A simple visit to the Oral-B website shows the versatility of its products. The brand offers electric toothbrushes, replacement brush heads, manual toothbrushes, kids’ toothbrushes, battery-powered toothbrushes, and even floss. These categories do not even cover everything that Oral-B offers! Additionally, the brand’s products cater to all kinds of dental needs, from tooth sensitivity to gingivitis prevention to tooth whitening. If you have a dental issue, it is almost guaranteed that Oral-B can help you.
History of Oral-B
Oral-B is a brand of dental accessories that began in the 1930s in California when a man named Henry Sargol invented a soft nylon-bristled toothbrush and named it Oral-B. However, the Oral-B brand didn’t really take off until the periodontist Dr. Robert W. Hutson filed a patent for the “Hutson Toothbrush” in 1950.
In 1958, Hutson filed another patent for what he called a “mouthbrush.” This toothbrush was similar to the first model but it featured numerous fine, soft, flat-ended nylon bristles that offered a more complete cleaning. Additionally, Hutson claimed that the mouthbrush was easier on tooth enamel, better for massaging gums, and more effective for cleaning tooth powder than other toothbrushes at the time.
It was then that the Oral-B brand was created. The brand’s first official product was the Oral-B 60, named for its 60 tufts. More toothbrushes were designed with different numbers of bristles and tufts and named according to the number they featured. The brand was selling over 5 million toothbrushes a year within 10 years of its creation.
Passing the Torch
In the 1960s, Hutson sold his toothbrush company to Cooper Tinsley Laboratories, later known as Cooper Laboratories. At this time, the Oral-B brand started to expand its list of products, adding flosses and fluoride toothpaste to their portfolio.
Incredibly enough, it is claimed that an Oral-B toothbrush accompanied the astronauts to the moon in 1969!
A Brand Within a Brand
Oral-B was bought by Gillette in 1984. This was a mutually beneficial acquisition because Gillette had the money and the manpower to allow Oral-B to grow to its ultimate potential. This encouraged innovation that was never available to the brand before.
Another brand with Gillette, the Braun brand, began marketing electric toothbrushes under the Oral-B brand. Electric toothbrushes offered a new and more complete way of cleaning the mouths of Americans. Furthermore, in 1991, Oral-B introduced “indicator bristles.” This amazing innovation provided colored bristles on the toothbrush head that faded with use in order to let the user know when the toothbrush should be replaced. The indicator bristle design won an Edison Award – an award that recognizes excellence in development and innovation.
In 1993, the Oral-B Advantage toothbrush was introduced. The Advantage offered a multi-level trim pattern to the bristles to promote a more effective cleaning. In 1998, Oral-B introduced the CrossAction toothbrush that featured angled bristles for deeper teeth cleaning. The CrossAction design is the one that accompanies most electric toothbrushes.
In 2003, Oral-B launched the Oral-B Stages line of toothbrushes and became the first toothbrush company to cater to the four stages of child development and the toothbrushes needed for each stage. Procter and Gamble merged with Gillette in 2005, and Oral-B has been under the Procter and Gamble company ever since.
The Current State of the Oral-B Brand
Oral-B, which is a shortened form of “oral brush,” has continued to expand its dental market, producing products like toothbrushes, mouthwashes, toothpaste, dental flosses, oral irrigators, and other interdental products. It is a leading brand in dental care and continues to adapt and make new products that cater to the dental needs of the American public.