Thursday, March 22, 2012

Toothbrush Technology

If you're like me, you probably wait too long to replace your frayed and splayed brushing device. Or maybe you're one of those people who uses batteries and replaceable heads.  I don't really understand that level of toothbrush technology. It seems like it would be embarrassing to admit that you weren't capable of handling the responsibility of brushing your own teeth. It's a wonder that the electric toothbrushes don't automatically tweet to your dentist and update your Facebook page: "OMG! I'm brushing my teeth!" Or text reminders to your phone: "WTF, you left the house without brushing? That's disgusting."

The dental hygiene aisle puts me in a state of choice-overload panic, much like the grocery store's bread aisle and stylish clothing stores. Maybe that's why I don't replace my toothbrush often enough, make my own bread when possible and haven't had style since, well...ever. Overwhelmed with choice, the consumer in me retreats to the safety of buying nothing.  So the toothbrush aisle: name brand, store brand, angled-head, flexible handle,  massaging bristles, color coded, compact, regular, single-pack, 3-pack, on sale, full price. I just want one damn toothbrush that doesn't need a list of parts and features on the back of the box!  Just think, there are highly educated toothbrush engineers working on the problem right now: what will be the next leap forward in dental hygiene technology?  One can only dream.

 No matter what choice you make in the dental hygiene aisle, using a brand new toothbrush ranks right up there with pulling slouched socks back to their proper height.  But never did I imagine that chevron-shaped ridges could alter my brushing experience so dramatically. Those little nubbles on the back of the brush? Genius! Suddenly, something I've done every day since I started sprouting teeth, is new again. The moment the back of the toothbrush slid past the inside corner of my lips, my eyes widened. Whoa! This feels cool! (yes, I am always that eloquent while brushing). And it made sense. Our lips are full of nerve endings. The surface that touches our teeth doesn't usually get much stimulation while brushing, so the sensation across the inner surface surprises your brain with input. Was I being titillated by my toothbrush? What were those toothbrush engineers doing to me?  As with most good sensations, it fatigues after the first few back-and-forths. Which is probably for the best, otherwise, I might just stand there all day brushing, amazed by the fact that, Whoa. This feels cool!

The day after my first nubble-backed brushing experience, I was in the checkout aisle at the grocery store, waiting my turn. I noticed toothbrushes hanging above the candy -  you know, for all those times when you want to impulse buy a toothbrush along with a deck of playing cards, 5-hour energy shot, and sex advice from Cosmo. (Hmm...that sounds like the recipe for a creepy date.) They also had some kind of ridges or bumps on the back. It's clearly the new "it" thing in toothbrush technology and I'm in favor of this advance.

Now if you'll excuse me, I just finished breakfast and I need to go brush my teeth.

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