between the bristles of your hairbrush
  • Clean between the tongs of your forks or cheese grater
  • Wash the blade of your chainsaw and other sharp tools that could injure your fingers or a rag
  • Remove dust between buttons on your remote control or computer keyboard
  • The long handle makes it easy to wash deep down into bottles and glasses
  • Scrub grout and grime around your kitchen or bathroom sink
  • Scrub dirt, mud, and other stains off fabric and shoes
  • Pair with an abrasive agent (like toothpaste!) to polish and shine jewelry
  • Clean your pet’s teeth. Your furry friend will not be harmed by any human germs lingering on your brush.


Your toothbrush can be a fun tool to use in your hobbies. Try these craft ideas to turn your old toothbrushes into a piece of art:

  • Frayed bristles can make interesting paint splatters to create an abstract painting
  • Boil the brush handle to make it flexible so you can bend it into fun shapes and jewelry
  • Gardeners can label the handles and stick them in the ground to mark plants

To avoid contaminating your mouth, the American Dental Association and Dr. Villani recommend replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. However, to avoid polluting the environment, we also suggest reusing your toothbrush for other convenient purposes. If you have any questions about how to use your toothbrush to clean your teeth, contact Dr. Villani at Brighton Family Dental Group in Brighton, MA at (617) 562-5210. We welcome patients from Brighton, Watertown, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, and the surrounding communities.