‘Toothbrush effect’ new indicator of hard times

The purchase of power toothbrushes may be the new indicator of an economic downturn.

That’s according to a recent survey that suggests the ‘toothbrush effect’ may be replacing the so-called ‘lipstick effect’ which is the theory that when facing an economic crisis, consumers will be more willing to buy less costly luxury goods. Instead of buying expensive fur coats, women will buy expensive lipstick.


In the time after the 9/11 attacks on the USA, lipstick sales apparently doubled.

Oral B’s survey – timed to mark the start of National Smile Month – shows that sales of power toothbrushes are up 30% compared to last year despite the current financial climate.

A spokesperson said: ‘The financial forecast may be glum, but we Brits clearly understand the importance of a cheerful, healthy smile in times of economic adversity. ‘

Oral-B’s survey shows that 62% of women said they would prefer to sacrifice their hair straighteners when on a budget, compared to just 14% who would give up their power toothbrush. 



Celebrity dentist Dr Uchenna Okoye of ’10 Years Younger’ fame


Dr Uchenna Okoye, celebrity dentist with Channel 4’s 10 Years Younger makeover show and also Oral-B ambassador, said: ‘It is great news that British women value their smiles and understand the importance of good oral hygiene, even when times are tough.


‘Buying a power toothbrush… is actually a credit crunch-friendly way to take care of your teeth. Clients who regularly use a power toothbrush generally need a lot less work when they come in for check-ups and in turn save money. Prevention is an investment.’

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