November 02, 2009


Since the dawn of Youtube I've waited for this clip to surface! Some awesome individual has finally uploaded a clip of The Toothbrush Family (1974) as originally seen on Captain Kangaroo and The Commander Tom Show. These little talking hygienic tools had a lasting impact on my mind and possibly my dental habits. Much of their power comes from their song; they sing it at the end of the video. You know it. A lot of people know it but don't know where it comes from...

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 three times a day
Go round and round

Apparently there was a later version of the cartoon as well. For years it has been a frustrating red herring in my search for the original. Well, looks like I win this time stupid Toothbrush Family remake.

When I woke up this morning I sure didn't expect to hear this song today. I love it when life goes round and round too.


johnbooth said...

WOW. File this under Stuff I Thought I'd Forgotten AGES Ago - but as SOON as I saw that moon in the window, everything came back in a rush.

Thanks, Kirk. May you never lose your ticket to the Kingdom of Could Be You.

Phillyradiogeek said...

I believe the voice of the green female toothbrush is provided by the same actress who provided the voice of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in the Rankin-Bass specials.

Jodbirch said...

The scary thing...I have remembered the COMPLETE LYRICS to this thing for all these years. I will occasionally sing it around co-workers and get a strange look. Hey, it's not my fault that you didn't have as cool a childhood as I had...THANKS FOR FINDING THIS!!!!

Frank said...

My mom sang me this song every night of my childhood- thanks for reminding me!

Todd Franklin said...

Now that's a blast from the past! This spot was in the back of my brain just waiting to be revived again. Now I must go and brush my teeth!

Aaron said...

I can honestly say that to this very day I brush in small circles (gums & all) b/c of the instruction of this cartoon.

My dentist thanks you, Toothbrush family!!

Anthony said...

This is cool, Kirk!
But I'm frustrated because I have absolutely no memory of the Toothbrush Family, or their song...

I DO remember Yuck Mouth, though! If I'm not mistaken, he was a gross-looking yellow troll with a raspy voice. And he sang a short ditty that went:

"My name is Yuck Mouth
'cause I don't brush
How about a little kiss?"

Obviously, the idea was to horrify the kiddies enough so that they wouldn't turn into little non-brushing Yuck Mouths, as well. And I must say, it DID work on me! There are many nights that I can be found singing that song over the bathroom sink, with toothpaste dribbling down my chin...

S.B. said...

Geezus... you just sent me into a mid life crisis!!! I'm going to sniff the inside of my old metal lunch box now.

Ah memories. Thanks for posting!

Kyle Henry said...

Is Flash takend from Edward G. Robinson or W.C. Fields? Tough one. There was a time when these cartoons were all we got and we were grateful. Miss those times.

Tom said...

haha I totally remembered the lyrics and music and everything as soon as I saw the video. thats pretty scary actually lol

Kirk D. said...

John- Surprisingly I've never heard of The Kingdom that Could Be You. (or TKTCBY as I like to call it) I'm sure it's lurking in many brains though.

phillyradiogeek- great piece of trivia, thanks!

jodbirch- you're welcome, and I've had the same experience. People either light up and sing or openly judge you.

Frank- That reminds me that I need to strategically ingrain it into my son's head while he's defenseless.

Todd- it's an honor to present a forgotten memory to you, the one who dusts them off on a regular basis.

Aaron- this was a revelation for me too, before it I was all back and forth, back and forth.

Anthony- Ah, yes, Yuckmouth from ABC's Bod Squad series. I've intended to round all of them up and do a post. There was also Don't Drown Your Food and Beans and Rice, The Chopper, etc. And then there's the whole Time For Timer collection. Hanker for a hunk of cheese, Make a Saturday, etc. Those things made my Saturday mornings.

S.B.- haha! awesome.

Kyle-good call, they both sound the same in my mind now that you mention it.

Tom-yeah, it's amazing to realize this stuff sits in there your whole life and it can all come flooding back with a flash of a synapse.

lastcrazyhorn said...

Wasn't this later used on Sesame Street?

I woke up with this song in my head this morning. Thanks for the memory jog.

Kirk D. said...

You're welcome! Don't know about Sesame Street but it's sure possible.

Steve T. said...

Thank you for posting this. I have taught it to my children over the years, but my wife has never heard of it. She thinks I made it up.

cmvann said...

I was so excited when I found this today. It really brought back some fun childhood memories of watching Captain Kangaroo. Programming today cannot compare to the lessons learned of the 1970s. Memories!!!!!!

Ashley C said...

Thanks for this! I still sing this song all these years later. I remember this video but remember the remake they did later using the suitcase teeth to show how to brush as well and it was a bit faster.