It sounds like a great idea: why brush your teeth one at a time when you can potentially use a vibrating mouthpiece to brush them all at once. Supposedly, it’s not only faster, it’s better. In a traditional method, each tooth would only be brushed about 4 seconds each, divided between the three surfaces of each tooth. Using this method, each tooth will be brushed for the full 10 seconds, which could remove plaque better and potentially prevent cavities.
But how well does the promise hold up? The truth is: we don’t know. In theory they could work well, but there is evidence that the actual application is flawed.
Although this is an idea that’s been around for years, the first tangible presentation of it occurred last year when Amabrush launched its Kickstarter campaign. Although the campaign was highly successful, bringing in millions of dollars and the product was supposedly delivered in December 2017, we haven’t heard much from the first round of investors. The website is still taking preorders and not being clear about when those preorders will actually be filled.
However, in the gap between the promise and the delivery, many imitators have stepped up. Consequently, you can see quite a few of these for sale, with slightly different variations in the style of the electronics and mouthpiece.
How the quality of these imitators compares to the original, we can’t say, in part because few of the actual Amabrush have shipped.
It Could Work in Theory
The theory behind Amabrush is actually sound. They are right to point out that if you brush your teeth according to the guidelines, each tooth only gets a small amount of time. It does make sense that you could potentially increase your brush time on each tooth while decreasing your overall brushing time.
And the evidence bears out that vibrations could potentially be an effective way to clean your teeth. Multiple clinical studies suggest that any powered toothbrush is superior to manual brushing. And while sonic-type vibrating brushes don’t seem to be as good as oscillating brushes, the difference isn’t significant.
Perhaps the biggest theoretical flaw in this innovation is that you have to clench down on the mouthpiece to hold it in place. This reduces the freedom of movement on the biting surfaces, which would therefore limit its ability to clean these surfaces.
Implementation Seems Weak
As we mentioned, there are no actual reviews for Amabrush because it seems that few people (if any) have actually gotten the device. However, there is one video review that suggests the imitation devices doesn’t live up to their promise.
In this review, a man tries it and complains that the vibrations are weak and it doesn’t feel like the brushes cleaned his teeth at all.
One commenter says that the reviewer may have used a weaker mode on the brush. They claim that if you use the brush four times in a row you will get good results. If that’s actually true, then it would still be a good tradeoff. You wouldn’t save two minutes, but you’d still save one.
And the fact remains that there have been no published clinical trials on the device. On its website, Amabrash advertises a clinical trial, but it’s not available for download yet. Likely, the trial is delayed by a lack of functioning prototypes.
Take Care of Your Teeth Today
Overall, it seems that this is an idea with promise that just isn’t ready yet. Knockoff products are always dubious, and since those are the only ones available now, we recommend waiting at least until the original innovators achieve a working model. Even better would be to wait until they publish or make available the results of their study. That way, we’d have at least some basis on which to judge the device.
The good news is that there are still many ways that you can effectively clean your teeth to reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease. And don’t forget to supplement home hygiene with regular dental checkups.