Italian Word of the Day: Spazzolino (toothbrush)

The word spazzolino (masculine, plural: spazzolini) in Italian literally means ‘little brush’ and can be used to denote a brush, or spazzola, with small dimensions. However, if someone uses this word without any surrounding context, you can safely assume that they are talking about a toothbrush, with the full name being spazzolino da denti.


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Ho bisogno di comprare un nuovo spazzolino da denti.

I need to buy a new toothbrush.

Young caucasian mother teaching baby boy how to brush teeth with toothbrush.
Il bimbo sta imparando a lavarsi i denti con uno spazzolino da denti. – The baby is learning how to brush his teeth with a toothbrush

An electric toothbrush is known as a spazzolino (da denti) elettrico whereas a bamboo toothbrush is a spazzolino (da denti) di bambù.

Of course, a toothbrush on its own isn’t much use without the following oral care products!

  • dentifricio = toothpaste
  • collutorio = mouthwash
  • filo interdentale = floss
  • stuzzicadenti = toothpick

Although the feminine form spazzolina does exist, it only ever refers to a generic small brush, never a toothbrush.

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