Sloughing is definitely not the way to go when it comes to your mouth. The Emmi-dent Ultrasonic Toothbrush ($189) produces up to 84 million gentle oscillations per minute, eliminating the need for scrubbing. Other than a light vibration, you barely feel it, making it perfect for sensitive teeth or gums. (It’s hard to resist the urge to brush manually at first, though you quickly get used to being a sonic slacker.)
The manufacturer claims that sonic waves “kill and implode bacteria” and that a special toothpaste used with the brush creates deep-cleansing “nano bubbles.” (“Nano,” it seems, is the beauty world’s new black.) Rinsing removes the debris; all that’s left is an almost slippery-clean sensation. Dentist Jack Ringer, president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, is a fan of the technology. “Studies have shown that sonic brushes can be more effective at removing plaque buildup with little risk of overbrushing,” he says. Still, “nothing is as effective in cleaning between the teeth as mechanical flossing.” That may be about to change, however. The just launched Flossolution 500 ($99.99) is the only sonic-powered machine that’s designed strictly for flossing. Set on one of three power levels, the vibrating floss makes a loud whirring sound as you move it between your teeth. (The wand has a padded Bite Bumper as well as a patented Flossguard so that the floss can’t get too close and injure your gums, what dentists refer to as “flossing trauma.”) Depending on your point of view, the buzzing will either be satisfying (it’s working) or remind you of a dentist’s drill (get me out of here!).