Looking at Toothbrushes

Although I do not like to go to the dentist, I make it a point to go every 6 months for a cleaning and check-up. I went. The best hygienist in the world, Teri, cleaned my teeth and took bite wing radiographs. I do not have any cavities. I had some heavier tartar buildup between my teeth. My gingival sulci and a couple of places are deeper than before. We chatted. She asked me if I had changed something, anything, since my last checkup. I mentioned that I got a new toothbrush of a type I’d never had before. It was a gift from a friend (one I’ve known for 35 years) because her dentist had recommended it and she wanted to share the wonders of this toothbrush – the Oral-B Ultra Dense Bristles to remove plaque. The first time I used the Oral-B toothbrush my teeth felt so smooth! It was that amazing smoothness that makes you want to run your tongue all over your teeth. My first reaction was “Oh Baby! My teeth feel so clean!” It was several days later when I had had blueberries that I discovered a problem. I always brush, then floss. When I floss it mostly feels like a waste of time since I don’t see any difference. Well, I flossed and removed a ton of blueberry seeds that were jammed between my teeth that the brushing missed. Soon I realized that no matter how well or how long I brushed, there was always something that only the floss would get. So my hygienist squinted at me. She wears bifocals so at first I thought she was just focusing. Then she pursed her lips. Turning away she muttered and finally said that the dentist would be in to speak to me. After he poked around in my mouth and pulled my tongue in every direction as if trying to loosen it from its attachments, he pronounced my teeth good. BUT he said that my choice in toothbrushes was not the best. He explained that the brush I was using was best used as a “polishing” brush mostly for removal of coffee-type stains on the outer surface of teeth. He suggested that Teri discuss my options for better oral hygiene. Grrr. Teri’s first recommendation was a Sonicare toothbrush. Of course they just happen to keep them in stock and have them available for a mere $160 (after the $35 rebate) not counting tax. The model she showed me had blue tooth connection so you can track the areas of your mouth that need more attention on your phone, 5 modes, 3 power intensity settings, 4 different types of heads, a built-in alarm if you push too hard and an automatic stop if the pressure exceeds the limit. Oh and tongue care and gum massage! It sounds great but I don’t know if spending $200 for the brush and then having to spend $35 (the discounted on line price) for replacement heads annually is justifiable in my budget. Option 2 was a free sample toothbrush, the Colgate Wave. I was given 2 of them. One (pictured below) is the standard soft bristle Wave. This has multi-level bristles to get between teeth (unlike the one I was using) and will supposedly get my teeth cleaner. The other one was the Colgate Wave Gum Comfort. It has many of the same features but has ultra soft bristles. Hmm – $200 or free… Teri did say that I could still use the ultra dense bristle toothbrush AFTER I used the other one if I wanted to polish my teeth. So I’m going to use the new toothbrush and keep the dense bristle one for a once a week polishing. It is the affordable option and I’ll see if my gingival sulci improve at my next appointment. If not, then I’ll jump for the Sonicare. My sister swears by hers….

This post is not meant as an endorsement or criticism of any products pictured. It is merely a description of my personal experiences and opinions.

20 thoughts on “Looking at Toothbrushes

        1. Did he laugh? I’m sure flossing and careful brushing can be nearly as good. Of course that means flossing every day and brushing 2-3 times a day for at least 2 minutes… Who has time for that?!?!?!

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  1. I use a Braun Oral B electric toothbrush and will continue until i can no longer buy the heads for it. Fancy smancy wouldn’t work as I have no phone set up to track it.i still use a Verizon flip phone. 🙂

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  2. I use a Sonicare basic model, with a brush cleaner gizmo where I store the heads. It does a great job for me. I change the heads about twice a year. Blue tooth sounds a little far out for my taste!

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    1. Hehe! Yep I’m not interested in the blue-tooth for my teeth. However it is hard to find a basic model anymore. I saw one on Amazon but it was “refurbished” and I’m not going there!

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      1. Understood — I was never a member of Costco until recently, when I discovered that I could get eyeglasses for about 1/2 the price anywhere else. That worked nicely for a little while, but I’m hopeful that after one more procedure I won’t need glasses at all!

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  3. I have a basic Sonicare that I don’t use. I bought a brush at the drugstore that uses batteries, for a few dollars. It’s much easier for me to handle. I do floss often because when I have stuff stuck in my teeth it drives me nuts. I go to the dentist every 6 months too, though I didn’t when I was younger.

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    1. Yes — I’ve seen lots of advertising recently about a new toothbrush called Quit, or Quip, or something like that. It’s supposed to brush your teeth “correctly,” and at low cost.

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    2. I have a water-pik that is gathering dust. It was just too hard to use and it hurt… I don’t want to spend a lot of money for something I won’t like or use!!

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  4. I have an electric toothbrush I bought from my dentist too, and I guess it helped. I had to stop using it when I had all those issues with root canals last year, and haven’t gotten back into the habit yet. If you feel the need for a sonic care (not sure what brand mine is, but the word sonic is in there somewhere), maybe just get a more basic model. I think blue tooth capabilities is a little over the top. Meanwhile, I think your plan to try the free one and use the dense bristle one for polishing is a good one!

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