May 31, 2013


After Sonicare came out with their toothbrush I just kind of assumed they were the best toothbrushes. Ultrasound toothbrush. Brilliant. How could this not work better than regular or electric frictional toothbrushes? Turns out they don't.

First, of all my belief that they are ultrasonic is wrong. I have no excuse. I never looked it up until now. Sonicare toothbrushes aren't ultrasonic. Not even close. The Sonicare vibrates at 263 Hz. That's not ultrasonic. Ultrasonic cleaners, real ones used in labs, are more like 10-500 kHz (note the k, 1000 Hz). Sonicare's are a thousand times slower than real ultrasonic cleaners.

Second, evidence seems to suggest that rotational toothbrushes perform better. That study is a comparison of the Oral-B Professional Care line and the Sonicare Elite. The differences are quite stark. Oral-B left 12% of the initial plaque in the whole mouth and only 3% of plaque around the areas where a tooth contacts another tooth (approximal). The Sonicare left 39% of whole mouth plaque and 27% of approximal plaque (Hat tip to The Sweethome). That's quite a big difference. For me at least, this is the type of brush mechanism that my dentist uses for cleaning/polishing so this kind of makes sense.

The cheapest Oral-B in that line is the Oral-B 1000 Toothbrush. The other models have dumb bells and whistles that seem unnecessary. So I bought one. And while I don't have any hard measurements to prove it, my teeth feel noticeably cleaner. Look cleaner and feel cleaner. It's a big difference. So I've got that going for me. Gunga galunga.

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