Our story has two beginnings: when Dr John O. Butler started his company in the USA in 1923, and when SUNSTAR was founded in Japan in 1932.

Dr Butler, a periodontist from Chicago, introduced a ground-breaking new toothbrush for the time. His 2-row, 12-tuft, wide-handled design answered dental professionals’ need for a fine quality toothbrush which would enhance oral hygiene. Unlike other models at that time, which were often large, bulky and ineffective, Dr Butler’s new toothbrush could reach all the way to the back of the mouth and deliver superior cleaning. Thanks to his dedication to quality  and innovation, the company soon began to thrive.

Meanwhile in Japan, SUNSTAR had begun manufacturing tubes of glue for bicycles, before realising that the tubes could be used to package toothpaste, which had generally been sold in powder form until then. The first tubes of toothpaste went on sale in 1946, in a move that would transform the oral care industry.

SUNSTAR took ownership of the John O. Butler Company and the GUM brand in 1988, bringing together these two strong backgrounds in creating cutting edge oral care solutions.

Today, SUNSTAR and GUM continue to invest in research and development to offer powerful solutions based on solid science. We understand that gum health is important beyond oral care, and that it can have a positive influence on overall health. SUNSTAR is pursuing its founders’ philosophy of working with clinical, academic and scientific leaders to pioneer new ways of providing a healthier body via oral health.

The future looks bright for the brand, with technological advances offering more opportunities to innovate than ever before, and people around the world becoming more conscious of the need to take good care of their teeth and gums.


Read about SUNSTAR’s Corporate History