Has anyone found a motorized toothbrush that has American Dental Assn. seal of approval?
I suppose that the “sonic” brushes use a simple wire-wound electro-magnet to produce the vibrations. It is well known in electronics that when placing a ferro-magnetic (e.g. iron, or steel) plate very near to the end of an electro-magnet, it is easy to see and hear the plate vibrate forcefully due to: 1) the force holding the plate away and 2) the electro-magnetic attraction fight it out for a balance. The loud buzzing of the plate striking the magnet (even when using a DC battery source) is probably the real source of the word “sonic” in those types of toothbrushes, rather than using some ultrasonic source such as what is sometimes used to clean jewelry.
There are also the brushes that have some oscillating bristles, either a circular or strait-line movement. I only have experience with one of those types. I had bought a cheapy ($6 US) Colgate Motion motorized toothbrush with a rotating head. It mostly works and is a quality manufacturing job, but I can’t recommend it. It does have a design flaw where the suds/saliva are channeled down inside the main shaft of the brush, which leads down to the motor. Just above the motor chamber there is a rubber grommet as a seal, the seal is the last point of defense to prevent the motor from shorting, and it seals well enough. However, the suds dry on the seal and harden, this eventually builds up enough to seize the motor shaft. I have had to take it apart every few uses to clean out the suds and free the motor. The toothbrush is not designed to be disassembled and so gets a little further damage each time that I take it apart. For $6 I can say that it worked for the money, but is not perfect, and has no ADA approval so therefore could be removing too much enamel. I stick with the manual brushes now-a-days.
I hear that once you remove your enamel, you cannot replace/regrow it, that is probably why having a automated time limit is a very important feature. I know that tooth caps are somewhat fashionable bling now-a-days, but you don’t want to require caps do you? I am concerned about receding gums, but also enamel loss.
Flossing is the big missing piece of the puzzle, as I understand oral hygiene. I only do it sporadically, myself, and therefore am not a perfect demigod but instead am an imperfect human who needs improvement. I found a dental fork that I like, you can squeeze the handles to open or close the jaws, with the floss stretched between the jaws, picture an ordinary pair of pliers or scissors but with the opposite motion, where squeezing the handles opens the jaws adding tension to the floss. I think that the Floss Boss is a quality manufacturing job, with a polymer body with a threaded brass insert to screw the two halves together. Good quality except that the threaded polymer bolt holds: the floss, the two halves together, and acts as the hinge, balancing those three tasks is overly complex in my opinion.
I had found and ordered the Floss Boss through the ‘net back in February 2003, but the link to Floss Boss Inc. doesn’t seem informative, today. The contact information on my invoice, if anyone wants this dental fork, is: 1-916-739-1653, FAX 1-916-455-5617, President/Inventor Gregory Gutiérrez, 2462 18th Ave., Sacramento, CA 95820. I wish I could find a picture on the ‘net for you, but I don’t see one any longer. Maybe the inventor has given up advertising the fork, by now.
On oral hygiene the ADA is saying, “... increasing medical evidence suggests that an unhealthy mouth may worsen serious medical problems, like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.” And on motorized toothbrushes they say, “... powered toothbrushes must meet the requirements of a safety laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.” “Both manual and powered toothbrushes can effectively and thoroughly clean your teeth.”
I searched the ‘net a little, hoping to find information about loosing tooth enamel, I found “The rate of cementum and acidic enamel erosion was observed under a microscope. Gatorade, a sports drink was found to be the worst offender (erosion depth of 131 micrometers). This was followed by Coke (92 micrometers), Diet Coke (61 micrometers) and apple juice (57 micrometers).” from a Bio-Medicine web site. The Mayo Clinic talks about eating/drinking acids saying, “Limit consumption: In addition to soda, energy drinks, juice and wine, limit your intake of high-acid foods including tart candies, citrus fruits and foods containing vinegar.”