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The Dish on Dental: Smile! Here is Philips Sonicare for Teeth and Gums
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The International Housewares Show in Chicago, held every year in March, is a visual feast, really (not to mention an exhausting and exhaustive exploration) into all new products for hearth and home and it marks, in a sort of oblique way, the beginning of the Christmas season for retailers, i.e, because they start ordering the merchandise that they will be featuring and promoting for gifts for next Xmas.  At the show last year, I ordered a Philips Sonicare FlexCare+ sonic toothbrush ($189.99) and it has been my constant dental companion since.  I cannot say that I have needed fewer cleanings/scrapings at the dentist's office, but my periodontist, dentist, and hygienist have all applauded my superlative "dental care." I even take the brush with me when I travel; it comes with a small, plastic container to house the main handle and brushes for travel, as well as with a small charger.

Now, this year at the show, a little step-sister model, for half the price, was introduced.  But, first, the big sister:  FlexCare+ contains some significant patented technology (according to the company) to produce a powerful, yet gentle cleaning that reaches deep between the teeth and gum line.  The toothbrush can be set in many modes, with the touch of a finger, to cycle through the various applications--Clean, Gum Care, Refresh, Massage, and Sensitive--going from a light brushing to a deeper cleansing. The company says that when it is used in Gum Care Mode, its tests have indicated that it improves gum health, reduces gingival bleeding, reduces inflammation, helps prevent gum recession, and removes significantly more plaque than does a manual brush.  The charger also has a UV sanitizer, which they say removes up to 99 per cent of the typical bacteria found on a brush head, in the ten-minute sanitizing cycle.

What I like the best, however, is that the brush beeps-so that you know how long you have spent brushing each area. Oral care professionals say you should brush at least 30 seconds per quadrant, for a total of 2 minutes; the beeps keep you in line.  And if you don't need/want them, or find them annoying, then you can turn that feature off.  I like it; it assures me I am giving each quadrant, inside and out, its 15 seconds of fame.

The little sister, SonicCare EasyClean ($89.99) has the same patented technology, just not all the bells and whistles, but does include one feature that is really invaluable: the brushes are "reminder" brushes, in that they fade in color over time to indicate when the brush head should be replaced.  This brush doesn't have the sanitizer apparatus, the travel case, and so on, and doesn't cycle through the nifty applications, but for a toothbrush with advanced technology that helps you keep your teeth and gums on the straight and narrow, it's a godsend-since it cleans way more effectively than a manual toothbrush for better, long-term oral health.  It will be available starting April at Bed Bath & Beyond ....and for the price, it's a lotta' bang for the buck.


Posted on March 15, 2011 - by

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About the Author: About the Author: Ruth J. Katz is a well-known shopping and service writer based in New York City. She has written about shopping for 25 years for New York magazine; covered the topic on-air at Fox-TV for several years as the Home Services expert; and had her own show on both the USA and Lifetime Cable networks. Katz wrote extensively for The New York Times as well, and contributed periodically to the New York Daily News. She is a passionate shopper, always looking for not merely a good buy, but the best buy, ferreting out a "steal" or discovering up-and-coming designers. She has written five books and is a former contributing editor to Hearst's Redbook, Classic Home, and Colonial Homes; she is currently a Contributing Editor of New York Home, Golf Connoisseur, The Modern Estate, and Promenade magazines. She is also the former Shopping Director for Davler Media's Manhattan Living.

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