Brighten Your Smile with Weekend Projects and the Toothy Toothbrush Timer


The 555 timer is a fundamental component for many of our beginner-friendly Weekend Projects as well as dozens of projects here at MAKE and elsewhere. Hundreds even, dare I say thousands if we rounded them all up. From 30-minute builds like the light theremins to slightly more complex designs like game show buzzers to advanced circuits like this 10-rocket launcher, the 555 can provide solutions to a diverse range of timer-based needs.

Now Make: Projects contributing builder Steve Hoefer (Dizzy Robot, Secret Knock Gumball Machine) shows us how to hack novelty chattering teeth into a two-minute Toothy Toothbrush Timer that is both dentist-recommended & parent-approved!

A simple circuit built around the venerable 555 timer driving a modified servomotor and you have yourself a Toothy Toothbrush Timer project!
A simple circuit built around the venerable 555 timer driving a modified servomotor will help you gain a cleaner, brighter smile!

As one reader said, “It’s funny and fundamental.” Your hacked chattering teeth will surprise and mesmerize visitors to your domicile, and everyone must brush their teeth daily for good dental care.

Watch how to build it in the video below. If you customize your chattering teeth in any way, or modify the servo to drive some other timer element for you and your family, take photos of your build and send us a story of your experiences – you could be featured here on the MAKE blog!


Click here for full build instructions.


I'm an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!

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