It's funny you know, I went to shop at Boots... needed a toothbrush you see, or so I was told... SO there I was - staring at these toothbrushes - loads of them... shelf upon shelf, row upon row... red ones, blues ones, transparent ones, plastic, cardboard - I mean the range - THE RANGE - it's ridiculous - and they, apparently, are STILL bringing out bigger, better, more angled, and glow in the dark ones all the time.

Okay - so what is the range? I remember a long time ago when I was a babe-in-arms (that was before they revoked the pre-school gun laws) they only had one type of toothbrush - your regular run of the mill (think it might have been a flour mill come to think of it) transparent coloured ones. You know, they had a few bristles... they were just regular day to day, boring bristles... and you replaced your toothbrush every couple of months.

The manufacturers decided that these toothbrushes were too regular, too mundane, in short the brush as we knew it was just not good enough for society - Dr Toothbrush-Expert came into being to tell us how best to brush our teeth...

First we were told that you need a certain type and number of bristles... not too hard, not too soft - just right... (oh - they don't mean regular do they?!) and they began to pack in the `right' number of bristles on each brush... Okay, fair enough...

Then came the grip... you had to have good grip because we don't want the handle slipping about all over the place do we? No... (crikey - did they think we were going to use them as a mode of private transport or something? - "Oral B, the good grip toothbrush - especially designed for British weather")

Third stage was the `angled' head - yup, straight brushes were no good - they don't reach the back of the teeth do they? Erk! - well excuse me - but I thought we were doing alright with the straight ones, thanks - I mean how come it took scientists so long to discover that straight toothbrushes are not comfortable and good for the teeth? When did they actually make that staggering medical discovery that indeed, we do not have "flip-top heads"? And even the actual angle is very important - it HAS to be between x and 35/40 degrees - I mean what range of angles we have! Great... "

Oh - dad's is the 23 degrees, mum's the 13, and mine is the blue regular - angled at 32 and so is especially good for a wet motorway".

Fourth comes the bristles (again) - after getting the number and type of bristle - they realise that a Diamond shape is better than the ordinary common-or-garden rectangle. Effectively all they have done is rotate the head by 45 degrees - and we suddenly get more efficiency from our toothbrush. MARVELLOUS!

Hmm... Okay - now what? Well, today I discovered that there are two new types of toothbrushes... one (Oral-B Indicator) tells me WHEN my toothbrush needs to be changed (the bristles change colour) which is good - as I never actually correlated relationship between bent knackered bristles and changing toothbrushes. The other toothbrush (Colgate Zig-Zag) has again changed the shape/layout of the bristles - ark ark ark!

Soon you'll have the colour indicating bendy-good-grip (for all weathers) toothbrush with changeable heads (for a variety of bristles that you can use at certain times - especially good at removing plaque, celery and a wide variety of food stain colours to suit your everyday household needs... it'll be stain devils that create this) that indicates when you need to change toothbrushes (probably for less complicated stuff), and there will probably be a two-in-one toothbrush - doubles up as a hairbrush. The future of the toothbrush is unclear - but I'm sure that sometime within a year the manufacturers will have thought of yet another innovative addition or alteration to the toothbrush... I look forward to it with a gleam in one eye, and a squidge of toothpaste in the other (eurgh!).