I have known it. I have told you about it. Now there is evidence of it (again).
The Philips Sonicare is the ultimate electric toothbrush. There’s no way going around it. I have written a post about it before as well but I had to bring it up again because there is new evidence supporting my opinion.
There is mainly two brands that can compete in the category of the best electric toothbrush – Philips and Braun Oral-b. That is why this study is significant. Of these two best manufacturers, Oral-b gets the short end of a stick I’m afraid.
Tried It, Didn’t Like It
So you gave the Philips Sonicare a go? Did it tickle like hell? Well that’s what it does in the beginning. There is an easy-start mode to reduce the tickling sensation in the beginning but I would advice to use it in full power as soon as possible. The tickling will diminish in 1-2 weeks. Just persevere.
Did you not get a clean feeling? There is certain technique to be used with the Sonicare toothbrush. Firstly, you should use a gel-like toothpaste and soak the brush head under running tap before you start brushing. This is because the sonic vibration needs liquids to travel to hard to reach places like in between the teeth and below the gum line. The gel-like toothpaste will dissolve quicker into water than pastes. If the mouth is too dry, the sonic vibration won’t work and this will result in poor cleaning result.
Secondly, you need to stop brushing. Let the brush slide slowly over the gum line (where the tooth and gum meets) and point the bristles where you want the sonic vibration to reach. The gum line is the most important area to brush, but once you have done this you can point the bristles directly towards the surface of the tooth. This is a brilliant way of reducing staining. The brushing like this will take about 3 minutes.
Thirdly, do not press too hard. If you press too hard, you will loose the sonic vibration.
Fourthly, change your brush head every 4-6 months.
By following these advices, you should have a squeaky clean teeth.
For the dental professionals, who have seen poor results with their patients that are using Philips Sonicare – teach your patients to use it correctly.
I’ve seen the evidence with my patients that Philips Sonicare does it’s business. I use it myself and wouldn’t change to any other toothbrush. But to convince everyone else of the greatness of Philips Sonicare, I am happy that there is new evidence of it. Here’s a quote from the study:
Conclusions: The Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Smart powered toothbrush reduced gingival inflammation, gingival bleeding, and supragingival plaque significantly more than the Oral-B Genius 8000 powered toothbrush following a 42-day home-use period.
I recently received a free sample of new GUM ActiVital toothpaste and wanted to let you know from a professional point of view how good the toothpaste is. And if it is what the manufacturer’s selling speech on their website states:
-Effectively helps prevent cavities by remineralizing the dental enamel thanks to our patented combination of fluoride and isomalt -Prevents the plaque build-up that can harm the new permanent teeth -No alcohol, parabens, or sulfates (SLS) -Gentle formula contains natural chamomile flower extract -Yummy strawberry flavor
It seems that this toothpaste is not available in the USA yet (or no longer?), but I’m sure it can be ordered online if you are interested to try it out.
I love the green colour in the packaging design. It is simply the freshest colour there is. The pomegranate apple is a plus at least for me because I recently learned that pomegranate apple has plenty of health benefits.
The tube is pretty much similar to the toothpastes of Oral-b and it is easy to open. Like often, there is a lid protecting the toothpaste under the cap. Not sure about what the material of the lid is – it looks metallic but is too thin to be considered as recyclable metal. Is it some sort of plastic with a foil layer? In my house that has 8 different recycling bins, this small lid has no other place than domestic waste where everything that cannot be recycled is put. I call it The Bin of Shame.
Some might think that what on earth am I on about when I worry over very small piece of non-recyclable material. But I think it is about the attitude towards the Planet Earth. We should try to use materials that can be recycled and even better thing would be if the materials we use were sustainable. No matter how small they are.
The toothpaste is green in colour and is more like gel than a paste. Brings in mind my teenage years in the ’80s when hair gel of this colour was very popular. Do people still use it? Nowadays there are all sorts of hair clays, powders, waxes and so on to choose from. But back in the good old days we relied on the green toothpaste-like hair gel that made your hair stiff as a stick.
Sorry, couldn’t resist walking down the memory lane. Back to the subject.
I always want to know if the toothpaste contains microbeads and the closer look at the toothpaste does not show any beads in it. It’s almost silky smooth to the eye.
Also the ingredients list (see at the end of this post) does not state any microbeads (polyethylene or polypropylene).
So, lets put the toothpaste on my beloved Philips Sonicare’s bristles. The toothpaste is very firm in texture and stays put when applied to the brush. That is a plus in my opinion.
The toothpaste tastes pleasant and is not too strong in flavour. It is minty, but has this kind of earthy taste, like hint of herbs. So far no burning or any other unpleasant sensations can be felt.
It forms a slight foam despite the fact that it does not have sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS aka soap) in it. This is another plus as SLS can cause adverse reactions. Instead there are three other ingredients that have bubble-forming properties (Hydroxyethylcellulose, Lauryl Glucoside and Cocamidopropyl Betaine).
