Founded by a dentist named Keith Arbeitman, DDS, who saw things that probably fill a lot of our nightmares, this brush is designed to fit into your mouth as a mouthguard would. This purportedly allows the bristles to cover each tooth (front and back) for a longer period of time than you'd get with a manual brush. According to the brand, when you use the 30-second guided mode (and more on this in a second), each tooth gets five to 10 seconds of brushing, compared with the 1.5 seconds it would when using a normal toothbrush for two minutes. For what it's worth, the Forsyth Institute, which is affiliated with The Harvard Dental School, deems it to be safe and effective to use on your teeth.
And the results, according to clinical trials from the brand, aren't bad either: When used for a full minute—that's two guided cycles—twice a day, SymplBrush users were 137 percent less likely to get gingivitis than those who just went at-it the old fashioned way. It makes sense considering that the American Dental Association estimates that most people only brush their teeth on average 45 seconds per day.
Okay, okay, so the bit I know everyone is curious about: What's it like? When I go to use my Symplbrush for the first time I'm truly unclear on how to get started. Fortunately, there's a QR code that helps to guide you through the process. First, you connect your bristles to the handpiece. There are two sizes of the mouthpiece, so you can adjust it if it doesn't fit quite right when you initially put it in. Then, you put pea-sized dollops of toothpaste onto the back teeth and then a strip along the front teeth as well. If you order the $189 kit, you'll get the brand's special paste, but you can obviously use whatever you prefer.
So now it's time to brush. I use the 30-second guided mode, which beeps every seven seconds to prompt me to move the handle from one side of my mouth to the other so the bristles can get into all the nooks and crannies—there's a light that helps walk you through this. The mouthpiece only fits either your top or your bottom teeth at one time, so halfway through, you'll notice an extended pause, in which you can flip the brush over to do the others. Because the science is based on a full minute-long cycle, though, I go ahead and leave it on my top teeth for the entire 30, and then once it's done, flip it over. Even upside down, I can still see the lights, so I know which way to brush.
The whole process is so much less messy than a usual toothbrushing. I don't find that I ever have a bunch of minty-fresh liquid awkwardly in my mouth. I also don't foresee ever getting toothpaste on my shirt using this brush. One note is that if you like that super whole mouth fresh feeling after you brush, you'll get that less with this toothbrush since it doesn't touch your tongue or cheeks. You can still use a mouthwash, however, if so.
I've been brushing with a Sonicare toothbrush for five years or so, and I'm used to my mouth feeling hyper-clean following a brushing. It is like taking your teeth through a power-washing each morning and night; this gives me reassurance that it's truly working. I feel that less so with the Symplbrush, but the brand does note that the nylon bristles are meant to work just hard enough to remove plaque without injuring the gums or teeth. All in all, I'm impressed by the toothbrush, which does indeed make life simple.
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