For years, my dentist has been trying to get me to make the switch from my regular ole grocery store toothbrush to an electric one. Finally convinced enough to look into it, the design of the silicone FOREO ISSA 3 is what caught my eye, but the intel on its super gentle, bacteria-resistant bristles are what hooked me enough to try it out.
Some background on my current dental regimen: I use a manual toothbrush morning and night, and I definitely brush way too hard (I just like feeling clean, okay!), so my gums often end up feeling irritated and achey, even though I floss every day. All of the above is what prompted my dentist to continually recommend I go electric, and a few other dentists I spoke with sold me on the benefits of opting for silicone bristles.
Inna Chern, DDS, cosmetic and restorative dentist at New York General Dentistry, says that silicone bristles are much gentler on the teeth and gums, especially for folks who experience sensitivity. And Sophya Nadya Morghem, DMD, owner of Sunset Dentistry, agrees. “A silicone toothbrush can be a gentler way to cleanse the plaque and biofilm off your teeth,” she says.
Combine that with the efficacy of electric, and it's a double whammy of clean. “A sonic brush pulsates at a high frequency, and can shake plaque and tartar off the teeth more readily than its counterparts,” says Dr. Chern. Clinical testing showed that the ISSA 3 removed 30 percent more plaque than manual brushes, which was enough to make me finally heed my dentist's advice and ditch my trusty manual toothbrush for something more high tech.
Keep scrolling for my full FOREO ISSA 3 toothbrush review, and find out what I liked best about adding it to my oral-care routine.
1. I got a gentle and truly clean feeling back
Since childhood I’ve endured puffy gums and sensitive teeth, and often sacrificed comfort for cleanliness. With the ISSA 3’s super-light but super-clean touch (with 16 sonic pulse levels), I don’t have to choose one or the other.
First, I applied toothpaste to the bacteria-resistant silicone bristles (FYI: silicone is antibacterial, which means there's no water or dirt retention so bacteria cannot accumulate as it can with other standard and electric brushes—aka you aren't introducing more bacteria into your mouth when you're trying to keep it clean). Then, I started brushing, and the Sonic Pulse technology and soft brush head felt extra gentle on my teeth and gums. I could tell right away that the ISSA 3 was designed with users like me in mind—my mouth felt fresh and my sensitive gums weren't achey at all.
Dr. Morghem also notes that combining silicone bristles with sonic pulsations can greatly reduce gum abrasions and enamel scratches, which is a huge plus in my book. (My dentist would be proud.)
2. I developed a super easy (and effective) routine
I’ll be honest, as someone who enjoys knowing my mouth is in tip-top shape, I’m not over-the-moon about sitting in a dentist’s chair more than I have to. I've been blessed with never having a cavity, and would like to keep it that way, which is why Dr. Chern recommended upping my toothbrushing routine to three times a day when possible.
“I suggest using the brush in a similar way to a conventional toothbrush: Brush two to three times a day for two minutes without excessive force,” Dr. Chern says. The built-in timer helps me ensure I'm getting a full two minutes of scrubbing. Plus, with its sleek design and minimal charging necessary (one charge lasts a whole year!) it looks chic enough to leave out on my bathroom counter, reminding me to get an extra brush in after lunch when I'm working from home.
3. I added sustainability to my oral care
I try to be mindful of how my choices affect the environment, so adding an eco-friendly product to my regimen was a major bonus. Dr. Morghem and Dr. Chern both agree: Manufacturing silicone brushes tends to have a lessened ecological impact, and since you only have to replace the brush head once a year, less waste is created.
One last note on my FOREO ISSA 3 toothbrush review: I was most impressed by the peace of mind that comes with knowing I'm taking great care of my teeth, while also stewarding the environment well. Plus, with ISSA kids and ISSA baby, you can get the whole family on board with supporting sustainability and building good oral-care habits. Consider me a convert (and excuse me while I go send an apology note to my dentist for not taking his advice sooner).
Top photo: FOREO
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