I must say that this toothpaste is very pleasant to use compared to ones that have no bubble-forming agents and kind of vanish in mouth when brushing. I have found that many of my patients are wondering if non-foaming toothpastes actually do their job. Of course non-foaming toothpastes are as effective to one’s dental health as the foaming ones but somehow people have associated foaming to the effectiveness of the toothpaste.
After brushing for about 2 minutes, it still feels pleasant in mouth. No numbing or burning feeling can be felt.
After spitting out the toothpaste a fresh feeling stays for a long time in mouth. Also my teeth feel VERY clean and smooth. This in fact is worrying for me as a dental professional and only one question pops up in my mind:
what is the RDA of this toothpaste?
Well, I found the answer from the internet and to my surprise the RDA level is only 50! Amazing! With very low abrasivity this toothpaste does it’s job very well. Another plus deserved.
Would I recommend
It definitely cleans well and that alone is reason enough to recommend it.
But as a dental professional I must look deeper.
I am always interested in the ingredients that can cause adverse reaction. I once experienced an adverse reaction from a toothpaste and since then I have been more alert when my patients experience e.g. dry mouth or have lichenoid lesions in mouth. These and many other symptoms can be caused by certain ingredients in toothpaste.
In Gum ActiVital toothpaste there is cocamidopropyl betaine, which is a foaming agent that can cause adverse reaction. It has been named as an Allergen of The Year 2014 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. This fact alone is pretty condemning.
Also flavourings in toothpaste can cause adverse reaction and with ActiVital toothpaste the flavouring is only stated with a word aroma. Pretty vague description and as a consumer I would definitely want to know more about it. The packaging states fresh mint but why not clarify it on the ingredient list? There is funny error on their website regarding the flavouring. It’s the
Yummy strawberry flavor
I noticed this just after I had written my experience of the taste (earthy taste, like hint of herbs). Made me smile. They must have mixed up the advertisement contents of their children’s toothpaste and ActiVital toothpaste. Should they be informed about this error or just leave it like it is?
The manufacturer has considered one of the ActiVital toothpaste’s ingredient so important that they have put it in the packaging in quite large font. That is Q10.
Now this is interesting and I must say I think it is just a way to make the toothpaste more appealing by the known anti-ageing properties of Q10. I researched and researched to find out if there is benefit of using Q10 in the toothpaste and I’m afraid there isn’t any proven benefit. There has been a study in 1995 “Coenzyme Q10 and periodontal treatment: is there any beneficial effect?” ( by Watts, T. L. P. British Dental Journal. Department of Periodontology and Preventive Dentistry, UMDS, Guy’s Hospital London). Only the study’s abstract is available online and it states that G10 is not in fact beneficial when treating periodontal disease. No later studies are available online which in this modern world means there is none.
When doing my research I found out that the manufacturer Sunstar has a questionable advice on their website regarding the use of the toothpaste
Brush with our multi-functional GUM® ActiVital® Toothpaste after each meal to help keep your mouth healthy in the long term
Honestly, in a world where dental erosion is almost epidemic, you should know better not to advice people to brush the teeth after each meal. The latest studies suggest that you should forget about the whole business of brushing after meal. The studies have found that the pH level in mouth is still low even after 2 hours of eating. So you may brush before the meals but not after – just remember that we only advice to brush twice a day normally.
So, would I recommend?
Yes, I would. If you are not afraid of the long ingredient list and one definite allergen on the list (not everyone will get adverse reactions), just try the toothpaste and see how you feel about it. The most important thing for me is that the toothpaste does not contain SLS (soap), the RDA level is not over 100 and it contains enough fluoride. GUM ActiVital has fluoride content of 1450ppm which is the recommended level for the adults. So it does prevent cavities by remineralizing the teeth as they promise. Also Activital has ingredients that are anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.
I have been using this toothpaste for 3 weeks now and my teeth have never felt so polished after brushing. So I think I will carry on using it until better one shows up.
Glycerin – an organic compound most commonly from animal fat and vegetable oil
Propyl Steardimonium Chloride – Not much information is available about this ingredient. I found out that it is conditioning agent and either synthetic or animal origin. If you know more about this ingredient, please contact me.
Today I am going to review a toothpaste for the first time ever. It is a toothpaste that was given to me by a representative of Oral-b. It is called Oral-b Gum & Enamel Repair Original toothpaste and it is Oral-b’s newest toothpaste.
Here’s the manufacturer’s selling speech about the toothpaste on their website:
It defends against acid erosion and helps to repair enamel
It provides antibacterial action to help rejuvenate gums
For sensitive teeth – clinically proven
Oral-B Gum & Repair Original toothpaste comes with a mild flavour and a smooth texture
The design of the packaging looks simplified and minimalistic which I very much like. This is welcome change from their previous toothpastes’ outlook that had too much information in a small space.
