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How to design the toothbrush

Revision as of 21:00, 20 May 2019 by Root (talk | contribs)

Description of product

The toothbrush is a tool used to clean one's teeth, which nowadays comes in various styles and shapes. It has evolved over the years and historically replaced old practices of cleaning the teeth. Today, everyone needs a toothbrush, for better health.

Refer to Wikipedia to learn more.

Author 1: Mr A Claire


I'm the founder of and an avid web enthusiast, who loves technology and science. You can learn more about me via my website at This is my first product suggestion on the network and hope to encourage others to participate by making new pages or by contributing to them.

Contribution Date

26th April 2019

Product lifespan

According to experts and as quoted on[1], the average lifespan of a toothbrush is between 3-4 months.

Problems identified

Problem 1

The general lifespan of the product needs to be extended dramatically, as the average lifespan of a person today (27/04/2019), suggested by a google[2] answer, suggests it is 79 years old, therefore, the typical person will go through 316 toothbrushes in their lifetime, this equates to 2,379,480,000,000 toothbrushes for our current population.

Problem 2

For these manual toothbrushes, versus the electric toothbrushes, the toothbrush market hasn't changed much, especially in terms of the design for throw away heads. Therefore 80-90% of the toothbrush is wasted each time you throw one away, the problematic area, is usually the head.

Problem 3

Maintaining your toothbrushes can be a difficult process, as toothbrushes are just chucked in the pot and left to the elements, potentially causing cross contamination from older brushes to your maybe newer brush. Even with the individual toothbrush holders you can buy, residue can build within the container, therefore needs looking at from a design perspective.

Aim & solutions

Suggestion 1

Refering to problem 1, there are an array of things that can be done to resolve this issue, such as going through a potential 10-30 in a lifetime instead.

Suggestion 2

Refering to problem 2, in line with problem 1, if we reduced the number of toothbrush handles you need to go through for example to 10-30 handles in a lifetime, then the obvious solution would be to change the head, like you can with electric type tooth brushes, reducing the waste and by ensuring you have a fresh and new bristled brushed, which is where the problem usually resides in the toothbrush.

Suggestion 3

In reference to problem 3, to ensure your toothbrush is cleaned properly after each brush and to ensure it has time to dry properly, therefore a specially designed container, where you only need a few of these in your lifetime, which lasts much longer than the traditional brush holders, could prevent the problem and reduce germs from remaining on the brush, holder and container. In addition, a washable cloth could be wrapped gently around the brush, to ensure it dries after a proper clean, so next time you come to it, at least both the brush and cloth will be clean, dry and ready for the next go.

Cleaning & restoration

Cleaning method 1

To improve the lifespan of the toothbrush, it is important to ensure your toothbrush is cleaned properly after use and to ensure it drys properly too, therefore when you put it in the holder or container, residue does not accumulate and hygiene will improve.

Cleaning method 2

To ensure that the holder or container is regularly cleaned, to improve both the toothbrush and holder or containers lifespan.

Restoration method 1

Inline with cleaning your toothbrush, there's this cool video to show how you can restore your toothbrush and give it a longer lease of life. Watch the YouTuber demonstrate by viewing this video and see how the bristles come back to life. Who would of thought!

Recyclable options

Recyclable option 1

In regards to the handles, rather than chucking them away, a more suitable recyclable method should be introduced for the new design of the toothbrush.

Recyclable option 2

Regards to the newly proposed heads, they should be 100% recyclable and a more suitable recyclable method should be introduced for the new design of the toothbrush heads.

Sources & examples

[2] Google search engine answer

Action taken/influence

25/04/2019 Informed Colgate about my findings and referred them to visit this page to learn more and use ideas that stem from this page.

30/04/2019 Colgate acknowledged the feedback and sent back information regarding how I can suggest them to them through patent routes.

Authors influence & summary

Author 1: Mr A Claire

Mr A Claire managed to setup this page, highlight some simple yet useful concepts, then forwarded them to one of the biggest manufacturers of toothbrushes to consider, where he received a response, which is usually a start in the process.

Overall influence & summary

Mr A Claire is currently the only contributor on this page, where he has identified how to reduce plastic waste through simple innovation and also recommended ways in how to make ones toothbrush last longer. Contribute to this page and help identify problems and solutions, which current authors have not addressed.

Note: Overall influence & summary is a changing log and you must refer to the history to see historical changes.