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Arts & Culture

It's Time To Show Your Toothbrush Some Love

Deborah McCullough
Toothbrushes discarded by migrants in the Arizona desert

Our relationship with our toothbrush is complicated. Most of us don't brush our teeth well enough. We don't brush long enough, or we brush too hard, or we keep our toothbrushes so long that tests would show it to be about as clean as our toilets.

Why the cold shoulder for our toothbrush? We can buy a Bluetooth-connected smart toothbrush that sends real-time feedback on how well we're brushing. Game apps make the process fun.  

While the toothbrush may seem like an unwanted date you're forced to kiss twice a day, it's one of the most brilliantly basic and intimate objects we own. Toothbrushes are democratizing and ubiquitous, shared by all regardless of race, class or culture. They care for the teeth that form human speech. 

They are humanizing.

Today, a look at toothbrushes: the long history, the local history, the present, and the big questions: electric or manual and if manual - soft, medium or hard? Yes, this is about toothbrushes. 

C'mon people (and dogs.) Give a little love to your toothbrush. 


You can join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.

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