Beauty + Body careReview
Foreo ISSA 2 put to the test: How good is an electric toothbrush made of silicone?
I don’t think much of electric toothbrushes. Nevertheless, I gave Foreo’s «ISSA 2» a chance. But was I converted?
The thing is, I can’t stand electric toothbrushes. Even if they are a more effective alternative to manual brushes, I just haven’t warmed to them. After thorough self-analysis, I’ve narrowed my aversion down to three main reasons:
1) They’re too digital. When I’m cleaning my teeth, I don’t feel like reading a manual, installing an app on my phone or having an alarm-clock-like watch tell me how long, with which intensity and with how much pressure I should be cleaning my choppers. I have my limits too, you know. What’s more, my bathroom cabinet simply doesn’t have enough space to provide a home for the charger and all that jazz.
2) The vibrations, even on the lowest level, nearly blow my brains out. After every use (and I’ve tried a few models in my time), I feel like I have concussion.
3) Those small round heads just feel wrong and way too small. Sure, you can get to hard-to-reach areas (1:0 for the electric toothbrush) but this makes me miss the elbow grease and the sense of truly clean teeth.
What am I holding exactly?
At first glance, it looks as if Foreo’s ISSA 2 hasn’t confirmed some of my points of criticism. That’s why I gave it a go in the first place. It impresses with subtle digital cleaning orders and a design that enables intuitive handling. In addition, the somewhat unusual shape is far from your standard round head. In fact, you can use the brush head like a regular toothbrush. The whole thing somewhat reminds me of Alien (but an in-house survey shows it’s just me). Is it just a coincidence that Foreo just came out with a facemask called UFO? I don’t think so. But I’ve digressed from the subject. Back to the waterproof tooth wand ISSA 2!
According to the manufacturer, the sonic toothbrush has «a combination brush head of PBT polymer and soft silicone» and runs for 365 days on a single charge when used twice a day for two minutes. Compared to other electric toothbrushes, this one distinguishes itself by the following two attributes:
The silicone is said to have an antibacterial effect, which, in turn, means you only have to replace the brush head every six months. At the same time, it automatically reduces pressure on the teeth and gums.
The brush head is so flexible that it reaches everywhere including cheeks, tongue and the roof of your mouth.
Another plus is that there’s no bulky charging station thanks to a handy USB charging cable. There’s an on/off button and a plus/minus button that lets you choose between 16 levels of intensity to suit your needs. Besides, it pauses in 30 second intervals to indicate that it’s time to go on to the next quadrant (quarter of your jaw). In other words, 30 seconds should be dedicated to each quarter. That’s a total of two minutes. You’ll know when the two minutes are up when you feel three fast pulsations and see a red light appear.
The nitty gritty
Before I can get down to business, the device needs to be charged. It took me several attempts to expose the tiny hole aka socket for the charging cable. If you have big hands, it could prove to be quite tricky to open the silicone cover. I plug it in, wait for an hour and the toothbrush is fully charged.
Charging made difficult: Exposing the tiny socket turns out to be
In the Foreo how-to video I watch before using the toothbrush for the first time, the brush isn’t wetted before use. I can’t bring myself to do that so I briefly hold the brush head with the blob of toothpaste on it under running water. As soon as I switch the toothbrush on, the water and toothpaste splashes and sprays everywhere. I therefore recommend tucking away the brush head in your mouth before you switch it on. Because of the handpiece’s special shape, it’s not that easy to feel for the on-button. Having said that, adjusting the level of strength is super easy and self-explanatory. But it’s also very loud and, once again, I feel as if my skull is about to explode. The flat head is great for reaching far back. On the downside, it’s hard for me to reach the inner surface of my teeth because my mouth is quite small. The design is just a little too wide for me. In addition, the thick silicone bristles don’t seem to be cleaning the spaces in between my teeth. A feeling I never get when using a manual brush. It’s driving me nuts!
You’ve got to admit, the brush head does look a little alien, right?
Not very impressive: the fine silicone bristles on the back for your palate, cheeks and tongue.
The back of the brush is designed for the roof of your mouth and tongue. It’s equipped with fine lamellas that prove to be absolutely useless in real life. I ended up trying the front side instead. Cleaning the roof of my mouth turned out to be tricky. Although the toothbrush is flexible, it’s bent contrary to the shape of the palate. I would have to apply quite a lot of pressure to push the brush flat against my palate. The opposite is the case when it comes to cleaning my tongue. The shape of the brush perfectly matches the curve of my tongue. A weak point I noticed after every use: The brush head slowly came off the handpiece after every use and moved up a little.
Time for the lowdown
After a week of vibrations in my mouth, I’m happy to have my manual toothbrush back. Two minutes of sonic cleaning left me with a clean feeling that was almost identical to the manual version. So as results seem to be very similar, I’m going to stick to the affordable classic. It comes with less noise, less concussion and, in my opinion, offers more flexibility than the silicone ISSA 2. The only thing I would use this electric toothbrush for is regular tongue care. However, I’ve had enough of electric toothbrushes for a while and this will be my last experiment. But who knows, somebody might develop a model that won’t make me take flight…
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