According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website, as of Christmas Day there were 138 patents with the word toothbrush in the title issued this year. 138!…

Mintel says one solution Colgate is pursuing is making toothbrushes smarter. The company just released an electric brush in the United Kingdom that has sensors in the handle that tell the toothbrush where it is in the mouth. “So instead of expecting consumers to switch between different speeds depending on what surface they’re brushing, this brush does it automatically,” he says…

“I traveled a lot, and one of the most frequent things I would forget would be a toothbrush,” he says. So Atkin invented a disposable, all-in-one toothbrush. (Click here and scroll down to see Atkin’s patent.) It has a hollow handle that dispenses dried toothpaste pellets. “You put them on the brush head, run them underwater, and then you have a flavored toothpaste.”