July 11, 2008

A Left-Handed Toothbrush?!

I recently had the opportunity to try a couple of toothbrushes from Radius, a company that manufactures a number of brushes with right and left hand orientation. I wondered, why bother with handedness in a toothbrush? Aren't the traditional straight brushes just fine? Maybe not. Radius brushes were designed to provide more effective cleaning by improving the brushing angle while reducing pressure on the teeth and gums and creating a comfortable grip. I tried two models, the Original and the Source. The Original has a wide handle with a nice indentation for the thumb. It fit comfortably in the palm of my hand. The bristles were soft and definitely gave full coverage to my gums. However, the large head was a bit too much for my small jaw. Reaching my back molars is a tight squeeze, and I wasn't sure I was getting there. This brush would be fine for someone who normally uses a full-sized adult toothbrush, but probably not for those who use small or children's sizes. The Source's smaller head suited me better. The handle is slimmer and more rounded, making it easier to manipulate when working on the more difficult spots. On both brushes, the bristles were soft and flexible, leaving the gums stimulated but not irritated.

The Source's replaceable heads can be inserted for either left or right orientation. Replaceable heads on a reusable handle mean reduced consumption of resources and less waste. I was really impressed by Radius's sensible approach to its environmental impact. Their website explains exactly what materials are used in the toothbrushes and packaging. They use recycled or recyclable materials, and some brushes are made from cellulose (made from renewable trees). Where they use nylon or oil-based products, they disclose that, too. Overall, the impression I got from the products, literature and website was very positive.

Of course, you probably won't find these brushes at the corner drug store. They don't fit into that little rack with the other brushes. But national chains like Whole Foods and the Vitamin Shoppe carry them. There's a list of stores on Radius's website, or they can be ordered online at http://www.radiustoothbrush.com.


  1. Hi! I tried the Radius original several years ago, and also found it too large for my small mouth. And even though it's supposed to be good for lefties, I found it awkward and uncomfortable to use. I may have to try the new ones. Thanks!

  2. Great site. I've been googling left-handed info since I discovered that (surprise) my 18-month-old son definitely prefers his left hand (both myself and my husband are righties, but my Dad and my uncle are lefties).

    BTW: I would think that toothbrushes are symmetrical enough to be used by both hands.

  3. Wow, I would think that a regular toothbrush would be good for both right handed or left handed people. Maybe people are just looking to sell new types of things that can be used by a larger group of people.
    It's neat that the company is environmentally friendly. All companies should think of ways to help out the environment.
    Hmmm... I would have issues if the toothbrush's head is too big to get to the back molars. I like to clean behind my wisdom teeth, and reach every crevice.

  4. I don't think that I would rush out and buy a toothbrush just because it's for lefties. Sounds like a marketing ploy to me. I have no complaints about using a regular toothbrush. There are a lot of other issues about lefthandedness I would address before a toothbrush. But...hey I'm just talking from my corner of the world.

  5. My mom is a leftie and had tried the radius. She liked it and was surprised, seeing she never thought having a toothbrush for a specific hand type could make a difference.

  6. Thats actually quite clever, i had never thought about this untill now. I am actually right handed but i can seehow this would make a difference, i knew they do left handed scissors etc but this is a great idea.

  7. I have made a fun little discovery and I think not a lot of people know this, but if you write with your 'other' hand, try writing mirrored. It should look a lot better than writing normally with your 'other' hand!

    I asked my mother, who is right handed, try it out. She used her left hand to write normally and mirrored. The mirrored writing looked better, this is so wierd!

    Maybe this has something to do with the fact that Rosemary West is drawing things mirrored.


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