July 2017: "Never throw out a toothbrush!"

"Never throw out a toothbrush!" Phil Benson
told me last night. "You never know when it will be useful."

Today I came across this story from a few years back about when a toothbrush was VERY useful! Two astronauts resorted to MacGyver like moves to save the $100 billion International Space Station with a $3 toothbrush when they were trying to replace a malfunctioning electrical unit on the space station.

It appeared that there was significant debris, described as metal shavings, that had amassed inside the bolts and was preventing them from attaching it to the space craft and securing the electrical unit. They were able to maneuver a wire cleaner around one of the bolt holders, that loosed a lot of metal shavings but it just wasn't enough, he told the NASA team back in Houston. They decided the outer space team needed to do some deep cleaning and the idea for the toothbrush tool was born - fastening a simple toothbrush to a metal pole. After about four hours of intense scrubbing, the bolts were pristine and the pair were able to successfully attached the electrical unit.

I sure hope they had an EXTRA toothbrush so they were still able to keep up with their brushing while they were in space!

Dr. Lauren Vredenburg
Calgary Fine Dentistry


space station .jpg
Dr. Vredenburg