We all know what they are. Little plastic handles with bristles at one end.

They come in assorted colours and sizes.

junior, adult, (with a smaller head and extra soft bristles) and jolly green giant. There are tiny weeny baby ones available too.

the blue one is for big-mouthed politi....umm, the giant at the top of the beanstalk.

Just kidding. It's a barbecue brush. Well, that's what the label said.

Way back in the mists of time, someone, somewhere, decided to chew on a twig, (no one knows why, but thank you Og)

similar to one of these I suppose, but probably not available in bundles at a footpath sale.

Chewing a twig brought a result similar to this and as he (or she) chewed, the finely separated fibres would clean the teeth by removing bits of last night's roast mammoth. The mouth would feel cleaner and taste better, so stone age man, (Og),   told his mates and a new habit was born.

Eventually someone thought of manufacturing handles with little bundles of fibres attached and the toothbrush as we know it came into use. Probably the ancestor of the first dentist.
Or the first salesman!

Of course these days most are made of plastic (isn't everything?) with nylon bristles.

But now there are all sorts of improvements.

Like these tongue cleaner toothbrushes, with little rubber nodules on the back of the brush. You're supposed to turn it over and brush your tongue with this side.

And this, with a little rubber spike at the end, is meant for massaging the gums. Or so I'm told.
Looks to me more like a toothpick for getting bits of mastodon from between the teeth.
Much like the toothbrush itself is meant to do. 
I don't think I'd like to be rubbing that spike over my gums to massage them.

There are also many varieties of battery operated toothbrushes with "scientifically advanced" brush heads that vibrate. Or spin. Or both.
A virtual party for the mouth those would be.

Is all this fancy advancement really necessary? Or are we being taken for a ride via our wallets?

For most of my life I have brushed my teeth with a regular, cheap soft bristled toothbrush, being sure to brush over the gums as well, (massage) and wriggle the tips of the bristles as much as I can between the teeth down at gum level. And now there's dental floss involved as well.
After a good rinsing, I'll use those same bristles to brush my tongue and then rinse the brush again.

(Yes, I have bad teeth, but every time I go to the dentist I'm told my teeth are clean and my brushing methods are good. The problem is inherited, I have a tendency to nerve inflammation and/or abcsesses which can only be fixed with extraction or root canal work.)

Now, (actually several months or a couple of years ago), there is the water pick. 
Electrically operated, it shoot a tiny jet of water through the teeth and around the gums, dislodging food debris and making the mouth cleaner than clean.
I haven't researched this at all, so I don't know if you are supposed to brush first then follow up with the water pick, or water pick first then brush away as usual, or not brush at all.
But it seems to me, this is the best improvement yet.


  1. I like the electric, I'm too lazy to move my wrist up and down.

    I had a water pic and liked it, don't know what happened to it and why I stopped. I think it was a bit sloppy and time consuming.

  2. Ah yes and I need to brush my teeth and brush up on my writing skills.

    Now, if only folks who squeeze the toothpaste tube from the bottom.

    Gary :)

  3. Tongue cleaners are weird. My teeth felt much cleaner and smoother after I began using an electric toothbrush.

    I shouldn't be so harsh, but I don't think dentists invent anything that makes their patients teeth healthier. They will kill their own business.

  4. There's even toothbrushes for your pets.

  5. I never take any notice of that colour change that indicates I need a new tooth brush, just another money maker. As for the jet of water, I'd choke or squirt it in my eye.

  6. I got a brand new electric toothbrush and even on the lower levels, it's really too fast/hard on the gums! But I think it is that our teeth break more easily, and things are not as solid any more.

  7. Joanne; he wasn't there for the first photo and jumped up out of nowhere for the second.

    joeh; I like the way the electric cleans, but the vibrations irritate already inflamed nerves and make the whole mouth ache.

    klahanie; I squeeze from wherever I have my hand at the time, but after I'm finished I'll squeeze from the bottom to "refill" the tube for next time. That's something that doesn't bother me. What does bother me is people who leave the cap off which never happened in my house, but I'd read about it and wonder why on earth they would do that?

    Andrew; welcome back and be s harsh as you like, I agree with what you said. I liked the clean feel of the electric too, but can't use it because of the vibrations irritating the nerves.

    Delores; I know! amazing isn't it? I don't think Angel would sit still and let me brush his teeth. I have dental chews from the vet for him instead.

    JahTeh; I never took notice of that either, I just used the brush for a month then soaked it in denture cleaner and used it for another month and so on until it looked shaggy, then I got a new one.
    I'd like to try a water pick, but I'm worried it might irritate the nerves. Of course it doesn't when the dentist does it, so maybe I'll eventually get one.

    Happy Christine; my teeth have always broken easily, now it's the old fillings that are breaking up too. I found the electric was gentle enough on the gums, I bought the extra soft brush head, but the vibrations irritated the teeth to aching point.

  8. Love Angel's attempts at grabbing the toothbrushes in one of your photos! He's clearly recovered from his recent operation...

    A dentist mate told me years ago that it doesn't matter what brush you use, just that you use one. Same goes for floss.

    As for toothpaste, he said it's really just 'detergent for your mouth' that tastes fresh.

  9. I love my electric toothbrush. And am sorry that the vibrations irritate your poor mouth.
    A cat we once had was locked out of the bathroom while I was cleaning my teeth. He couldn't resist a flying leap to my back every time I lent over to spit out the toothpaste. Disconcerting. And heavy. So he cried the whole time from outside the door.

  10. Kath; Angel recovered at the speed of light! I was told he may be tired for a day or two. HAH!! He was racing around again by 8.30pm that same day.
    I've heard the same about toothbrushes and paste. Apparently the cleaning action is the trick, and paste is just polish.

    Elephant's Child; I may have to lock Angel out soon. He takes a flying leap for the towel when I reach for it. I hang it higher, but he jumps higher now.

  11. I have been meticulous in taking care of my teeth all my life. My parents' teeth were an image of the last generation.

  12. .. River,
    I love this Post.....
    It made me laugh...
    Sometimes there is too many choices and it's hard to make a decision.....
    I use a soft brush and a good toothpaste..... no fiddling for me.. lol
    Give Angel a pat and a cuddle for me ...
    Hugs and Blessings ..
    Barb xxx

  13. Ughh, could you IMAGINE getting a splinter in your gums or your mouth from all that?

  14. And where, pray tell, is Angel's tooth brush????

  15. I agree. Brushing teeth must definitely be encouraged. We should make it a priority to get toothbrushes that are most durable and friendliest to our teeth and gums, which I believe are the things we should take note of when making a purchase. I think it's also a must that we brush our teeth regularly, so as to avoid any complications that may arise with regard to our oral health.

    Chester Watkins @ Alluring Smiles

  16. Where did you find that giant toothbrush?!? I've never seen a "barbeque brush" look like that before! It would be perfect for my Halllween costume!


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