Perhaps to encourage my after-meal tooth brushing, a friend of mine recently introduced me to Colgate Wisp Mini-Brushes ($8.50 for a pack of 16). Designed for dental hygiene on the go, these one-time-use toothbrushes come with toothpaste built right in — in the form of a "freshening bead" — and a toothpick opposite the brush end.
My initial reservation with these disposable toothbrushes is that they aren't exactly eco friendly. But then again, there are certain times when this gadget could come in handy: in airports after long flights, while camping, or anytime I'm caught without a toothbrush on the go. But the eco unfriendliness wasn't my only problem with these, so read more.
Since the bristles are somewhat stiff, I wanted to be especially careful to brush properly to protect my gums. But at about three inches long, the Wisp Mini-Brush was awkward to use, making it difficult to mimic a normal tooth brushing motion. However, the freshening bead worked well, even without water, adding a nice peppermint flavor without a lot of foam, and the flexible toothpick was great, doubling as a gum stimulator.
I still felt bad throwing all of this waste away, especially since the toothbrush wasn't terribly effective. Not only is the brush itself disposable, but it also comes in excessive packaging, with individual plastic packs per four brushes. I can see these being helpful in emergencies, but I don't think I'd buy them again.