The Tormented Toothbrush

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What does your toothbrush look like? Are the bristles straight? Are the bristles squashed? Are the bristles squished?

How often do you brush your teeth? Once a day? Twice a day? Once a week? On major holidays?

I brush my teeth twice a day. My husband brushes his teeth at least once a day, and my kids brush their teeth twice a day. Though we brush our teeth on a daily basis, our toothbrushes look drastically different.

How often do you change your toothbrush? Once a month? Once every two months? Or, are you still using the same toothbrush you used when George W. Bush was serving his first term as President of the United States?

Over the years, I’ve noticed my toothbrush looks beaten and worn long before my husband’s toothbrush. Once we had kids, I started noticing my oldest’s toothbrush looked beaten and worn long before my youngest’s toothbrush. Why?

Though my kids are able to brush their teeth themselves (and they do), I frequently help them brush their teeth. I brush Joe’s teeth the same way I brush Charlie’s teeth. If I were the cause of Joe’s mangled toothbrush, why does Charlie’s toothbrush look new several weeks after use?

Do I inadvertently chew my toothbrush while brushing? Is that what mangles the bristles? Joe is a chewer, for certain. Perhaps he chews his toothbrush while brushing, too. (For the record, I do not chew either Charlie’s or Rob’s toothbrush. And no, I don’t chew Joe’s toothbrush. Now, I might lick their pillow, but that’s neither here nor there.)

I change everyone’s toothbrush every 6 weeks, or so. Even though Rob and Charlie’s toothbrush looks pristine, I toss out the old and replace it with the new. And though I literally see Charlie and Rob brush their teeth, the condition of their toothbrushes after 6 weeks makes me question what I have seen – or what I thought I saw.

Tell me, what does your toothbrush look like?

Note to the reader … if you do not own a toothbrush, please let me know. Good oral hygiene is essential. I’d be happy to send you a toothbrush (and toothpaste) if you need it. I will throw in some floss, too. Flossing may prevent heart disease.

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29 thoughts on “The Tormented Toothbrush

  1. Lol! I love this article. It’s so funny and true. My toothbrush looks like it’s never been used. I must brush my teeth like a dainty little rabbit! My teeth are so jammed pack together I dread flossing like you would not believe!

  2. The best advice I ever received? Only floss the teeth you want to keep. 🙂

    My son is a genius at looking like he’s brushing his teeth, but he really isn’t.

    Julia is very good. She takes her time and I don’t even have to help her except with the back molars.

    I am terrible. I brush twice a day (I try at least) and floss maybe once a week if I can remember.

    • But … what do your toothbrushes look like? Is yours beaten and well-used, whereas your kids’ toothbrushes look barely used because your son is a ‘faker’ and Julia takes her time? Inquiring minds want to know, Darla. 🙂

      • oh, D’oh! yeah, you did ask that, didn’t you? Christian’s is in pristine condition, how odd! I think he’s letting the brush float right over his teeth, just barely touching–so clever.

  3. I had to laugh right out loud. My husband’s toothbrush looks like it has been used scrub the patio it is so worn and frayed looking. Mine looks very new most of the time. He scrubs his teeth like he’s got a dentist’s appointment in an hour, splattering dots of toothpaste all over the bathroom mirror. I have sensitive teeth and tender gums and I am much gentler, plus I use a motorized brush. I brush probably longer, and more thoroughly but without much pressure. I floss, usually once a day.

    I replace the toothbrushes about every 2 months, or after an illness. You do remember to toss them after an illness, right?

    • K8, we definitely replace the tooth brushes after illness. Seems we had a back-to-back bout of strep throat once, because we forgot. Rest assured – we haven’t forgotten since.

      You and your husband seem to be the exact opposite of me and my husband. And, my brushing habits sound similar to your husband’s brushing habits – without the splattering though. Being the one that cleans the bathroom, I am careful to keep it spatter free.

  4. Hahaha… what is this tooth brushing device of which you speak?
    Hang on… now I’m all curious (because I can’t remember). Even though I just used my toothbrush like an hour ago.
    *running to and returning from bathroom*
    Not as much to report as I’d hoped. Maybe that’s a good sign?
    🙂

    • See SIG – I don’t know…. which is the better sign – squished or pristine bristles? Just like the question, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Toostie-roll pop? The world may never know.”
      By the way, be sure to brush well after eating lollipops.

  5. I used an electric tooth brush for about 10 years. The bristles on that one told me when to change the brush head and they usually were beginning to look a little sprawling.

