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What Is an Ionic Toothbrush?

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  • Written By: R. Stamm
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 22 July 2014
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An ionic toothbrush is a brush that removes plaque and bacteria from the surfaces of teeth and in places that a regular brush cannot reach by breaking the electrostatic bond of the surface of the tooth, reversing the polarity of the tooth and creating a negatively charged circuit to collect bacteria and plaque. Manufactures claim that teeth are cleaner, healthier and whiter with the use of an ionic toothbrush. These toothbrushes are compact, quiet and do not need constant recharging like electrical or battery-operated toothbrushes do, and there are no annoying vibrations. It can be used with or without toothpaste, depending on the brand. The cost of an ionic toothbrush can range from $20 US Dollars to $40 USD, depending on where it is purchased and from which manufacturer.

The brush works on basic scientific principles. Everything in the physical world is made up of atoms, which are attracted to each other depending on the charge of their particles. Positively charged particles are attracted to negative electrons and bond equally together. The surface of a tooth has a negative electrical charge, and bacteria and plaque have a positive charge. Opposite ions attract, so the bacteria and plaque adhere to the teeth.

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The ionic toothbrush reverses the negative electrical polarity of teeth by sending a constant flow of positive ions into the mouth. Positively charged particles cannot bond with positively charged particles, so this influx of positive ions helps the teeth repel the positive charge of bacteria and plaque. Without a negatively charged surface, however, bacteria and plaque have nowhere else to go except back to the tooth once the positive ions are removed.

This is where the second important feature of the brush comes in. By holding the ionic toothbrush and placing a finger on the metal pad that connects to a titanium rod, along with the addition of saliva and water, a negative electrical circuit is created. This electrical circuit causes the bristles of the brush to carry a negative electrical charge, which will attract the positive charge of bacteria and plaque. It also will help lift the positive charge of many surface stains on the tooth.

In addition to cleaning teeth and preventing cavities, the ionic toothbrush might be useful in preventing gum disease. It is reported that the ions are able to get to plaque buildup in hard-to-reach places. This buildup of plaque is primarily responsible for gum disease and can cause bad breath. Plaque buildup can lead to teeth that are rotten or discolored and full of cavities. The magnetic pull of the negatively charged bristles aids the brush in reaching into places that a regular toothbrush cannot.

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Discuss this Article

ddljohn
Post 3

Ionic toothbrushes clean well, but they're not suitable for everyone. I have sensitive teeth and I could not use the ionic toothbrush after several days. My teeth became even more sensitive and I couldn't drink anything hot or cold.

I'm not sure how, but the ionic toothbrush does sensitize teeth, at least in my opinion. I do not recommend it to people who already have sensitive teeth.

burcinc
Post 2

@SarahGen-- An ionic toothbrush may seem fancy or too good to be true but it works. I had my doubts about it too when I bought it. But after a few uses, I realized that this whole mechanism of positive and negative ions works. I highly recommend that you try this brush at least once before making up your mind about it.

The great part about the ionic toothbrush is that it doesn't only clean well, but it maintains clean teeth for far longer. I'm actually not as particular about cleaning my teeth as other people. I usually brush only once a day. But my teeth are doing great because the ionic toothbrush keeps them clean for a very long time.

I think that the toothbrush doesn't just attract the bacteria and plaque, it prevents them from coming back for a while as well. I don't think that I'm ever going to go back to a regular toothbrush.

SarahGen
Post 1

The idea sounds nice, but do we really need an ionic toothbrush to prevent cavities and keep teeth clean? It seems like an easy way to make money for the manufacturer.

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