I have lately become something close to a toothbrush correspondent. It’s not that I have a particular dental fixation; just that a lot of fancy, techie toothbrushes are coming out. There have even been, would you believe, a couple of toothbrush scandals involving so-called “whole mouth” brushes, which allegedly give you a complete clean in a few seconds, but, as I reported in the FT last year, their efficacy is yet to be proven.
More conventional toothbrushes keep coming, however, with the buzzword being “sonic”. These electronic brushes on steroids sound like ultrasound cleaners, which they are not, but they do vibrate at a pretty impressive 30,000 to 40,000 strokes per minute. This extreme vibration, it is said, gets saliva and water down between teeth and even below the gum line – thus providing better cleaning.
Reputable sonic toothbrushes generally range from £20-ish up to the low hundreds; in a busy and competitive market, they tend to be quite similar in operation and efficacy, so it’s the “form factor” that is the decider for buyers, and I’ve fallen for one at the cheaper end of the scale. The Odaycare eSlim P100 comes from Hong Kong and costs from about £24. Its USP, for me, is its incredibly compact form – 182mm long and 16.5mm in diameter – and quality feel. It is even more compact than the superb (but very gentle and non-sonic) $40 Quip from the US. It also charges by micro-USB, so it’s eminently travel friendly. It has DuPont bristles, which feel deceptively soft until they get to work.
A good brushing with the Odaycare leaves my teeth feeling cleaner and smoother even than a scale and polish at the dentist. One concern I had was that the extreme vibration might shake out a veneer or crown. I asked my brilliant dentist, Dr Naveed Sethu, about this and he maintained that the vibration would not crack the adhesive that keeps caps in; but if the glue was already deteriorating, the sonic effect could loosen a cap – something it’s best to know about sooner rather than later, in any case. He added that the enhanced cleaning ability of a sonic brush would, over time, make a detached crown, veneer, whatever, less likely by keeping the gum in better nick.
The only possible minus is that the Odaycare may make your mouth, and upper lip in particular, feel almost unbearably ticklish. My advice – grimace and bear it. The aftereffect is well worth it. igg.me. JONATHAN MARGOLIS
Chic dental floss
Dental floss doesn’t get tastier than Buly 1803’s black organic cotton variety, coated with beeswax in a choice of three delectable flavours: apple from Montauban; orange, ginger and clove; and mint, coriander and cucumber. buly1803.com. CLARA BALDOCK
Mouthwash in fresh new flavours
For a pre-party perk-me-up or post-party refresh, a surprisingly stylish array of mouthwashes give a twist on the ritual – drawing on natural ingredients and channelling a perfume-bottle elegance that gives the bathroom sink a dressing-table glamour. Many are created by perfumers: Floris’s concentrated violet mouthwash revisits an archive recipe from 1919 inspired by the Duchess of Parma; while Lebon’s blends mint and green tea with rosemary, sage and aloe vera.
Alcohol-free blends avoid that fiery feel: look to new brand Waken, which has a four-bottle range including aniseed; Aesop, which takes anise and adds spearmint leaf and clove bud; and Olas, which uses marine bio-activates, including sustainable blue-green algae and echinacea. BEATRICE HODGKIN
The “Tesla of toothbrushes”
I have long awaited an electric toothbrush that can morph from home bathroom use to travel and back again. Quip, from the US and now available in the UK, is just such an appliance – muscular enough for home use but with dinky dimensions for life on the move. Instead of a cumbersome mains recharging system, Quip simply uses a AAA battery, with a typical life of three months. It also cuts out a lot of the complications of recent leading-edge toothbrushes, such as phone-app controls and loud bossy mechanisms. There’s just a useful pulse every 30 seconds to gently remind you to move on to a different part of your mouth, and another to let you know you’ve done your two minutes. Insofar as you can love a toothbrush, I love this. Smartech concession in Selfridges, London, or visit getquip.com. JONATHAN MARGOLIS