Answer to this month’s trivia Question:

In what year did the first electric toothbrush appear? According to this article, the correct answer is 1954! Here is an article with more details from Electric Toothbrush Pro.

The History behind the Invention of Electric Toothbrushes

Unlike manual toothbrushes which were invented long time ago, the history of electric toothbrushes can be traced back to 1954 when Dr. Philippe-Guy Woog developed the very first power toothbrush, Broxodent, for Broxo SA based in Switzerland. The production of these toothbrushes later spread to France still under Broxo SA. These brushes were plugged into a wall socket where they sourced their power from.

The main reason and central purpose for the development of this toothbrush was to aid patients who had mobility problems and as such could not use or had some degree of difficulty in using manual toothbrushes.

Place Jean Arthur Groundbreaking Research


In 1956, Place Jean Arthur did a pioneering research that sought to extend the benefits of these toothbrushes to other people outside the initial target bracket. The findings of his research were profound. He discovered that the electric toothbrushes were far much superior compared to the manual brushes since they left no chance for an incorrect brushing procedure. This groundbreaking research paved the way for general acceptance of the electric toothbrushes as the most efficient and complete in ensuring an improved oral hygiene.

The Arrival of the Broxo Electric Toothbrush in the U.S

broxodent-first-elecric-toothbrushIn 1959, the Broxo Electric Toothbrush arrived in the United States of America for the first time during the centennial celebrations of the American Dental Association. The company behind this introduction was known as E. R. Squibb and Sons Pharmaceuticals. Thereafter, it was marketed under the brand names Broxodent or Broxo-Dent. In the 1980s, the pharmaceutical company transferred its Broxodent distribution rights to Somerset Labs which is a division of Bristol Myers/Squibb.

The Broxodent was compact and slim just like most modern rechargeable electric toothbrushes. This toothbrush also had a longer brushing session meaning a thorough action on the teeth. When combined with its long lifespan extending over 20 years, this electric toothbrush left a remarkable impression in the minds of consumers.

General Electric Automatic Toothbrush

General Electric Automatic ToothbrushIn the early 1960s, General Electric introduced its electric toothbrush known as General Electric Automatic Toothbrush so as to compete with the Broxodent brand. This toothbrush was cordless and used rechargeable NiCad batteries. This was a significant improvement which made General Electric to be the market leader and the first company to introduce the rechargeable electric toothbrush. Though it was slightly bulky, the General Electric Automatic Toothbrush was portable and came with a charging stand that held the toothbrush upright.

Ultima and Ultrasonic Vibration

Ultima and Ultrasonic Vibration Electric ToothbrushIn 1992, the first ultrasonic toothbrush initially known as Ultima and later Ultrasonex was patented in the United States. The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) gave it a nod the same year to be used in households. At first, the Ultima operated only on ultra sound but later on, a motor was added giving it an addition sonic vibration hence the change of its name to Ultrasonex.

Today, electric toothbrushes have advanced and made great strides in terms of functionality and aesthetics. With modern features such as UV brush head sterilization, two minutes auto timers and mouth quadrant alerts, electric toothbrushes are becoming more effective in plaque removal and gum cleaning. You can join this movement today and be part of history by purchasing an electric toothbrush online.