The tube is still easy to open, but there is small change in the lid. It used to be made of metal which at least in my opinion is better recycling-wise than plastic. Small detail but still. Can’t help this image of whales’ intestines full of plastic popping in my mind. But then again the whole tube is plastic.
Staying on the environmental subject. The plastic and the whales. There has been lots of talk over microbeads that are found in many consumer products. Even in toothpastes. These microbeads will eventually find their way into the sea and cause problems to the oceans as persistent pollutant. The representative who gave me this Gum & Enamel Repair Original toothpaste sample promised that there are no microbeads in it. The ingredient to look for is polyethylene when you want to make sure there is none of them. I found no polyethylene in the ingredients list (see at the end of this post). Great.
The texture of the toothpaste looks smooth as they promised but when you take closer look, it is not that smooth after all and the fear of microbeads is getting stronger again.
The tiny granules are clearly visible but these could be actually hydrated silica (abrasive), not microbeads.
Ok, time to add toothpaste to my toothbrush. Like with Oral-b Pro-Expert toothpaste, this new one is also quite runny and can be messy if you are not quick enough. Once I had applied toothpaste to my toothbrush I was in a rush to take a photo before it dripped on to the table.
and with this brush the runny texture is actually better than the ones that are stiffer pastes. But I can see that the sink in the bathroom will have toothpaste marks here and there. Also, note to myself – do not let husband use this toothpaste as he brushes his teeth after he has put his suit on. Silly man.
So lets put the toothpaste in my mouth. It does begin to formulate foam which means there is soap in the toothpaste. Not the best option for somebody with sensitive soft tissues or dry mouth. Soap aka sodium lauryl sulfate can make the mouth dry and also it has been linked to canker sores aka aphthous ulcers (although nothing is scientifically proven and oh boy don’t I hear it from the rep e-v-e-r-y time).
Very soon I begin to feel burning sensation on first third of the tongue (the tip of the tongue), both top and bottom of the tongue. Also the tongue feels slightly numb. This carries on all through the brushing and after spitting the toothpaste out. Now, I do advise my patients not to rinse after brushing but the burning sensation is so strong that I must rinse lightly. Once I did that and bit my teeth together, I could feel biting on some grit. This made me think about the abrasiveness of the toothpaste. It is new toothpaste so the RDA value (Relative Dentine Abrasivity) was impossible to find. I will add the RDA value as soon I find it out.
Ten minutes after brushing the burning can still be felt. Also I feel that the layer of skin inside my lips is peeling off. This has been “a feature” with Oral-b Pro-Expert toothpastes and the reps have said it’s absolutely normal and will diminish when using the toothpaste for longer period of time. My colleague asked the rep if this new Gum & Enamel Repair Original toothpaste does the same. I must say that I cannot remember the rep’s exact answer but I think she said this toothpaste should cause less of the peeling of the mucosa. Well it doesn’t. At least with me. If anything I think the peeling of the mucosa is quicker than with Pro-Expert toothpaste.
Twenty minutes after brushing I can still feel the burning feeling slightly. I guess some people will associate this burning feeling with effectiveness of the toothpaste. The more it burns, the more effective it is. As a dental professional I must say that this is not true. No toothpaste should feel uncomfortable to use.
Would I Recommend?
To be honest, most likely I will not recommend this toothpaste to anyone. Not after I took a closer look at the ingredients. One ingredient has been nominated as Allergen of the Year for 2018 by American Contact Dermatitis Society. This ingredient is called propylene glycol.
The list of ingredients is long and to my mind the longer the list is the more side-effects there will be. My favourite toothpaste that I recommend to my patients a lot has only eight ingredients (aqua, crystalline sorbitol, hydrated silica, crystalline xylitol, PEG, anhydrous natural betaine, cellulose gum, sodium fluoride (1500 ppm F), sorbate). Oral-b Gum & Enamel Repair Original toothpaste has nineteen! Three of these ingredients can have adverse reactions to one’s health – propylene glycol, CI 77891 and sodium lauryl sulfate.
Also the fact that I got this burning feeling in my mouth tells me this toothpaste is not suitable for most of the people. Remember that it should not feel unpleasant to use a toothpaste. Certainly it should not hurt. So change if it does.
Here are the ingredients of the Oral-B Gum & Enamel Repair Original toothpaste and short explanation of what they are (by clicking the link you will find more information):
Glycerin – an organic compound most commonly from animal fat and vegetable oil
PEG-6 – The abbreviation PEG = polyethylene glycol. Possibility for adverse reaction. An emulsifier and foaming agent
Propylene Glycol – the American Contact Dermatitis Society’s Allergen of the Year for 2018. An emollient and emulsifier.
Aqua – the main carrier for all ingredients. Helps dissolve other soluble ingredients. Helps the mechanical process of cleaning teeth in mouthwashes
Zinc Lactate – such a difficult ingredient to find any information solely on zinc lactate. Lots of information on zinc but there must be difference in different types of zinc? If anyone finds trustworthy site with information on zinc lactate, please drop me a line.