Update: To see the most hilarious reactions to this post, go here.
Our house has many quirks. Whenever you flush the toilet, the sink groans. For years the air conditioner rattled all the games in our game closet. But there is one quirk I’m kind of fond of – Our house is situated just right between some mountain ranges so that we can only get two stations on our television. We don’t pay for TV so we are that family who tries to adjust the antennae just right in order to watch a show. We do get PBS kids and so we will sometimes watch it in the morning if one of the kiddos decides to wake up ridiculously early. Momma needs her coffee before she is fully functional!
Whew, that was a long intro to say that there is this ridiculous song on that station called “The Old Family Toothbrush”. It’s all about a toothbrush the whole family uses. It’s a catchy tune and I often find myself humming along to it while making breakfast. I always laughed at the ridiculous notion of a family toothbrush. Then one morning I really started thinking about it, and all of a sudden, it didn’t seem so ridiculous anymore.Photo Credit: adwriter via Compfight cc
Reasons to Consider a Family Toothbrush
- Studies have shown that families that share things like drinks/food with each other are ultimately sick less. When kids are exposed to the saliva of their parents through shared drinks/food, they are building antibodies and vice versa. It’s not a long stretch to see how this could apply to using the same toothbrush.
- It can save money. Toothbrushes are generally recommended to be replaced ever 3-4 months. If you have a family of 4 and spend $2 per toothbrush, that adds up to $24-$32 a year! With a family toothbrush, you would spend a maximum of $8 a year – that’s a savings of up to $24 a year. Hey, every penny counts!
- Less waste. If you are trying to cut the amount of waste your family sends to the landfill every year, this is another great thing you can do. Just think, if the Duggar’s (the family with 19 kids) used a family toothbrush they would save over 60-80 toothbrushes going into the landfills each year.
Convincing Your Family
Admittedly, I was a little embarrassed to bring this subject up with my husband. His original reaction was that I was nuts. But after presenting the facts (and perhaps batting my eyelashes a little) he did admit that the savings would be nice. Also, while he doesn’t always understand why I want to do the things I do, he does support me wholeheartedly, so he begrudgingly agreed to give it a try.
The kids are both so young that they didn’t even notice or care. I think it would be a lot harder to switch to a family toothbrush with older kids who are more aware of the socially accepted standards of teeth brushing. I think the important thing is to not force them, but to let them come to the decision willingly on their own.
We have now been a one toothbrush family for several weeks and one surprising benefit is how it brings us all together. It’s kind of fun to crowd in the bathroom at bedtime and chat over a nice tooth brushing. We have had great laughs and really special moments together at brushing time. Those are moments we never would have had if we just all did our own thing.
Ultimately, you have to do what is best for your family. We do not regret switching to a family toothbrush and I don’t think we will ever go back.
Would you ever consider using a family toothbrush? Are you repulsed or intrigued by the idea?
(P.S. APRIL FOOLS! Please don’t share a family toothbrush, that’s just disgusting. )