Written by Plain Toothbrush Company
Owner: Howard B. Richman
Around 2014, traditional toothbrushes started to disappear for some mysterious reason. Our business is attempting to buck that trend. I’m not a dentist or an oral health expert. My education is actually in music. I’m a pianist, composer and piano teacher. However, When I see a problem, I try to solve it. I’m an entrepreneur at heart.
My personal interest in finding a classic toothbrush is what prompted me to form the Plain Toothbrush Company in 2015. I have sensitive gums and I was annoyed that the multi-leveled bristles of modern-style toothbrushes would irritate my gums while brushing my teeth. This is because the longer bristles would extend further than necessary, depending on the angle of the brush. So for several years, I would literally cut down the long bristles to make them all even. I knew that was not ideal because by doing this, the bristles were no longer “end-rounded.”
When I couldn’t find the classic toothbrush at my local drug store any more, I looked online and found some suppliers, but you had to purchase a quantity of 144. It then occurred to me that there might be other people who were wistful about the “good ol’ days!” I gave it a go and bought the 144 traditional toothbrushes and created a test sales page on Amazon. At that time, my toothbrushes only came with soft bristles. I was really excited when people started ordering, and realized there was a hidden market.
I then conducted quite a bit of research that led to finding our current toothbrush manufacturer in the United States. We work closely with the manufacturer to create toothbrushes that meet our exact specifications. That includes 47-tuft adult and 24-tuft kids versions. Handles are translucent in various colors, while bristles are made of nylon. The handles are made of Cellulose Acetate Propionate (CAP), a type of plastic produced from wood pulp cellulose. CAP is strong, non-brittle, shiny and translucent, making it a perfect material for toothbrush handles and eyeglass frames.
Our “old-fashioned” toothbrushes are comparable to the ones that were common in the 1950s through 1980s. We offer extra-soft, soft, medium, hard, extra-hard and kids’ versions. The bristles are end-rounded but straight-cut. The handles are straight, flat and narrow. They fit into many traditional toothbrush holders.
In the 1990s, the larger manufacturers of toothbrushes started to develop innovations that seemed more geared for marketing than function. Multi-level bristles, rounded handles, rubberized handles, and multi-colored bristles and handles started to appear. I presume their intention was to find ways to better attract consumers to brush their teeth. However, there is evidence showing that the original design of straight-cut bristles lasts longer. That’s because they are tightly-packed, allowing the same-length bristles to better support one another during the act of brushing. That can prevent wear.
We sell our toothbrushes under the “Sound Feelings” brand, which is our parent company. They are currently available from our Plain-Toothbrush.com website and also on Amazon.com and Walmart.com. Each toothbrush is individually wrapped in cellophane. They come in single units or 4-packs. Also sold are boxes of 72 and cases of 432 toothbrushes.
Although the Plain Toothbrush Company is a small family business, our sales volume is gradually increasing. Most of our customers really love our product and re-order. Many of those people have reported great checkups from their dentists after using our brushes. I believe that is because our style of toothbrush is actually superior in its ability to clean teeth. Also, people with arthritis really appreciate that our toothbrush handle is flat, allowing them to have more control. And, many customers are thrilled that they can once again use the toothbrush holder that was built into their bathroom wall.
We try to provide excellent customer service. We offer a buy-one-get-one coupon for people who sign up to be on our company’s mailing list. Also, if there is ever an issue with an order, we immediately resend and double the order.
Contact: Plain Toothbrush Company, c/o Sound Feelings
18375 Ventura Blvd., #8000, Tarzana, CA 91356