Saturday, July 19, 2008

toothbrushes - the ultimate frontier in innovation?

i have always been amazed at how the toothbrush industry has been innovating to keep growing.
recently, when i had some time to kill - at a grocery store - while waiting for the shopping to complete - i was near the tooth brush shelf.
the variety of the toothbrushes was at least equal to - if not more than - the variety in tooth pastes.
while i could understand the variations in tooth pastes - such as flavors, colors, packaging and claiming ingredients that would give one a good feeling, i had wondered what distinguishes one brush from another.
the innovations are not just product design innovations, but also in packaging and positoning.
looking at the claims by the brushes, one wonders why nobody has found the ultimate toothbrush yet.
from the curved ones to the zig zags, from sensitive to strong, from ones with bells for kids to motors for mechanized brushing.
from brushes with changeable handles to caps for the brush heads, from brushes with specially shaped bristles to brushes with specially arranged gum massagers - the combinations and variations seem to be infinite.
wonder how we kept our teeth clean when tooth brushes were much simpler.. or when we uses tooth powder?
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