A Toothbrush Worth Showing Offby Yuval Saar | 01.12.15
“Many people put a lot of effort into the design of their living environment, from furniture to illumination to the picking of bathroom tiles,” state Ester and Tal Mor Sinay. “We believe that even the toothbrush people use is an inseparable part of the environment they live and spend time in, and that’s why it should be adapted to their character and reflective of it.” Earlier this month, the two launched a Kickstarter campaign in which they presented to the world Shenn (i.e. tooth in Hebrew) – a new and local brand of toothbrushes- that seeks to provide an adequate response to this need.
Their idea to design a new toothbrush came up about a year ago. “We were really bummed by the existing selection of toothbrushes, especially by their design,” Mor tells. “All toothbrushes look pretty much the same today: everything’s tacky, lots of effects and a combination of many colors and materials. We couldn’t find something simple with an up-to-date design, and the toothbrushes with a relatively simple design that exist in the market give off a medical vibe.”
“We asked ourselves: Why doesn’t the toothbrush express a person’s unique style and doesn’t suit his/her interior design and bathroom? The development process of our product began out of this necessity. At a very early stage we also realized that we want a proper means to present the toothbrush. We thought that if this is going to be a toothbrush that people would be proud to have, they would also want to show it off. That’s how the idea of the plate and the magnetism was born. It also solves the hygiene problem that arises when you put more than one toothbrush in the same holder.”
Tal is an Industrial Designer with varied experience in the world of Design, both as an active designer and as lecturer of Design in Bezalel’s Department of Industrial Design, where he completed his B.A. and M.A. in Design. He brushes his teeth twice a day. Ester is a painter, sculptor and a graduate of Hamidrasha, Beit Berl College’s Faculty of Arts. Her paintings are presented and sold in Israel and across the world, she’s an entrepreneur at heart and in charge of the social media and PR aspects of their project. She brushes her teeth three times a day.
Their toothbrush comes a set: a painted metal plate that connects to the bathroom wall and the toothbrush itself that can be magnetized to the plate, thus going on display in via a new and interesting effect. Their invention is a space-saver, absolving consumers of the need to preserve their toothbrush in a cup or in any other holder on the bathroom sink or in its surroundings. Additionally, it prevents the toothbrush handle from getting moldy, an experience that anyone who places their toothbrush in a holder has gone through.
Their challenge was to create a unique and pretty toothbrush that would also be of high quality. While developing their product, they turned to the recommendations of the ADA (American Dental Association) and several dentists. The response they got was that there were only three parameters that quality toothbrush manufacturing is entitled to. The first is that the toothbrush head would fit average teeth size (small toothbrush heads are preferable). The second parameter is that the toothbrush bristles would be soft so that they could get to all the spaces between the teeth and wouldn’t hurt the gums. The third and last parameter is that toothbrush bristles have a high finishing level, so that at a microscopic level, each bristle would be round at the tip.
Other recommendations they received were: toothbrushes should be replaced between three to four times a year; a toothbrush should be placed vertically in the holder so that it dries off quickly; the toothbrush shouldn’t be touching other toothbrushes.
“In the special manner in which it can be hung, our toothbrush saves valuable space on the bathroom sink and functions as a qualitative, professional and hygienic product. The materials from which it and the rest of the set are made of are of high quality and adaptable to usage in a wet environment. The toothbrush handle went through a long evolutionary process before it received its final shape: it is ergonomic, comfortable and easy to hold while brushing your teeth. The handle has a curved shape in order to enable an easy grasp, and in order to distance the toothbrush head from the wall so that it dries quickly. The X sign marks the area where the magnet is planted and has to be attached to the plate. The bristles have a simple shape and their carving is straight, we put the emphasis on their quality and finishing level.”
“Our toothbrush design is very minimalist, and really celebrates the classic theme Form Follows Function, a term coined by American architect Louis Sullivan, who is considered the Father of Modernism. What this means is that the an object’s shape derives from its expected function. Every detail in our toothbrush means something. What we wanted was to shed any overkill details and leave in only the parts that were essential.”
Translation from Hebrew: Joy Bernard