Science: Body: Teeth: Toothbrush
Cylindrical toothbrush for babies   (+17)  [vote for, against]
Because at that age, they don't know what the hell they're doing.

I was watching my friend try to brush his year-old daughter's teeth the other day, and while she didn't oppose the process, she wasn't exactly co-operating either. Simply put, she kept trying to eat the toothbrush (or at least munch on it for a while).

If the toothbrush had bristles all around the sides, her munching would be far more constructive. Naturally, they would have to be very soft so as not to damage her gums, and probably a bit shorter than those on an ordinary brush, but most babies prefer to be in control of the situation when it comes to shoving blunt sticks into their gob.

Also, it could do with some kind of wide bit like you get on a dummy, to prevent the lil' tykes trying to brush their tracheas. And it should make a pleasing (to an infant) noise when chewed - I dunno, a squeak, or a short burst of Sam Cooke, or something.
-- friendlyfire, Oct 10 2004

[a] Handle-less toothbrush
Images reresenting the shape of handle-less toothbrushes [Sunstone, Jul 29 2020]

New math
Failed teachers, students and parents [Sunstone, Jul 30 2020]

Sounds good, and probably good for pets, too.

(Not the <<same>> toothbrush, obviously!)

+ bun
-- not_only_but_also, Oct 10 2004

Babies have cylindrical mouths?

But I will remind you that children's teeth are disposable for a reason - they're too young to take good care of them, and they're naturally predisposed to sweet things. Don't bother brushing your child's teeth until they're old enough to do it themselves. Then they'll be well placed to take good care of their adult teeth.
-- DrCurry, Oct 10 2004

I must disagree good doctor. While it's true that their baby teeth are going to fall out and it seems pointless to try saving them, it is never too early to start teaching them good oral hygiene and it makes it easier to teach them to do it properly themselves if they have experience of what properly should feel like. (+)
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 11 2004

friendlyfire will be happy (or not) to know that I saw a toothbrush of similar description on little rosie's sitting room floor last week.
-- plainvanilla, Oct 15 2005

This is an excellent idea. I too have noticed that kids like to munch. A munchable toothbrush is exactly what is needed to help keep kid teeth clean.

I think, though, that it is important that the thing vaguely resemble a toothbrush. [2 fries] makes the excellent point that the real reason to start early with the kids is not to save their teeth, but to teach good habits. They need to understand that this is toothbrushing, not just another munch activity.
-- bungston, Oct 15 2005

As soon as they have teeth children should brush (or be brushed) for the same 2 minutes as everyone else. If they don't the bacteria will build up and infect the permanent tooth before it evens erupts. In fact, here in the States parents can be reported to Child Protection Services for sever tooth problems. So yeah a cylidrical brush would be cool. Although babies shouldn't be brushing thier teeth by themselves, unless they have a special tooth paste.
-- PollyNo9, Oct 16 2005

Right now I am moving the toothbrush brush tops of two soft bristle toothbrushes around my mouth with my tongue and lip movements. They clean my teeth and at the same time keep my mouth occupied and re-directed from biting my nails and cuticles. friendltfire's idea is not just for babies, but for people like me, kind of an oral fidget toy. Rather that two toothbrush tops to fidget with I would like to have a short hot dog shaped device with soft bristles all over the product. The item would have to be too large to swallow, for safety. Some examples of the potential "handle-less toothbrush" shape can be seen at [a]

Added 2020 7 30: My nail biting began with the introduction of the failed 50s and 60s "New Math" to my elementary school. Teachers, parents and students could not understand it. The experiment was withdrawn after several years at my school. We missed several years of basic math procedures training but were pushed two grades ahead, back into conventional math training. Math, a subject I enjoyed, became an comprehensible fog afterward. link [b]
-- Sunstone, Jul 29 2020

// I would like to have a short hot dog shaped device with soft bristles all over the product. The item would have to be too large to swallow, for safety. //

That recalls disturbing images of a website we once visited accidentally, through trying to click a link before a large page had fully loaded...

It was nothing to do with oral hygiene though - at least, not in the way the phrase is normally understood...
-- 8th of 7, Jul 29 2020

How much are baby teeth involved in the immune system?. I would guess, diet is the predominating factor in oral care.
-- wjt, Aug 01 2020

random, halfbakery