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  • Writer's pictureJuliette Wills

Together in Electric Dreams

Still using a manual toothbrush? Then it's time to up your game and embrace the latest in tooth technology

Teeth are just teeth, and toothbrushes are just toothbrushes, right? Er, wrong, and if you don't take your dental health seriously you could end up in real bother. It's a good thing, then, that tech companies are revolutionising the way we clean our teeth so that we can hopefully prevent them from falling out. The ION-Sei is the latest offering - a revolutionary electric toothbrush that combines state-of-the-art ionic technology with the natural elements of water and light for a gentle and holistic approach to dental care. Its revolutionary technology suppresses the production of plaque, which in turn helps reduce the risk of gum disease, decay and bacteria growth to provide a long-lasting, deeper clean.

Periodontal disease is what you want to steer clear of. A bacterial infection that has a detrimental effect not just on the teeth, but the entire body, it may increase your risk of all kinds of other health complications, including stroke, diabetes and heart disease. It's typically caused by poor brushing and flossing habits (ie. the lack of) that allow bacteria to build up on the teeth and harden. Warning signs include swollen gums, bad breath, bright red gums and blood when brushing. Put it this way, you don’t want to end up with it.

While I'm talking about brushing your teeth, here's the best video you'll ever see on the subject. Teddles is a cockney bear from the BBC. I cry laughing every time I watch it. You can thank me later, it's the absolute bomb:

A lot of us are guilty of being heavy-handed when brushing our teeth. My dad has been known to snap his toothbrush in half and the bristles look like they've been sat on by an elephant after about a week's use. I've told him that even Hulk uses less force to brush his teeth than that but he doesn't listen. Strong brushing may cause excessive abrasion of the teeth, which is one of the main causes of damaged tooth enamel and gums. Brushing hard can also cause gingival retraction, which sounds like some kind of space manoeuvre but is, in fact, the fancy term for one’s teeth loosening. Eek.

My husband, Gautier, was recently diagnosed with gum disease and it blows. He's an ex-smoker and he's never been one to worry about his teeth, and now he's paying the price. He lost one tooth and is now hoping to hang on to the rest of them with specialist dental care, industrial-strength mouthwash (I’m not kidding, you could clean rust off a ship with this stuff), Vitamin D and calcium supplements for bone strength and of course, by using the ION-Sei.

So quiet! So efficient! So clever! The toothbrush is good, too

I’ve been using it for a week now and am going to buy him one for Christmas. My teeth feel squeaky clean after using it, and the bonkers thing is that my teeth feel like that even after eating. I usually brush my teeth three or four times a day because I have recurring nightmares about my teeth falling out (and when they do they're the size of golf balls and made of pulsating bone and gristle, which is nice) and I like to have fresh breath in case I get hit by a bus or nearly drown and someone has to give me the kiss of life. That or in case Brad Pitt finally comes calling for me and at least I'll be ready. He's got smashing teeth.

The first thing that will strike you about the brush is how light it is given that most electric toothbrushes are pretty weighty. It’s also got a traditional rectangular brush head rather than a small round one. That took a bit of getting used to, as did the fact that it doesn’t vibrate like my Oral B toothbrush, either – it’s more of a gentle hum, like having a bee going about your teeth. It’s very soothing and scores highly on being so quiet. It pauses momentarily every 30 seconds so you can clean your mouth in four stages, and it automatically stops after two minutes. It has three pressure settings, too.

So how does the ION-Sei work? Well, it coats the surface of your teeth with negative ions that naturally repel the harmful bacteria and prevents them from adhering to the surface of your teeth. Think of two magnets that repel each other when their negatively charged poles are placed in proximity, and it's a method that's been clinically proven to have an antibacterial effect against plaque-causing bacteria. These clever little negative ions will even get between the crevices of your teeth and inside your gum pockets, destabilising the attraction between plaque and teeth. They’re like little marmoset monkeys picking all the bits out of your teeth, but way fancier. When the ION-Sei ionic technology toothbrush is active, it generates negative ions from the conductor panel on the handle where it’s held and a titanium dioxide bar placed inside the neck area where it touches the UV LED light. I’m told it’ll be pivotal in reversing my husband’s gum disease, so here’s hoping.

Not only that, but the battery lasts an age – I’m a week in and counting – and it can be charged with a USB cable so you can look at it (or talk to it if you’re like me and friends with inanimate objects) while you work. It retails at £129.99 and I reckon it's worth every penny.

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