My bi-annual dental appointments always follow the same script. I ask, “Do you see anything messed up?” My hygienist responds, “No, Ms. Akim, but you are really hard on your gums."
Dentists and hygienists all seem to have a hazy cleaving of viewpoints when it comes to sonic brushing. I’ve been using an electric toothbrush since before I can remember—typically something expensive and recommended by my DDS during a visit. The ghost of my brushes past always came with a sort of kitchy opulence and grand display of power motors. Nothing ever stood out, and everything had wasteful and surplus plastic packaging.
While my teeth aren’t sensitive, my gums certainly are. Like most things in skincare and wellness, I believe that more is always merrier. So, when I would consistently up the ante on my toothbrush heads and increase their power settings, I thought I was doing great work. But just like chemical skin exfoliation, there is definitely such a thing as over-egging the pudding when it comes to oral care.
I didn’t realize what weak shape my gums were in until I got them out of it. When I finally found the Burst Sonic Toothbrush, it was like a desert vacation for my mouth, and it’s one that I’m never coming back from.
About My Mouth: Sensitive gums, tough teeth
My teeth are like sociopaths—they feel nothing. I don’t get hot or cold sensations; biting directly into a popsicle poses no threat to me. I’ve always been diligent about brushing, and despite bags (and bags) of Haribo, I don’t get cavities. Also unlike most people, I use my teeth as tools to open things like lipstick caps and beer bottles (sorry, mom). I do, however, have sensitive gums. Up until my new holy grail discovery, I used the toothbrush equivalent of a concrete jackhammer every morning and evening. My gums don’t bleed, but they have a tendency to feel achey after a long hammering or double-brushing.
The Feel: Like a professional cleaning every time
The bristles on the Burst toothbrush remind me of an alpaca—the soft texture is unparalleled. Its cleaning power is really real. It actually makes your teeth squeak when it’s done. The bristles are infused with charcoal (hence the black color), which is proven to whiten teeth while preventing your mouth and tongue from turning black, like brushing with loose activated charcoal powder does.
The sonic vibration is relaxing in contrast to the sensation of early-morning construction emitted from competitive brands. I actually feel like I’ve had a visit to the dentist’s office every time I use this. Fortunately for me, I don’t have to deal with the anxiety of drill noises or the blinding light of a dental chair to achieve the same result.
The Results: My gums have never felt better and my teeth have never been whiter
Before my Burst toothbrush, I thought aching gums were just a part of the set dressing that comes with brushing teeth. Little did I know, I was withering my gums away with tight brushes and intense power settings. Now that I have a Burst brush, my teeth are cleaner, whiter, and most importantly, my gums can chill. I can also reach all of my wisdom teeth comfortably, and without the choking feeling that often comes with brushing an extra set of back molars.
The Value: Affordable luxury, and totally worth it
Because of the direct-to-consumer model, this toothbrush is transparently the most affordable on the market in the luxury performance division—especially if you purchase one through a qualified dental professional. I’m also really keen on the sustainability of the packaging. There are no added frills, oversized boxes, or negligent environmental impact—just a toothbrush, brush head, and charger, all in recyclable cardboard box. And if you opt in for the brush head subscription, you’ll get a new one every ninety days for just $6.
Phillips Sonicare DiamondClean: This is the equivalent of freeway construction in your mouth. If you like a really strong motor with small, tight, tough bristles, then this is the brush for you. At double the pricepoint of Burst’s Sonic Toothbrush ($239.99 vs. $69.99), Phillips’ Sonicare comes with a lot of unsustainable packaging and quite a bulky charging component (it’s a giant whiskey glass for your counter).
Foreo Issa Play: My teeth have never felt dirtier than when I used this brush. Although it’s aesthetically very pleasing—like a sea creature from Finding Nemo—it didn’t work for me. I used the brush attachment with strictly silicone, but they make a hybrid version with traditional bristles as well. Maybe the hybrid brush head provides a cleaner feeling, but this $49 brush is not for me.
Our Verdict: The Holy Grail of electric toothbrushes
I can’t say that I’ve ever been enthusiastic about a toothbrush before—at least not until now. In the past few weeks I’ve recommended this brush to more people than I’d see at a Sunday flea market. Even when you’re lazy, this will make you feel excited to brush.