Here’s the deal. When I was a young whippersnapper (now that I think back on it, my parents could have probably given me a safer toy than a whip…but I loved snappin’ that sucker) all toothbrushes looked the same. Long plastic handle with straight, white bristles at the end. When it came to making your oral care purchases, your choice of toothbrush was red or blue.
Now, your local drugstore offers an amazing, Willy Wonkaish array of toothbrushes. Dazzling colors. Implausible shapes. Flabbergasting concoctions from the minds of dental imaginarians.
It’s amazing how far we’ve come. Archaeological digs have found that ancient civilizations would clean their mouths with twigs and feathers. Then again, ancient civilizations did everything with twigs and feathers. Silly ancient civilizations.
Now, we have an infinite selection of futuristic plaque-removal devices. And I, for one, love shopping for a new toothbrush. They’re…just…so…beautiful.
And toothbrushes are no longer just for teeth. They’re now “gum massaging” and “tongue cleaning.” (I used to have to pay a professional masseuse to work out the knots in my gums, now my toothbrush does it for me.) They have “polishing cups,” “angled necks,” and “flexing heads.” They’re “deep penetrating” and “vibra-clean pulsating.” And some are “super advanced.” (My toothbrush is only two months old, but it’s brushing at a third-grade level.)
Toothbrushes now have “dual action brush heads.” They use “calcium carbonate micrawhitening technology.” And, yes, they’re even, “Xtreme.” I feel like James Bond when I shop for a toothbrush. I feel like Shaun White when I cruise down the dental aisle. When I’m looking for a new toothbrush, I feel like I can do anything.
They now have “tri-level, virgin nylon bristles.” I don’t know what that means, but it sounds freaking awesome. Bristles are now “ultra fine,” “tapered,” or “color indicators” that change their hue over time to tell you when to purchase a new toothbrush. They now have “ergonomic handles,” “smart grips,” “control grips,” and “precision grips.” Remember when your toothbrush used to fall out of your hand ALL of the time? That, my friend, is a problem of the past. And even with the improved grips, some feature “soft thumb rests.” I don’t about you, but after a long, hard day of work, my thumbs are tired. Don’t our digits deserve some down time?
And the amazingness doesn’t stop there. Ever feel under-entertained while wiling away the minutes brushing your teeth? Perhaps I can interest you in the Justin Bieber singing toothbrush. That’s right. This marvel of modern engineering makes sweet, sweet music while you dislodge the day’s food remnants. We live in a wonderful age.
Okay, I may have drifted slightly into sarcasm there, but I honestly enjoy shopping for a new toothbrush. I really like it. I think it’s fun. Maybe it doesn’t make me the coolest guy in the world. But if loving the sleek look of a new toothbrush and comparing features with enthusiastic glee is wrong…lock me up and throw away the key. And why shouldn’t I love this ever-improving consumer experience? Every time I turn around, there are new bells and whistles on toothbrushes (coming soon, actual bells and whistles on your toothbrush, now that spells bathroom fun.) And, perhaps the best part of it all, even with the spectacular innovations that polish our choppers daily, you can still buy a new toothbrush for two or three bucks. Because we’re not all born with a silver spoon in our mouth, but we all end up with a toothbrush there.