The Smiley Toothbrush Holder Keeps Germs From Hitching a Ride While Traveling

Over 35 million sold around the globe. Now available for the first time in U.S. stores nationwide.

Berkeley, CA – April 2, 2007 – There are worse things than leaving your toothbrush sitting out in a hotel bathroom – like missing a flight, losing your luggage, or finding out that your hotel is overbooked while you’re standing at the check-in counter.

That is, unless the previous occupant of your room was sick with a cold or the flu. As a study reported by Reuters last October revealed, germs often hang around after their host departs. “To my surprise, in a hotel room occupied overnight by an adult with a cold, everything from television remote controls, telephones, light switches, and faucets were contaminated with rhinovirus [the cause of half of all colds],” Dr. Owen Hendley of the University of Virginia Health System told the 46th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. The editor of Clinical Infectious Diseases, published by the University of Chicago Press, further commented upon reading the story: “I’ll bet that rhinovirus is not the only pathogen—nor the most dangerous pathogen—left behind. I’d vote for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, among others.”

Since there’s no way of knowing what is lurking unseen in a hotel bathroom, why takes chances and leave your toothbrush lying on the counter or even in a drinking glass? At $2 or less, it’s not surprising that the Smiley Toothbrush Holder has become a global sensation – with over 35 million sales to date since 2000, mostly through word of mouth. Using it is as simple as popping your toothbrush into a vented flip-up plastic cap that suctions to any mirror, tile or most smooth surfaces. Your toothbrush is always handy and dry – yet out of direct contact with contaminated surfaces. And the Smiley comes in a variety of colors, eliminating the chance of mix-ups for families at home or on the road.

After using the Smiley, John Flinn, the “Departures” columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, noted: “This item at first struck me as pretty dumb. But it turned out to be wonderfully useful and convenient.”

As important, the Smiley meets every guideline for toothbrush care established by the Center for Disease Control and the American Dental Association, including…

Ö Store the brush in an upright position if possible. (ADA)

Ö Allow the toothbrush to air-dry until used again. (ADA)

Ö Keep brushes separated to prevent cross-contamination. (ADA) Do not allow them to contact each other.” (CDC)

Ö Do not…store them in closed containers. Such conditions (a humid environment) are more conducive to bacterial growth than the open air. (CDC)

Indeed, on the Academy for General Dentistry’s website, their spokesman, Howard S. Glazer, DDS, FAGD, says: ’’The easiest way to protect your toothbrush is by using a toothbrush cover. Splattering water, contact with skin, and toothbrushes knocking against one another are all circumstances that contribute to the spread of bacteria.”

Smiley Toothbrush Holder Details:

The hinged, easy-open cover snaps down over the head of a toothbrush between uses. Yet the cap’s vents allow in just enough air flow for bristles to stay dry and clean. The antibacterial plastic base also provides an additional level of germ-fighting protection.

-The Smiley cap is large enough to accommodate almost every type of toothbrush on the market – including those with fat handles.

-Its amazing suction-strength can handle even power toothbrushes while staying gripped to a mirror, tile or most smooth surfaces.

-Unlike other toothbrush holders that are attached with permanent adhesive strips, the Smiley can be moved anywhere at any time. Just pull gently on the cap and its built-in silicon suction cup releases immediately.

-To clean, just wash the Smiley in soap and water.

-The Smiley comes in a variety of colors.

Where to Purchase the Smiley:

The Smiley Toothbrush Holder comes two to a package and retails for $2.99 – $3.99; slightly more online.

Look for the Smiley in oral care departments at over 5500 stores nationwide, including: Acme Fresh Markets, Albertsons, Alpine Market, Bashas’ Food City, Coborn’s, Cub Foods, Food 4 Less, Foodland, Food Lion, Haggen, Hy-Vee, King Soupers, Kroger Co., No Frills Supermarkets, Piggly Wiggly, Price Chopper, Raley’s, Ralph’s, Remke, Rosauer’s, Roth Family Markets, Safeway, Schnucks, Scolari’s, Spartan, Super K-Mart, Super Saver, Superior Super Warehouse, TidyMarts, Winn-Dixie, and Yokes.

Or order from these and other online retailers: and Magellan’s.

The Story Behind the Smiley:

The Smiley was conceived by Korean businessman Paik Sung Jai during a trip with friends. While sharing the same bathroom, several of their toothbrushes got mixed up because of the similarity in appearance. So Paik began brainstorming a solution, which led to the unique design of the Smiley. Instead of simply inserting vents into the cap for air circulation, he designed it in the abstract shape of a face, inspired by the centuries-old significance of masks in the Korean culture.

Since its introduction in 2000, the product has been immensely popular. With almost no advertising, over 23 million Smileys have sold in Korea alone, and another 12 million throughout Europe, Asia, Eastern Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Yet it was a lark that the Smiley even reached U.S. shores. Pacific Dry Goods’ founder Brian Hudson happened to be searching through his daily avalanche of email when he spotted what looked like just another piece of spam with the words “new dental product” in the subject line. Since he’s married to a dental hygienist, Hudson was curious and opened it up. “There was this nice color picture of this Smiley with a toothbrush and I said, ‘Man, that’s a cool product.’” He sent away for a sample and “we immediately fell in love with it.”

Pacific Dry Goods – which invented and marketed the first consumer viscose products in this country – subsequently acquired the rights to distribute Smiley in North America, modified the name slightly, redesigned the packaging, then began marketing it to regional and online retailers in 2006. Through an arrangement with leading distributors, the Smiley is now available in major stores nationwide.

Official Website:

Sources Cited:

Center for Disease Control guidelines:

American Dental Association guidelines:

Academy for General Dentistry:

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