We all know that good oral hygiene is important, but as a parent it can be
one of the most tedious things that we have to teach to our children. When we
aren’t asking them when the last time they brushed their teeth was (usually
because their breath is so bad it could stop a train), we are asking how they
managed to miss the great big unidentifiable food blob in the corner of their
mouth (which I guess they were “saving for later”). Needless to say, most of us
can remember excruciating pain in the hands of our family dentist when we got
our own cavities filled as children. Most of us would like to spare our kids
that unnecessary pain. I say “unnecessary”, because we all know that if
we had practiced proper hygiene as kids, we could have avoided the torture of
Novocain shots, drilling and filling. <shudder>
So what is a parent to do? The obvious challenge is to find a way to get our
kids to remember to brush without our constant prompting but even more
importantly, to do it properly.
Oralgiene USA, Inc., a California based company, has come up with an electric
toothbrush that is made and marketed specifically for kids. It’s not just an
adult sized brush that children can use, but rather it is one that is made with
a child’s smaller and more tender mouth in mind.
|The 60 Second Time Machine looks a little bit different than
anything I am used to: instead of having a single oval head, there are two
round bristled heads that rotate against the front and rear surfaces of
the child’s tooth. There are short blue bristles inside the rotating disks
to rest the teeth on while the rotating brushes do their thing.Included in the package, you get the Time Machine, two heads (which are
supposed to last three months each), a removable rechargeable battery pack
(a version that uses 2 AA batteries is available as well),
a wall charger, a colored plastic stand, and a clear colored plastic tongue
The colored plastic stand can hold the Time Machine and two heads. You’ll
|As a parent, I have to say that I appreciate them making the
brush so that the battery pack can be ejected and inserted into the wall
charger by the parent. Since this toothbrush is targeted at three year olds
and up, this was a prudent move on Oralgiene’s part. Of course as the
children get older, they can be responsible for ejecting the rechargeable
battery and inserting it in the wall charger, themselves.Instead of the two minutes that it is supposed to usually take to properly
brush your teeth, the Time Machine can do it in one. How is this possible?
Because the rotating brushes are working on two surfaces at once. To hold your
kid’s interest in brushing for the full necessary 60 seconds, the Time Machine
is made of clear plastic with brightly colored gears inside that your child can
watch turning as lights flash up and down the inner workings of the brush. For
the more adventurous, brushing teeth in the dark will reveal a small light show.
You don’t need to worry about your child holding the brush at the proper
Okay, so enough about the facts, let’s talk
Even though this toothbrush is made and marketed
for children, I (of course) had to try it out for myself…and I loved it!
Brushing was easy – I put my teeth in between
the two large round heads, and hit the Count Down button. For 60 seconds the
brushes whirred against my teeth and the lights flashed. I have to admit that 60
seconds seems like a l-o-n-g time when you have an object between your teeth,
but it was bearable and the result was fabulous!
You know that spot behind your bottom front row
of teeth that always feels so squeaky clean after a visit to the dentist? Well
the Time Machine made my teeth feel like that after just one brushing!
Good thing that it comes with two heads, because
I was planning on giving this to my twelve year old daughter who wears
braces. Instead, I think we will share it. I’ll let her keep the little red
plastic tongue scraper that cam with it, though…
There are several
combos available for different prices.
Kid friendly colors and design to encourage proper use
Blinking lights and a 60 second timing feature make brushing more like a game
Quality construction and materials
Leaves teeth extremely clean with a minimum of effort
Safe for children with braces
Okay. This is one of those products that everyone could probably benefit
from, but you wouldn’t necessarily want everyone to know that you use. Why?
Because it is weird and freaky. I hadn’t even heard of such a
gadget until I received the ETC, and I spent at least a week dubiously looking
at it before I would even try it.
|The ETC looks like a disposable razor, but with a fatter
handle. You insert one AAA battery (not included) into the handle, and then
you are ready to begin “squeegeeing” your tongue, the inside of your cheeks,
and even the roof of your mouth.This is supposed to be the step after you
have completed a thorough brushing and flossing to achieve “optimal oral
The package includes the ETC, a base, and an extra scraper-head.
According to the ETC’s product literature, tongue cleaning will “prevent
gum disease, reduce breath odors by 85%, and prevent tooth decay.” They also
say that the bacteria at the back of the tongue are guilty of emitting hydrogen
sulfide – “the culprit of bad breath.” Since most people can’t brush the
back of their tongues without also wanting to gag, the ETC was designed to be
able to clean without causing this reaction. Brushing the tongue may not be a
good idea anyway, because according to the ETC’s literature this merely pushes
the bacteria back into the tongue instead of dislodging it. YUCK!
While you are scraping your tongue, you are supposed to push the button on
the ETC’s barrel which causes the ETC to vibrate. The vibrations occur at ±
8000rpm allowing the gadget to “gently lift off and detach the plaque and
bacteria that hide in the crevices of the tongue.” Wow. Suddenly kissing
doesn’t sound as fun, does it? ;0)
So I finally worked up my nerve to use it…and I decided that it actually is
a pretty cool idea and a worthy little device. I won’t use it on the roof of my
mouth or inside my cheeks (the idea just sort of creeps me out), but it really
seems to make my tongue “feel” cleaner. The vibrations don’t hurt or make me
want to gag, and I guess it’s true that the shape of the ETC won’t make you gag
either, because I never felt like I was going to – even when scraping wayyy back
in my mouth.
I am going to continue using the ETC. It really does make my mouth feel
cleaner, and if it really will help with all of the things the product
literature claims it will – then the little bit of extra time spent on my dental
routine should be worth it.
It does make your mouth feel cleaner
There is no gag reaction when using it at the base of the tongue
I’m all for anything that is supposed to get rid of bad breath, prevent gum
disease, and prevent tooth decay!
Kind of creepy, not necessarily something you would want everyone to know
that you do