Monday, April 11, 2011

BP 12: The Toothbrush

I believe the toothbrush is an object that reflects the idea of “good design for all”. The toothbrush has been around for a long time, it may not have been the electric-tells-you-when-you’ve-brushed-every-tooth toothbrushes we see today, but it still did the job. The first idea of the toothbrush was a chewing stick that was simply a stick one would chew and the frayed wood would clean the teeth.

Chewing Stick
The toothbrush was first patented in 1857, and in 1885 toothbrushes began to get mass-produced. The design then was not to far from the design now. Below is a picture of Napoleon Bonaparte’s horsehair toothbrush, which is a bit fancy but still the general shape and style of that time.
Napoleon Bonaparte's Toothbrush
Today toothbrushes are used worldwide; some are not as advanced, however, realistically electric brushes are about equal to manual brushes when it comes to cleaning you teeth. When I have to buy a new toothbrush I end up standing in front of them for a good amount of time, there are so many choices! With the amount of sugar and sweets out there, toothbrushes are one of the most important objects to own. They are made large and small so adults and kids can all use them; they also have soft, medium, and hard bristles to fit any kind of mouth.
1938 Toothbrush: First Nylon Bristles
Colgate 360: Toothbrush and Tongue Cleaner
Oral B 9100
Above, is an Oral-B 9100 toothbrush that can wirelessly transmits a map of your mouth to an LCD display. It monitors how many times you have brushed certain quadrants of your teeth and lets you know where you have yet to brush or which areas still need more work. Once your mouth is perfectly clean, it signals you to stop brushing. So crazy! Even though toothbrushes are constantly changing, they all do what is important as far as dental hygiene.