Out of Control Toothbrushes

Reach, by Johnson & Johnson(a family company) has made a new toothbrush and they have made it with safety in mind. Yes, you read correctly: safety. The mind reels with the potential number of safety issues with a toothbrush! Where to start? Hmmm, thinking, thinking….an extra sharp bristle might penetrate someone’s gum line? I can think of modifications that can be made to toothbrushes that definitely would make them dangerous but not out of the box. Apparently, Reach is doing us a favour by cutting out a piece of the handle of the toothbrush so that we know where to put our thumbs so we can control the toothbrush! This must be some turbo-charged, big-ass toothbrush!

Like any good netizen who relies on the intertubes for all information, I cruised on over to the website. I immediately began to fill in the questions designed to assess exactly what kind of Reach toothbrush I needed. You guessed it! I needed the extra special Reach toothbrush with the hole in the handle so that I can control it. Intrigued I started to look for the toothbrush’s power source. I couldn’t find an electrical cord but maybe it took batteries. Nope. It has many features: a cleaning tip that reaches behind the back teeth to clean, an ergonomic handle designed for your hand (nothing like truth in advertising) and finally the reason we are all here: “unique TOUCHPOINT for enhanced control.”

This a seriously hard sell. Why the hell do people need a hole in their toothbrush to tell them where to put their thumb so they can control their toothbrush. Call me a cynic here but the only reason I can come up with as to why they would do this is to save money. Actually, I am sure it would be significant savings in materials. When time came to market the toothbrush with the hole in it I wonder what other ideas might have gone around the table. I bet there was the green argument – less plastic in our new toothbrushes makes them better for the environment.

Personally, I really dislike companies trying to dupe consumers in this way. It is a serious insult to our intelligence. Plus if you are going to run an online assessment tool to determine which brush is best for your patients you should make sure that the results link actually links back to a page on your own site!

The site I was greeted with when I went to look for the toothbrush they selected for me!

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Published in: on July 11, 2010 at 9:18 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I thought exactly the same thing when I saw an ad for it–they’re saving money on materials by making a hole in the damned thing! It insults my intelligence to make a toothbrush that has a designated thumb spot–I think after thirty-odd years of using one, I know how to hold it! & what about those of us who might use a slightly different grip or hand position? Huh?

  2. I noticed that the high-techness of products like toothbrushes and shaving razors increased dramatically after the end of the Cold War. Maybe all those out-of-work weapons designers got hired by consumer product companies, who then have to find some way to try to sell the whiz-bang new products coming out of their labs.

    Though I do have to say the Gillette Fusion razor with the insane 5 blades really does work better than others I’ve tried. I was skeptical, but it’s true. There’s no extra value in the battery-run Fusion Power, though, which just vibrates with no extra effectiveness I can detect. I guess those engineers just went too far there.


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