Open mouth, insert battery-powered tooth-cleaning device – Loveland Reporter-Herald

Benjamin Franklin invented the electric toothbrush. Yes it is true. I read it on the internet.

One fateful day, while he was lost in his electric thoughts, the clouds swelled and it began to rain.

He said “Aha” and attached a metal wire to that toothbrush and when lightning struck, his toothbrush vibrated and his teeth were cleaned.

No, not at all. I was just joking with you.

My electrical engineering colleagues from the past would have said “Jim. That’s impossible. How can he brush on a sunny day?”

What brought electric toothbrushes to my mind today? The CEO and I just “invested” in a pair of matching electric toothbrushes. Apparently they only sell them in pairs, encouraging you to find a friend with similar dental hygiene needs if you’re single.

After three generations of dentists recommended it to me, I accepted the recommendation.

I have more crowns than the kingdom of England so I thought it might be worth the investment – you can buy a lifetime of plastic Oral-Bs for the price of just one set. And then you still have to replace the brush heads.

The instructions tell you the advice you should know, “Do not use in the shower” (or it may be more tempting than you like).

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It also recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes each time. Do they think I have nothing better to do (don’t answer this)?

Well, I guess it’s better than chewing on denta bones. Even the chlorophyll ones are not good.

There’s more to an electric toothbrush than meets the eye (or teeth).

I didn’t know this when we did the down payment apparently, but they are classified as power, sonic or ultrasonic according to their frequency of movement. They are classified (perhaps another product for later discussion) depending on whether they move below, in, or above the audible range (20-20,000 Hz or 2400-2,400,000 beats per minute).

I honestly don’t know how fast ours is; I could not time them while brushing.

Ben Franklin misinformation aside (as most things from the web must be), we come to the first recorded example of an electric toothbrush.

In 1937, Tomlinson Moseley filed a patent for the Motodent. I would have chosen a different name. It sounds like something that happened to your car in the parking lot.

His device had a cord attached and looked like it would have to be held with both hands due to its size. It was not disclosed when we bought ours.

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Moseley must have cornered the market with the Motodent (except in areas without electricity) because the next electric toothbrush didn’t appear until 1954.

It was invented by Dr. Philippe Guy Vogue in Switzerland. He likes the meaning of “dent” so he named himself Broxodont – if there was a Swiss language it would mean something but it’s just a little used surname. I don’t know why he didn’t call it a vogudent or maybe a dantwig.

His device plugged into a standard wall socket and ran on line voltage.

After six years of practice in the Swiss and other Europeans, the Bruxo electric toothbrush was transferred to the United States by ER Squibb and Sons Pharmaceuticals. For lack of a better name, Squibb and Kids kept Broxodent and marketed it under that name.

Somewhere in the dark recesses of my velcro mind I remember it being advertised on early television.

General Electric, which specialized in things that used to be electric, decided to pull out of market share in the early 1960s (yeah, I said it). It introduced a cordless model with rechargeable NiCad (Nickel Cadmium, which costs less than Dime Cadmium).

It was portable if you were doing arm exercises. It was about the size of a two-D cell flashlight handle.

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This model comes with a charging stand (also portable if you have access to electricity).

Most of the units were sitting in the charger, which is not the best way to get maximum service life from a NiCad battery.

And early people had a short lifespan. This was a problem if you ran out of battery because the batteries were sealed inside the device and couldn’t be replaced. The device had to be discarded when the batteries failed — after eating garlic pasta would be a bad time to fail.

As time went on, conservationists struggled with verifying Brooksau’s original design. It was the 1990s and five decades after the product was introduced (lawyers must be salivating).

Competitors were grinding their teeth to gain market share (yes, another one) so better battery-powered toothbrushes were available and recommended by dentists.

This led to the product that the CEO and I are buying (financing available). It’s called Sonicare (which means it can help my hearing problems) and is supposedly very effective.

I have discovered that it takes longer and is dirtier than my manual toothbrush (gold during the day, blue at night). However, I’ll stick with it: straight teeth, crooked smile.


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