Oral-B toothbrushes oscillate and feature classic nylon brush heads that need to be replaced every 3 months. Foreo Issa 2 is based on the T-Sonic pulsation technology and requires only 1 brush head change annually. While the former has awesome scrubbing power, the latter is a lot gentler and safer for daily use.
I'll be honest with you, even the sight of the dentist's office lobby makes me shiver. I was fine going to the dentist as a kid until I wasn't (long story, maybe I'll write a horror novel about it one day). So, I take care of my teeth like they are precious art pieces at Louvre just so I have to see my dentist as little as possible.
I'm currently rotating 4 toothbrushes. That chewable toothbrush for brushing on the go, a nano toothbrush when I need a super-soft touch, and of course, an Oral-B and an Issa 2. Do I need both of those electric toothbrushes in my collection? Yes. Do you? Let's compare them and see which one works for you.
Oscillation vs Sonic Cleansing
I remember my very first electric toothbrush and how quickly it ended up being used for cleaning everything else but my teeth. This is because it was way too much for both my teeth and gums. Early electric toothbrushes used to make a full rotation - very efficient when you're cleaning your jewelry, but not very tooth-friendly if you ask me.
Now most devices that move rely on oscillation. This smaller movement is a lot gentler. yet still packs quite a bit of scrubbing power.
Sonic cleansing is even gentler. It may appear like it doesn't do much (if anything at all) but when it's combined with light and flexible bristles, the movement is very similar to oscillation, only smaller and quicker. Think of it as the difference between having 1 professional window cleaner and at least 100 caffeinated Tinkerbells doing the same job.
Now here's the bad news: both of these sensations are going to hurt like a mother if you have a cracked or otherwise damaged tooth. Electric toothbrushes may overall be a bad choice for someone with a lot of sensitivity or gum issues, so don't open your wallet before you talk to your dentist first.
Foreo Issa 2
I didn't jump on board when the original Issa came out. However, my dentist did. And he persuaded me to check out this newer model with a few magic words: "You may need to see less of me if you use it". Honestly, he could use the same words to sell me any type of snake oil. However, I'm glad I gave it a chance.
Issa 2 uses the same high effective T-sonic technology other Foreo devices are based on. It emits whopping 11,000 pulsations a minute and combines them with long, soft silicone bristles.
This new generation comes with a hybrid brush head that features both silicone and PBT polymer bristles for more effective plaque removal. But, if the classic version is too much for you, there's a special sensitive set as well. All brushes have a built-in cheek cleaner in the back that you can use to clean the tongue, but there's a special scraper head available as well.
It takes a single charge and it will have enough juice for a whole year. And a frowny face and a smiley face judging me and my brushing? Yup, a 6-year-old in me is totally happy.
Time for some bad news: you still have to do most of the work. Unlike a rotating or oscillating model where you just have to move it from a quadrant to a quadrant, you need to move Issa 2 like it's a regular toothbrush.
- Gentle ultrasonic cleansing suitable for anyone with sensitive teeth.
- The brush head needs to be changed only once a year.
- Sensitive brush head and a hybrid brush head for a more thorough cleanse.
- Hypoallergenic - just rinse after use to keep everything clean.
- A single charge allows for use for a whole year.
- Limited choice in brush head and size.
- Price. Even though you don't have to change brush heads as often, the cost per use is still slightly higher.
I got my Oral-B toothbrush way before I even landed eyes on Issa. Not only are these guys affordable but they are as resilient as cockroaches. And I never had to get professional stain removal treatments since I started using it. My only problem is that it's can be a bit too rough. Now I only use it on evenings after having foods that are notorious for leaving stains.
That being said, I think that the Oral-B range is a gold standard in classic electric toothbrushes. Newest models are very smart and connect to an app that can help you re-learn how to brush your teeth and track your daily habits.
All models oscillate, which means that you are in for a good scrub without causing as much irritation as old rotating brushes. Also, you are not confined by the model you choose since each toothbrush pairs with each brush head from Oral-B's range. And the range is pretty wide - as of the time of writing, it includes options for whitening, dual clean, sensitive teeth, flossing, etc.
The most attractive point may be that both the devices and replacement heads are easily available. You can probably go to the nearest big box store and pick them up (maybe even find a coupon in your local paper with a hefty discount).
- Affordable and easily available.
- Oscillates rather than making a full rotation, making it safer and gentler than previous generations.
- Moist environment safe electromagnetic charging.
- A variety of brush heads for different needs.
- Smart models that connect to an app and help you track your dental hygiene practices.
- Brush heads need to be replaced every 3 months.
- Can damage tooth enamel with overuse.
I have one of the older Oral-B electric toothbrushes and it has served me well for years. But even with a sensitive brush head, I never used it more than once a day. Though it gives teeth a good scrub, overuse can strip the enamel. It's a great tool to have in your dental care repertoire, but make sure to work with your dentist to find the most effective and safe way to use it.
Foreo Issa 2 is a lot gentler. Especially with the sensitive brush head, it's safe to use both in the morning and evening. It also goes easy on dentures, implants, and veneers. Plus, it's far more convenient for traveling and requires only one brush head change a year.
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