A twenty-something's journey with braces

Monday, November 26, 2007

Where have you been all my life? The Oral-B Vitality

Not much going on in my life tooth-wise, other than me enjoying a guilt-free, crunchy, chewy Thanksgiving weekend. I figure by next Thanksgiving I'll be used to the braces enough to get away with most stuff, but I didn't want to be newly-braced and sore for this holiday season. Hence (among other reasons) the wait until January.

In general braces news, I'm giving more thought to asking for a bonded lower retainer at the end of it all, since I just found out my brother and his girlfriend, and presumably my other brother, all have them. Also a friend at church. Makes the most sense, as my bottom teeth are the big issue. But that decision is a long way off.

Today's post is mainly to rave about the new love in my (dental) life: the Oral-B Vitality electric toothbrush.

I vaguely remember a dentist at one point recommending I use an electric toothbrush. My teeth are hard to clean manually, after all. But at the time my mental concept was of the old-style one we had when I was a kid. Basically a toothbrush head that sort-of vibrated. I also thought they meant the uber-expensive models. So I stuck to my regular toothbrush.

Little did I know that I could get a very functional model for only $18, and what a difference it would make!

After recommendations on the ArchWired forum, I decided to go for it and add an electric brush to my dental gadget collection. I wanted to get started now, so that my teeth would be as clean as possible when the braces go on. I researched a few brands, settled on the Oral-B Triumph 9400, asked if the expensive models were worth it, and was advised to get the Vitality to try out. Then if I liked it enough to upgrade, I could keep the Vitality as my backup/travel.

What the heck? I thought. It was only $18. I went for the basic "Precision Clean" model (they also offer "Dual Action" and "Sonic"). And I mean basic. One speed, on or off, plain brush head, and a simple timer mechanism (see below).

This model (also the Dual Action) IS however compatible with all the specialty heads that come with the top-shelf models, so if I do get a fancier one I can in fact switch out the heads and use the Vitality as a backup. Or if not, I can still use the fancy heads on my cheapo model. *w*

It's rechargeable (I gather previous versions were battery-powered) and stores on its unobtrusive charging base so it's always at full power.

An automatic two-minute timer indicates optimum brushing time by "stuttering" (the first time you think the brush is dying). It is possible to keep brushing, and after another two minutes it will "stutter" again. I know this because I'm averaging about 3-4 minutes per brushing right now, due to taking special care to clean around all my crooked teeth. I hope I'm not doing damage by brushing longer, but really I'm only spending a few seconds on each tooth.

The results? Wow.

After the very first time I used it, my teeth felt cleaner than they had in ages. By the second use, I could not contemplate going back to a manual brush. There's just no comparison in the level of clean. It's like when I brush manually, my mouth might taste fresher, but my teeth don't feel any different. With the Vitality, I can tell they're clean. And already I'm noticing some of the stains (caused by my mouthwash? jury's still out...) between my more crooked teeth lightening. I made DH try the brush out, and now he's thinking about getting his own.

I think I'll ask Santa for a Triumph, but if I don't get one I think the Vitality is certainly a welcome step up from my old routine. $18 well spent!


Jenny said...

Hi Jenny,

I know exactly what you're going through, because I'm going through it myself as well. I'm getting braces in a week, and I'll probably have to have them for 21-24 months. Like you, I've known for a long time that I needed them, but have only just now decided to do it (I'm a few years older than you). Still, better late than never, and I'm really looking forward to finally having my teeth aligned the way they should be! I'll be having the Damon 3MX brackets as well. I'll check by from time to time to see how you're going with it :)

Jenny (yes, another one!)

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