Toothbrush Blues

I can never find quite the right toothbrush for me.

Well, actually, the ones sold by Muji come pretty close but this is where it gets complicated. First, they’re made of plastic and I’d really like to start using those bamboo ones that take less of a toll on the environment, so when I buy my Muji toothbrush it’s always with a slight sense of failure and a vow to do better next time.

I’ve been using a Muji toothbrush now, as usual, for about a year, which is far too long. The bristles have started to come out and they’re probably so raddled with mouth bacteria by now that not brushing my teeth is probably healthier than brushing them at this point. So, today, I finally went to an organic grocery store to check out their line in wham-bam-boo.

The trouble with bamboo brushes is that the head is always absurdly large. I can’t get over it. Who needs such a big head on their toothbrush? You can’t get into the grooves between indivudual teeth with such a big head and whenever I scrub the roof of my mouth with it, the wooden backside of the head feels like a veritable expanse and it makes me choke. It’s not ideal.

The naughty Muji ones meanwhile look so good in the glass on the side of the wash basin. They feel nice in the hand, nice in the mouth, and they have the perfect head size. Even accounting for the twice-daily pinch of plastic guilt, I’ve just never been able to do better than the ones at Muji.

I don’t like to order Muji toothbrushes online because the shipping is expensive and, actually, I like to go to Muji just to look around every so often, so the need for a toothbrush is always a good reason to visit a branch if I find myself in London or Paris or some other city blessed with a Muji.

I suppose I could buy a clutch of Muji toothbrushes whenever I’m in a Muji so that I don’t end up using one for a whole year but I never do this. In part it’s because I’m a cheapskate but it’s also because I vow, every time I buy a new Muji toothbrush, that this will be the last time because I really should be using bamboo anyway.

So I’m in the organic grocery store, looking at the toothbrushes. They’re all sealed into little carboard packets which look difficult to open with tearing them and, you know, you probably shouldn’t be opening sealed toothbrushes and putting them back on the shelf anyway. But then I noticed that they sell a kid’s version so, thinking a kid’s version would surely have a smaller head, I bought one.

On getting it home and opening the packet, I find that the head is still absurdly huge. The concession for children is that the handle is small. So now, as well as having an inch-long head that fills half of my mouth with zero precision, I have to daintilly use the child-size handle. It’s so small that I worry about losing it in there.

If you’re reading this and there’s a chance that you’ll cross paths with me at some point, please, in the meantime, look out for the perfect bamboo toothbrush with a small head and a handle designed for adults. I want as many eyes on this search as possible. Or, you know, if you live in a Muji-blessed city, please just bring me a good one from there. Help me to end the madness. Thank you.

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