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The Amazing Toothpick

Updated on November 28, 2012

The Amazing world of toothpick

I admit at first it may be hard to understand the sheer awesomeness of the simple tooth pick. This small sliver of wood is a great after dinner accessory. It magically removes food particles they may get left behind in our teeth. It also mysteriously makes anyone who walks around chewing on one look instantly cooler. Just you add a cowboy hat it makes the wild west come right to you. OK so there really is no magic to the toothpick, no pizazz that makes it work some mysterious voodoo, but it is rather useful and can accomplish some amazing things.

The toothpick may look simple but underneath that false disguise is a handy dandy little tool.
The toothpick may look simple but underneath that false disguise is a handy dandy little tool.


Invented in 1887, the toothpick has come a long long way from that simple sliver of wood. Now toothpicks can be made of plastic, or even have flavors added to them. Mint, cinnamon, and even vanilla flavored toothpicks can be found in most restaurants. Charles Forster started the first toothpick factory in the US in 1887. Naming his company Forster's after his own name it began to thrive and grow. To this very day the company remains the leading brand of toothpick.

Originally made from white birch the wooden toothpick has evolved into a newer better design. Now a multitudes of woods are utilized and in some cases plastic picks also contain a floss section. The toothpick is one of those items we hardly think about but we can't imagine it not being around. In November of 1993 the premier auctioneer of sporting goods and memorabilia known as Leland sold a chewed toothpick for $440.00 that had once belonged to Tom Seaver. Can you imagine how much the toothpicl would have cost had it once been in the mouth of The Babe himself?

This may not be the best way to use toothpicks.
This may not be the best way to use toothpicks.

Let's Use This Thing

1. Apply glue- We all have had those arts and crafts moments when we need just a drop of glue and nothing more. We try to get that simple drop out but it always comes out in huge gobs. How can we get the right amount of glue? Simple! We can use a toothpick. Just dip the wooden wonder in the glue and you now have the right amount of glue and a way to apply it. It is cheaper than a paintbrush, and you may have it laying around the house already.

2. A great bookmarker- Let's say you are reading that book, you know the one you just can't sit down and all of a sudden the phone rings. You got to stop reading but you seemed to have lost that bookmark you had, the one with the dog with the big head. How will you keep your page? Once again the toothpick saves the day. A toothpick makes an idea place holder in that work of literature you are reading. The average bookmark cost about $1, but a box of toothpicks will set you back 75 cents.

3. Repair broken eyeglasses- If you are anything like me you have lost the tiny screw that holds the arm of your glasses onto the frame more times than you would want to remember. Nothing can be more annoying than watching that tiny little screw roll just out of reach. Few of us keep a spare so what can we do? With a simple toothpick you can temporarily fix that missing screw. Just slide the toothpick down into the tiny hole and wham instant fix. This will work until you can reach the screw or the cat decides to give it back.

4. Clean the rubber piece on the fridge- We all have noticed the little rubber gasket on the fridge door when we open it up to grab a nice cold drink. That little rubber piece can get very dirty especially in the crevice which is so hard to clean. I had this task during a routine inspection of my apartment. I asked the landlady how one would clean that and he answer was one even I had not seen coming. Take a toothpick and dip it in rubbing alcohol and you have a tiny cleaning utensil that will get right in the crevice.

5. Handle the garlic with style- Garlic cloves can be a bit much for some people and may even irritate or burn the skin. How than can we hold them still so we can cut them or even get them into our meal? Simply use the toothpick like a spear and skewer the garlic. This also works with onions.

6. A splint for a broken plant- A broken plant usually means a dead one. But now using two wonders of the modern world we can save that plant and expect it to make a full recovery. The 2 wonders you say? A toothpick and some scotch tape. Just make a makeshift splint and tape it to the plant. This will allow the plant to grow stronger and healthier. Now that injured tomato plant will make it through after all.

7. Tighten a lose screw- If you have a screw that does not seem to sit in the wood to well fixing it can be a breeze. Simply take the screw back out of the wood. Now stick a toothpick into the hole and break it off about even with the surface of the wood. Re Screw the screw back in and you now have a nice tight screw. This works even better if you dab just a little wood glue into the opening prior to inserting the toothpick.

8. The cake saver- Anyone who has ever had to bring a cake to an event knows that without a good cake pan you are risking doing some damage to that nice icing job you did. No one wants to get a cake that says Happy Birkday, so what can we do to keep that smudging incident down without a good cake transporter? Take toothpicks and place them in the cake about an inch. Do this every 2 or 3 inches. Now lay aluminum foil over the toothpicks. This will prevent the foil from coming into contact with the cake and keep the icing from getting messed up.


The little toothpick. I am sure you never assumed it could be so useful. You have probably overlooked it numerous times. Now tough you may be starring at it with a different view in mind. Perhaps a few toothpicks in your craft box, tool box, and even zombie preparedness box may just be merited. While we are always looking to the toothpick as a means to clean our teeth or give us that wild west edge we may not realize the million other uses it has. I would love to hear from my readers on how they use toothpicks.


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    • lorddraven2000 profile image

      Sam Little 4 years ago from Wheelwright KY

      I saw some of them. Great stuff.

    • Geekdom profile image

      Geekdom 4 years ago

      Great Hub! Interesting +

      Never thought of the splint for a plant.

      If you search google images for tooth pick art you can see some amazing creations by artists.