The Toothbrush Redesigned


You know how when you’re watching a video on YouTube, there’s usually an advertisement that pops up before your video plays? And then you’re forced to watch 5 seconds of it until the “SKIP AD” button appears (and like most people, my finger hovers over that button so that in the instant it appears I’m on it). However, the other day, a product ad came across the screen that actually surprised and intrigued me. Whether it was the bright colours that caught my attention or the fact that it looked like something Apple could have designed, my curiosity was peaked. It was called the ISSATM.

The what? The ISSATM  is “a revolutionary new toothbrush”. Why is this exciting news (other than the fact that I’m a dentist, and I’m a geek about this stuff)? Well, there hasn’t been a real breakthrough concept for toothbrushes in decades. The Chinese are believed to have invented natural bristled toothbrushes way back in the 15th century. Nylon bristled toothbrushes were developed in 1938. The big advancement after that was soft nylon bristled toothbrushes in the 1950s. And then, the first electric toothbrushes came along in the 1960s. So yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.

Check out the ISSATM by Foreo so can see for yourself what this product is and how it claims to be different: To be 100% honest, I don’t know much about it other than what you can read up on the Internet. It claims to be gentle on teeth and gums (good), made out of a super hygienic silicone (good), provide excellent cleaning and polishing capabilities (good), plus some other really cool features – really everything a good toothbrush should be. But does it deliver on all these claims? Again, I don’t know, but I’m very curious.

My biggest concerns would be these:

  • Is it gentle enough? Gum recession and tooth abrasion can happen quite easily if the toothbrush you’re using isn’t soft enough. Although, I will say that you can still do damage with a soft nylon bristled toothbrush if you are using it improperly (i.e. brushing too hard).
  • Does it clean well? Even with the electric pulsations, those bristles still need to make physical contact with the areas that you want to clean. Remember, plaque is sticky and adheres to the surface of teeth. I haven’t felt or tried the ISSATM, but I see the size of those bristles. I wonder if they can fit into all the nooks and crannies in order to provide a really thorough cleaning.

Is it reinventing the wheel, or does it actually bring something new and better to the table other than just fancy shapes and colours? TBD. I’d love to try it out myself, and if I do, I promise I’ll let you know in a future blog post how it worked for me. If you’re thinking about getting one, I would recommend having a conversation with your dental professional before you do.

Dr. Jaimee Buchkowsky

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