Harish Jharia

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04 January 2013

Product Development-Two Piece Toothbrush: Let Us Design Toothbrush with Replaceable Bristle-Heads on Toothbrush Handle

The one-piece toothbrush now in vogue 

© Harish Jharia

The current design of tooth brushes is of an old outdated pattern that might be about half a century old concept. We buy tooth brushes costing between Rs 16/- to Rs 75/- (a few toothbrushes even cost Rs 125+) and discard them after a month as the bristles outlive their lives. The bristles lose their flexibility, become hard and spread outwards. Due to these decays and deformities of bristles, the toothbrushes lose their utility and are thrown away within a month. 

We discard our toothbrushes in spite of the fact that only 10% of the product perishes and 90% of the same remains fine and intact. Discarding a toothbrush that is 90% usable is a criminal wastage of the hard-earned money.  

I always felt pain while discarding a complete toothbrush even when only its bristles could have been replaced. Frequent discarding of toothbrushes results into disposal problems in India, because, India does not have an organized infrastructure for sorting trash and recycle the same.  

This avoidable frequent waste would result into recurring personal losses of the consumers as well as huge collective losses to the national exchequer of individual countries. These losses would eventually go to the extent of billions of dollars if calculated globally. This is because of the fact that hundreds of billions of world population uses millions of tons of toothbrushes and discard them frequently.  

Product Development:

Discover Life advises to the toothbrush manufacturers to design two-piece toothbrushes, with durable handles and replaceable bristle heads. Consumers should have the freedom to buy a toothbrush handle on which different bristle-heads could be fitted. They may discard the old bristle-heads after they outlive their lives and replace the same with new ones.  

Please do not confuse this product development item with the existing ‘two-piece travel toothbrush’ available in the market

Thereafter, toothbrush handles and bristle-heads would be sold separately in the market and the consumers will have freedom to select each part of the toothbrush of their own choice. 

Product Standardization:

Toothbrush handle and bristle-heads will have to be globally standardized so that the consumer can buy bristle-heads of their choice from anywhere and fix the same on their toothbrush handle. 


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