    However, I’ve gone back to manual brushing because my teeth feel cleaner. A new electric brush is a wuss! My manual tooth brush – which gets changed about every two months – does not get squished. I used to use hard bristles, too, but the dental assistant has convinced me to go with medium. Still, no sprawling of bristles.

    I don’t have children and my cat has not indicated any desire to have his fangs whitened. Thanks for small mercies!

    • I commend your thorough brushing habits, while simultaneously managing no sprawling bristles. Well done, Soul Dipper. I suppose I should consider myself lucky that our dogs have not expressed an interest in whiter teeth. Although, a brushing every once in awhile may help their dog breath. (Of course, if given the chance, I’m certain the dogs would love to have the toothbrushes as chew toys.)
      Thanks for visiting, Soul Dipper!

  6. Well it made me think, I had better check mine out. Hope Mom’s with small ones reads this to them and of course shows them the pic’s, the picture tells the story.. A good read.

  7. Rick’s brush and my brush look alike…I guess we’re a match. We have extra brushes in the guest bathroom and little travel size deodorant for guests.
    Flossing happens whenever…in the shower, perhaps after brushing. I still remember my daughter asking, “Mom, why is there floss in the kitchen drawer?” My answer: “So I can floss during commercials when I remember I forgot.” (but not in front of anyone) Please don’t say…ewww. Funny post!

    • Flossing is very important. If keeping extra floss in the kitchen drawer helps you get the task completed – by all means, floss during the commercials. Your hygienist will thank you.
      And I promise, I did not say ‘ewww’. Glad you enjoyed the post, Georgette. Hope you have a great week!

  8. This is funny, because just last night I made a mental note to swap out my toothbrush because it was looking a little beat up. That usually happens a couple of times a year — and the one I retire becomes my work tb or my travel-case tb.

    • Hello, Stevil! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note. I am happy to hear you did your biannual toothbrush swap. Now, I don’t mean to nag, but you shouldn’t put your ‘old’ toothbrush in your travel bag. Unless of course, the one currently in the travel bag is in worse condition than the ‘new’ old one. Oh nevermind. I’ll be quiet. Thanks for visiting!

  9. I just brushed and flossed right now – before lunch. It’s 11:40 am. And I brushed them at 6 am right before I started work upstairs with my cup of coffee. I will likely brush them again before I leave in an hour to pick up my mom and then at 4:25 before Hot Joe gets home. And then at bedtime (with flossing). I have OCD, okay?

    • Kim, you have OCD AND really clean teeth with super fabulous breath. That’s awesome! Your every hygienists dream! (Dentist, too – but the hygienist does most of the yucky work.)

  10. What a fun and unexpected post! I’ve absolutely never thought of toothbrush wear n tear. In fact, I have always thought that my biannual toothbrush gift from the dentist was a waste of resources because my old toothbrush always looks fine. I brush at least once a day and floss when stuff gets stuck, which is TOO often. I’ve recently begun using a Sonic Care electric brush which leaves my teeth feeling hygienest clean after each use. Great reward! I’ve also discovered “Gum” picks for those away-from-the-house incidents of food stuck between the teeth. The Sonic Care brush still looks pristine…but it’s only been about 2 months….

    • I am glad I could awaken you to the important things in life, Linda. (Like toothbrushes, of course.) Continue to enjoy your Sonic Care brush and Gum picks. (We love the Gum picks, too.) Thanks for visiting, and brush regularly!

  11. Like me, I think you’re a scrubber. I brush my teeth like I scrub the bathroom floor and go through toothbrushes like they’re rolls of toilet paper. Probably not good for my gums, but my teeth always feel smooth and sparkly. My kids toothbrushes are always hard as plaster, they are horrible toothbrush rinsers. Thanks for the smile.

    P.S. Is WordPress hogging up your Reader? I can’t read any of my blog subscriptions.

    P.S.S. Thanks for the Twitter following. I have no idea what I’m doing. I may have to ask you for some tips.

    • Nancy – you’ve added a sense of normalcy to my soul. I believe you are the first responder to say your toothbrush is – shall we say – well used. And yes, now that you mention it, I, too, go through toothbrushes like they are rolls of toilet paper. Funny!

      Happy to have made you smile. And yes – WP is hogging up the subscriptions. WP is NOT leaving me with a smile.

  12. We go to the dentist every four months and change our toothbrushes when the dentist gives us a new one. Does that make us cheap? We’re planning on getting electric ones this year, so I guess we’ll have to cough up the money to replace the heads once in awhile. Fun article, Lenore.

    • Coming East, if you go to the dentist every four months you are certainly not cheap. Maybe you could convince your dentist to give you two toothbrushes per visit.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Thank you for visiting.

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