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Introduction: on the most ecological type of toothbrush

The most environmentally-friendly toothbrush likely is the one that isn't used at all, considering that most all of them are made of plastic. There are however a few totally natural toothbrushes available which are made from ... trees, see Natural toothbrush alternatives.

Dr. Collins Perio Toothbrush

Dr. Collins Perio Toothbrush

This toothbrush, very popular with people with gum issues such as receding gums and sensitive teeth, is "special" insofar as its bristles have a unique tapered and slim design that allows them to glide and clean between the teeth where normal toothbrushes don't reach but where tooth decay and gum disease will frequently start via food debris and plaque buildup.

The polyester bristles of Dr Collins Perio Toothbrush are very soft so there is less abrasion as you brush while gently massaging your gums. This toothbrush will lasts c. 50% longer than "normal" nylon toothbrushes.

Ionic Proton Toothbrush (no batteries) (CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE)

Ionic Proton Toothbrush

This is a very special "revolutionary" manual toothbrush that works without toothpaste of any kind thanks to a new technology using two disks of dissimilar metals (magnesium and copper) in the toothbrush head. When brushing your teeth, these metals create a low-voltage electrical current in your mouth which kills germs and freshens your breath.

(If you wake up with bad breath/halitosis, it's because bacteria have been growing in your mouth during the night, helped by the fact that there is no salivary flow during sleep. This brush promises to keep your breath fresh till the morning).

User experiences

Many enthusiastic users report experiences and results with the manual proton toothbrush such as

  • Even after the first brushing, teeth feeling wonderfully clean and fresh, "like from the dentist" (incl. "even cleaner than they do after a professional cleaning", "never felt so clean")
  • Less daily brushing needed such as after meals, simply rinsing the mouth to make the teeth feel clean again
  • Plaque deposits disappearing, sometimes instantly (spitting out a brown-coloured liquid after brushing)1
  • Being complimented by dentists and hygienists on the cleanliness of their teeth, "extraordinary dental checkup"/"best checkup ever", with teeth so smooth that there is no need to clean,
  • No more professional cleanings in years while the teeth continue to feel as smooth as right after they were cleaned
  • Tea and tobacco stains vanishing both from natural teeth and porcelain crowns, a porcelain filling that had been stained for some 20 years becoming white within three days
  • Teeth whitening where professional whiteners had been ineffective, teeth whiter than ever2
  • Painful gum infection of several years standing disappearing overnight
  • Gum problem leading to discomfort during toothbrushing all but disappearing after a month.
  • Gum pockets/gum recession dramatically decreasing, gums tightening around the teeth, healthy gums, no bone loss in several years, receded gums growing back up within days, gum bleeding stopped, no more sensitive teeth
  • Teeth and gums in great shape with no new challenges arising with mouth or teeth in a number of years of having used the brush
  • Teeth acquiring a shine
  • No more searching for the right toothpaste, no fluoride exposure
  • "Performs as advertised", "best toothbrush ever used", "incredible/amazing toothbrush", "100% satisfied", "will never brush with toothpaste/traditional toothbrush again".

Judging by only one Amazon.com review so far, this toothbrush has less takers than the above Dr. Collins perio toothbrush which likely is due to its higher price (US$17.95) but as that Amazon reviewer writes it seems to be worth every penny. Personally I use both brushes.

This toothbrush is also helpful for anyone who wants to be able to quickly brush their teeth with just water while at work, travelling, on the go etc. It's also particularly helpful for fussy children and for cleaning dogs' teeth.

Proton toothbrush usage instructions

Brush your teeth gently for two minutes without toothpaste (toothpaste might inhibit the ionic action). Make sure to reach all surfaces (which is facilitated by the relatively small size of the head) and give special attention to the area near the gumline.

There may be some foaming and a faint metallic chlorine taste. Any initial discomfort (a sign that your gums are beginning to heal) should subside after a few days.

Children can use the proton toothbrush but must be old enough not to chew on the head since this can dislodge the metal disks.

Apparently, some individuals wearing braces find their teeth yellowing when using this toothbrush, an effect which normally disappears when use of the toothbrush is discontinued.

Note for people with metal fillings in their mouth

I don't know how using the proton toothbrush would affect people carrying metal fillings such as mercury amalgam or gold alloys in their mouth. Since dissimilar metals invariably set up a current (dissimilar metals in a moist environment will release the least precious metal - Faraday's Law), could using the brush lead to an increased release of metal ions in their mouth? Would it therefore be better (as with braces) to not use the brush when one has metal fillings?

Since I am unsure about this, I have written to the manufacturer for guidance and any research regarding this question (but received no reply). Meanwhile it may be safest for anyone with metal in their mouth to not use the brush since the disadvantages might outweigh the benefits, or possibly better, to have the metal removed (see the Dental fillings section).

Regarding the metal fillings issue, site visitor Charlez S. sent the following comment: "I really like the IONIC toothbrush even though I have mercury fillings! After I read your caution about using this toothbrush on fillings, I checked with my Pendulum and found that it was OK to continue buying/using this toothbrush.

I realize that not everyone is into the Metaphysical, but it HELPS (for more than just TOOTHBRUSHES!)."

Footnotes

1 This is explained by the slight electrical current pulling the dental plaque away from your teeth, even from areas normal toothbrushes won't reach.

2 the reason being that the hydroxyl (H3O2) negative ion works on the teeth's surface to remove stains

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