How to Use Less Water When Brushing Your Teeth

How to Use Less Water When Brushing Your Teeth

How to Use Less Water When Brushing Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth is an essential part of maintaining good oral hygiene. However, it can use a significant amount of water if not done mindfully. Here are some tips to help you conserve water when brushing your teeth:

Turn Off the Faucet While Brushing

The simplest way to use less water is to turn off the faucet while I brush my teeth. Most people leave the water running the entire time, which wastes gallons of clean drinking water.

Instead, I fill a cup with water and use that to wet my toothbrush and rinse when needed. I also usually fill the sink basin halfway and use that water to rinse my mouth. This avoids wasting water down the drain unnecessarily.

Use a Water-Saving Toothbrush

Some toothbrushes are designed to conserve water. Electric toothbrushes often have pressure sensors that pause the motor when too much pressure is applied. This avoids excess water splashing everywhere.

Manual toothbrushes can also help reduce water use. Choose one with shorter bristles that won’t hold too much water. The toothbrush head shape can also affect water efficiency – slimmer heads retain less water.

Install Low-Flow Faucet Aerators

Standard faucets can use 2-3 gallons per minute. Low-flow aerators restrict water flow to around 1 gallon per minute without affecting water pressure. Installing an aerator is a simple DIY project that can reduce the amount of water wasted while brushing.

Low-flow aerators are an inexpensive way to conserve water in bathrooms. Just make sure to get ones approved by your local plumbing code.

Consider Dry Brushing

For the ultimate in water savings, I sometimes brush my teeth without water. I just apply toothpaste as normal and brush thoroughly. The toothpaste still provides cleansing and fluoride. Dry brushing avoids water waste completely.

However, it does require a bit more time to manually remove plaque. It’s best to dry brush in the morning and use water at night. I also like to finish with a quick water rinse to get the last bit of toothpaste out.

Brush for Shorter Periods

Most dentists recommend brushing for two minutes. But it’s possible to effectively clean teeth in less time, around one minute. Setting a timer can help avoid brushing for longer than needed.

The key is to brush thoroughly and not cut corners. But a shorter brushing time does directly translate into less water use. I make sure to hit every tooth surface methodically in a reduced time frame.


Brushing teeth is essential self-care, but it doesn’t need to waste water. With some mindfulness and minor changes, I can drastically reduce the amount of water used:

  • Turn off running water and use a cup instead
  • Choose water-saving electric or manual toothbrushes
  • Install low-flow faucet aerators in bathrooms
  • Try dry brushing to eliminate water use completely
  • Set a timer and brush for shorter periods

Implementing even one of these tips can help conserve gallons of clean water on a daily basis. Over time, these small changes really add up! It feels good knowing I’m maintaining my dental hygiene in a more sustainable way.