When it comes to toothbrushes, there hasn’t been much innovation over time, and some may ask, why should there be? I’ve been using my Sonicare for about 13 years, and I haven’t had a cavity since. What I have had because of it is gum recession, and here’s why. When you use a toothbrush like the Sonicare, you’re supposed to let the brush do all the work, meaning you should just be placing it on your teeth – not placing it and moving it back and forth like you would a manual toothbrush. I know this! I have known this for years! In fact, I’ve even had part of my gums replaced, and yet I still can’t stop the back and forth motion. My dentist says it’s a common problem amongst stressed-out New Yorkers. She calls it “aggressive brushing.” In any case, while I can’t overstate my love for Sonicare, I was curious to try something new; so I bought the Issa Toothbrush from Foreo (at Sephora for $199), which promises to not damage gums.
Made of silicone (the first of its kind), Issa’s battery lasts a year! My Sonicare’s lasts about two weeks. You also only need to replace the brush head once a year, compared to about every two to three months for the Sonicare. It feels great in my hand, and I can tell that even when I apply a lot of pressure, it’s not abrasive like the Sonicare; so I can see how it wouldn’t damage my gums in the same way. The bristles don’t seem to get in between my teeth as well, though, and while I do floss, it was worrisome enough for me to turn to Dr. Victoria Veytsman, owner of Cosmetic Dental Studios, and ask her what she thinks about this new innovation. I do want to note that Issa has a number of clinical trials to back its efficacy, but I’m always wary when they are not paid for by a neutral third party, which is why I turned to Dr. V, who, by the way, is responsible for the teeth of Miss New York USA, Miss New York Teen USA, the Miss America Organization, Miss New York, the Miss New York Latina Organization, and multiple New York cheerleading teams, including the Brooklyn Nets and New York Jets.
Here’s what she had to say:
“There is definitely some interesting technology here. High-intensity pulsations can be effective at removing plaque without the risk of damaging the teeth and gums. I also like the automatic two-minute timed cycle and the resistance of silicone to bacterial overgrowth. My one concern would be how well the bristles can get between the teeth since this is where most of the plaque and bacteria build up. You can couple this with an air flosser to make sure you get the bacteria and plaque between the teeth. The Sonicare toothbrush requires less force than a manual toothbrush, and when used properly, delivers excellent results. I think this toothbrush is definitely worth a shot, but I’d like to see this product around a bit longer and more clinical research and evidence in my practice to determine whether or not I will be recommending this over Sonicare to patients. The bottom line, though, is that brushing with a toothbrush you are comfortable with twice daily, flossing, and using mouthwash are all part of a healthy regimen. If this toothbrush will help you do that, then I’m for it.”
What are your thoughts? Would you use a silicone brush? I figure I should hedge my bets and have been alternating between the Issa and the Sonicare.