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Why Did the Toothbrush Cross the Road? Here’s the Answer!

Maintaining good oral hygiene is an essential part of our daily routine, and the toothbrush is perhaps the most important tool to help us do that. The simple looking and humble toothbrush may seem like a mundane object, but for hundreds of years, it has played a vital role in keeping our teeth and gums healthy.

Over the years, the mighty tool has made its way into the world of jokes. A play on the classic “Why did the chicken cross the road?” joke, dentists around the world have came up with the “Why did the toothbrush cross the road?” joke in an attempt to cheer up patients from their dreadful visit to the clinic.

While the answer to the original joke is to get to the other side, what is the answer to the toothbrush variation?

The most widely accepted answer on the internet is that the toothbrush wanted a change of paste. This is a pun on the word ‘pace’, and is meant to convey the idea that the toothbrush is slowing down when crossing the road.

While the answer may not seem to be as obvious as it sounds, it does highlight the need for a toothpaste when using a toothbrush.

Variations of the Answers

Over the past few years, many internet users have come up with different answers in an attempt to put the toothbrush joke to rest.

Some of the answers floating on the internet are:

  • To get away from bad breath. This is a simple and straightforward answer that informs people that toothbrushes dislike people with bad breath!
  • To get away from the germs and bad bacteria. Similar to the answer above, it is to convey the message that harmful bacteria are unwanted.
  • For a change of scenery. This answer is less bemusing as it simply means that the toothbrush is tired of cleaning the teeth.
  • To brush the road. The explanation for the answer was that the pedestrian crossing—consisting of black and white stripes—closely resembles the human teeth, and this prompts the toothbrush to ‘brush the road’.

In spite of the numerous answers around, it remains inconclusive what the real answer to the “Why did the toothbrush cross the road” joke is. In fact, no one knows who the original inventor of the “cross the road’ joke is.


In conclusion, it is clear that the toothbrush had a variety of motivations for crossing the road. From needing a change of scenery, escaping bad breath, to brushing the road, the good old toothbrush is sure to cross the road irregardless of the consequences.

No matter how funny or silly the answer may be, we should all agree that the “Why did the toothbrush cross the road” joke is a lighthearted attempt to highlight the importance and use of toothbrush. While toothbrushes may not have the actual ability to cross roads, they do have the power to keep our teeth and gums healthy and strong. More importantly, it serve as a reminder for us to be more conscious of the long, narrow toothbrush that is making a small yet significant impact in our daily lives,

Erinwood Brady

Brady Erinwood is an accomplished dentist operating in New York City. Renowned for his proficient use of state-of-the-art dental technologies, Dr. Erinwood offers both general and cosmetic dental services and is widely lauded for both his dental makeovers as well as his to enhancing the oral health of his community.