Outside the kitchen: Product Review

Shortly before Christmas I was contacted about doing some product reviews that did not involve food. Sure, this is a blog about food, and family, but the connection between eating and the product was a natural one.

I'd been asked if I would review some electric toothbrushes.

Now doesn't that have an obvious connection to food?

After giving it some thought, I decided this was a good type of product to review for the readers of All Things Edible. Afterall, if you are going to eat some of the desserts I sometimes post about, you are going to want to be able to get a good toothbrushing done afterwards. And since I am a "trouble" dental patient with a strong gag reflex who has problems with alot of toothbrushes, I am actually a good person to try out some electric toothbrushes and see how they do for someone who has problems brushing their teeth.

When my package arrived, it had two brushes in it, one of them an Oral B Vitality Pro White, which looks similar to this one here, but isn't exactly this one here.

This is a plug in and go type of toothbrush. Okay, sure, let it charge up first, then use it, but beyond that it doesn't need fancy instructions. Press the button to turn it on, brush your teeth, and it will tell you when you have reached two minutes. Press the button again, it turns off. Pull off the brush head, rinse it off, and then put it all back together on it's charger base. Almost as simple as a plain brush without any power, only with this, you get a better clean.

As I said, I have a strong gag reflex. When cleaning my teeth, my dentist gives me lots of little breaks and if I put up my arm, everything comes out of my mouth right away. So far this has worked for us. So I tend to be a bit nervous about the size of brushes I use in my mouth. Afterall, one thing my dentist has never been able to do is take full, adult sized x-rays (though we manage child sized ones). I was pleasantly surprised to find that this bulky looking toothbrush was actually easier to put into my mouth than the regular one I use. Which helps in getting to those back teeth.

All together, a good toothbrush. If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive electric toothbrush, this is a good investment. Provided you actually use it.

Now the other toothbrush in my Oral B box was a cadilac among toothbrushes, the Oral B Triumph with Smart Guide. It comes with a good set of instructions, batteries, two brush heads, one for daily use (with floss things in it) and one for ocassional polishing. The remote acts as a clock when it isn't doing its timing job for you as well.

I put mine together very quickly, while thinking, "I have toothbrush with a clock and a timer. Who needs this with their toothbrush?"

Let me tell you, I do. I love this thing. The size of the brush head is essentially the same as with the Vitality brush, though shaped a touch differently, but it is such a good brush.

Press the button to start and the little timer starts counting up for you while showing you a little circle, suggesting you focus only one one "quadrant" of your mouth at a time. It gives you 30 seconds per quadrant before moving on to the next. When you've reached two minutes, it still counts but gives you a happy face to show you've made it.

Teeth feeling sensitive today? Well press the lower button and the brush changes from regular brush mode to sensitive mode, again giving you your count up timer to show you how long you've brushed for. If it is only one section of your mouth feeling sensitive, then switch back to normal mode when you are done brushing there.

According to the instructions, the Smart Guide will give you warning when it is almost time to change your toothbrush head. And it won't confuse your daily brush head with your polishing head, telling you to replace one when it really means the other. And if I were to go out and get additional heads, I could also program the Smart Guide to let the brush have two users, each with their own set of brush heads, each monitored for use and replacement warnings.

Who knew a toothbrush could think?

Plus it monitors your rechargable battery life and comes with a carrying case for when you want to go away and bring the brush with you. As with the Vitality, it is easy to clean, just remove the head and rinse it, then you are done.

The downside to this brush? Well, it isn't cheap, costing more than $100, and replacement heads are not going to be inexpensive either. However if it saves you time in the dentist office, well then it is a good investment, isn't it? For our dental money, and my sensitive mouth, this toothbrush is worth the cost.

Now since I've started using these two brushes, I've had a visit with mydental office and they were quite pleased with how clean my teeth were, especially considering I was several months late for my cleaning. As much as I like my dentist office and all the staff, less time with me in the chair is a good thing.

Many thanks to the folks at Oral B for giving me a chance to try these two toothbrushes. My "testing" period for them is over, but I fully intend to keep using them: I keep the Vitality in the downstairs bathroom and the Triumph in my bathroom, so they are both used on a regular basis.

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