Think of your toothbrush. Is it electric, top-of-the range, new and bristly; or does it look as if you’ve been cleaning tile grouting with it?
Here’s what your toothbrush says about you.
The purry sort. Your dental hygienist has persuaded you to go the electric route. Or you have rich friends who give, um, thoughtful presents. This is a designer toothbrush – it cost an arm and a leg, and its special stand plugs into the shaver socket. You even remember to replace the head of the toothbrush every now and then.
What it says about you. You’re organised and you take your health seriously. You’re also prepared to spend money on it. You probably drive a correspondingly expensive car, go to the oral hygienist regularly, and work yourself to a standstill to pay for it all. You probably have a massage therapist and/or a personal trainer. Oh yes, you are considering having your lead fillings replaced and you have had your teeth whitened. And you floss.
The turbo-charged type. You know an electric toothbrush is the way to go, and you bought one for yourself years ago at one of these discount pharmacy shops. It works, but it sounds like a chainsaw. You know you should replace the head regularly, but you’re just not getting round to it. Like replacing vacuum cleaner bags and removing the lint from the tumbledryer, you will eventually get round to it.
What it says about you. Your life is busy, but you don’t ignore your health. You take your vitamin tablets – well, sometimes – and you get to the gym occasionally. You get to the dentist at least once a year, and to the oral hygienist when it can absolutely not be avoided. You drive a practical, but fairly new car. You floss, but only when something sticks between your molars to remind you.
The manual version. You bought the best plastic one available. It has three different colours – and that’s just on the handle. The bristles come in four colours. You are supposed to change it when the blue bristles turn white, which they did a month ago. But it still seems to be working. At least the fact that it has been worn down shows that you brush your teeth regularly.
What it says about you. You are practical. You prefer camping, or rustic, but characterful, accommodation, to 5-star luxury. You read rather than watch television. You worry about the environment and the emissions of your seven-year old, but reliable, car. You go the dentist when you remember and to the oral hygienist in January, when there’s money in your medical schemes saving plan. You take your health seriously and you floss regularly.
The flat and faded version. Your toothbrush looks like an anemone. Except for the colour. The handle used to be light green. The head looks as if it has been used by a builder to clean difficult corners. You bought it at a petrol station shop six years ago when you went on holiday and realised on the second day that you had left yours at home. It has a straight handle and the bristles used to be white.
What it says about you. You might consider brushing your teeth before a big date, but for the rest of the time, why bother? Isn’t that how our ancestors lived, and they seemed to be fine? You don’t have a dentist – you moved to town five years ago, and you haven’t needed one. Mind you, ten years ago when you had serious toothache, you had to have four fillings, but that’s all in the past. What’s an oral hygienist? What’s dental floss?
(Susan Erasmus, Health24, updated October 2010)