The Toothbrush Family

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August 13, 2014 by christine

I invite you to take a little stroll down memory lane with me. . . . I have to warn you though, once you invite this little bit of nostalgia into your day you won’t be able to shake it. You will be thinking about it and singing in your head (or out loud)!

Remember The Toothbrush Family? Those of us of a “certain age” will!  It was a 4 minute cartoon that ran between shows in our cartoon lineup. You may have been able to catch it several times per day for almost 15 years. There was Mother Tess and Father Tom, Tina and Toby and Gramps, Flash Fluoride (the toothpaste), Hot Rod Harry (the electric toothbrush) Cecily Comb, Bertie Brush, Nev Nailbrush , Susie Sponge and Shaggy Dog (the worn out toothbrush) and they all came to life when a magic moonbeam shone into the bathroom window when the family of the house was sleeping. Each short episode combined a magical place of imagination with simple oral hygiene.

The Toothbrush Family was originally conceived by Marcia Hatfield of Australia, who came up with the idea in an attempt to make the chore of tooth brushing more fun to her young son. Initially The Toothbrush Family was published in print and then as a TV series in Australia but was soon picked up as an animated short shown during Captain Kangaroo in the US and then in Canada, airing daily on the CBC, then Global and then YTV before falling out of syndication sometime in the 1990s. The Toothbrush family was acknowledged by the World Health Organization as the first health education program ever shown on kids TV as straight entertainment.

The theme song to The Toothbrush Family was written to the tune of “Three Blind Mice.” Marcia Hatfield visited the Dental Health Education and Research Foundation in Sydney, Australia to approve her scripts and was given permission to use their newly composed song in every episode.

“Brush your teeth, round and round,

Circles small, gums and all.

A small soft toothbrush the round and round way.

Will keep your gums healthy and stop tooth decay.

So clean very carefully two times a day.

Go round and round . . .  round and round.”

 

I hope you enjoyed this little blast from the past with me. Children’s programming has certainly evolved and the design of toothbrushes and our oral health products may have changed but the message remains the same. Brush your teeth to stay healthy and prevent cavities. And parents, make it fun. Your kids will be interested and motivated! Look at me . . .  here I am years later, still singing The Toothbrush Family theme song in my head (and out loud)!