Most geeks love gadgets — tablets, phones, cameras, consoles, and much more. I’ll go one step further and state that most geeks probably love new gadgets even more. There’s something about new technology that makes our eyes twinkle, I think. While I don’t buy into every new technology, I still enjoy learning about these new items — there’s always a possibility that Gadget X might just make my life easier or better or more fun. Or all three. But if there’s one category of gadget that I’ve never really given much serious thought to, it would have to be the electric toothbrush.
I had an electric toothbrush when I was a kid — absolutely hated it. I can’t remember why, but I think it was something about the movement of the bristles. I just remember trying it for a few days or so and then going back to the old traditional manual brush. For most of my life, I’ve used a manual brush. But my wife and I recently changed dentists and our new one began really pushing (hard!) for us to change to a sonic brush. Changing wasn’t a condition of us staying on as patients, but she was very adamant that the manual toothbrush needed to be retired. I felt a bit better when I realized she wasn’t pushing any particular brand or asking us to buy one from her on the way out — she gave us some recommendations and told us a few places to get the best deal and that was that.
And I didn’t give any more thought to it until I was contacted about a brand new technology in the world of teeth cleaning — the world’s first 100% ultrasonic toothbrush. I thought these already existed, but no — the brushes that call themselves sonic brushes are actually referring to the high-speed vibrations produced by the bristles. This new brush not only has the high-speed bristle movement but it also emits an ultrasound wave that has been (according to the research I’ve read) shown to break up bacteria. I read over the research, including the fact that there’s apparently an ultrasonic microchip placed in the brush head base, and it’s protected by a patent until 2027. That made me pause. An ultrasonic microchip???
I’ll go ahead and admit it right now — I really had my doubts about the Emmi-dent ultrasound toothbrush. I looked over the online details that compared the Emmi-dent brush to traditional methods (including the sonic brushes). The information about how much bacteria is left on the bristles of brushes made me kind of queasy, too, until I realized the Emmi-dent didn’t have this problem because the ultrasonic wave kills the bacteria automatically on the bristles. I kept reading.
I’ve had my teeth whitened in the past, too. I’m a frequent tea drinker (not coffee) and I know they can be whitened to a good level with a professional treatment (never had much luck with the whitening toothpastes). The claims that the Emmi-dent would have better whitening capabilities sounded a bit too good to be true. The Emmi-dent does require you to use a special toothpaste that creates micro bubbles that the ultrasonic wave interacts with to destroy bacteria. Again I kept reading.
The top-of-the-line sonic brush claims 31,000 brush strokes per minute while the Emmi-dent claims 96 million air oscillations per minute. I’m fairly certain this is an apples and oranges comparison, so I wasn’t quite certain what to do with that info, but I do remember that I didn’t like the feeling of the bristle movement in my earlier use of an electric toothbrush. Still, 96 million oscillations… that sounded impressive, especially since I figured it was talking about the ultrasonic wave.
About all that was left was to agree to a test. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the past three weeks.
So, what are my thoughts?
Well, my next dentist visit isn’t for about two more months, but, like many folks, I always dread it — I don’t floss like I should, and I always know I’m going to get read the riot act about how I could brush better, blah blah blah. Well, let me say this — I am not worried about my next visit at all! I am that confident in how well the Emmi-dent device has taken care of my teeth.
My gums feel good. I’ve never had any issues with gum disease or inflammation, but I can just look at my gums and tell they’re healthy. My teeth are smoother, too… they just feel cleaner. The vibration produced from the Emmi-dent is not annoying at all… it’s not a ticklish sensation, either. I’m having a hard time explaining the sensation, but it’s nothing like the electric toothbrush. Since the bristles are not actually moving but instead are vibrating from the ultrasonic wave, the sensation is less noticeable. Again, it’s hard to put a good explanation to it — suffice to say, it’s actually a much more enjoyable experience than using a manual brush and although I haven’t timed it, I know I’m brushing longer with the Emmi-dent than I did with the manual brush. (Probably due to the fact that the differences in the whiteness and cleanliness of my teeth is that noticeable and this positive experience is driving me to brush longer.)
I use it twice a day — once in the morning and once at night — and the rechargeable battery is still rocking. The documentation said the charge will last about a month, so I’m expecting to need to charge it for 8 hours or so very shortly. Still, given the short charge time and the fact that the charge lasts so long, I really like that… not having to charge it like I do my phone or tablet (every day almost) is a nice change of pace.
Ultimately, the real question is whether or not I feel the Emmi-dent has done what it claims to be able to do… and for that, I’m going to have to wait a few months to get feedback from my dentist. But I really can tell a difference in how my teeth look and feel. I’ve been calling this brush my Star Trek toothbrush, and really that’s exactly how I feel about it — a little bit of the future I can use now.
Is the Emmi-dent a geek’s toothbrush? Absolutely. When you consider how it works, it’s definitely ahead of the game in terms of toothbrush technology. I can only speak to the results I’ve experienced, but I think the claims made on the Emmi-dent website have been validated with my three week test, and I’m so confident in the device that I’ve gone ahead and ordered more toothpaste. My only complaint is the size of the toothpaste tube and how fast you go through it if you brush the recommended 2x daily — it’s about half the size of what I normally buy, but given the results I’m okay with buying a few extra tubes to have on hand.
You can check out the video, read a comparison between the Emmi-dent and other toothbrushes, and get some more technical explanations for how it all works by visiting the official Emmi-dent website. I’d like to thank Sherry for providing me with the test unit for this review — again, I went into this experiment with a hefty dose of skepticism, but I’m now a convert. My old manual toothbrush went out with with last week’s trash.