2016 Ask The Dentist Best Dental Buys Award
Best Manual Toothbrush: RADIUS Source Toothbrush
It was a close call between the Radius and the Oral-B 30 (my long time gold standard). However, the design of the Oral-B has since changed and there is a new champion.
This women-owned and family-run company makes an unconventionally shaped brush. The toothbrush head may seem way too wide, but this extra large size has a few benefits: it reduces the chances that you’re going to brush too hard by spreading out all that pressure over a larger surface area. It’s also great at reducing the biofilm and brushing at the free margin of the gums.
The toothbrush head deflects slightly backwards to help reduce brushing too hard as well.
It’s made of bioplastics and is BPA-free, recyclable, low carbon footprint, kid-friendly, and offers replaceable heads—why continue to throw a toothbrush handle into a landfill when all we really need to replace is the bristles?
The quality of Radius bristles is top notch, which is important, because low quality bristles can actually cut away tooth enamel, damaging it and making teeth sensitive to hot and cold.
Did you know that most toothbrushes are designed for right-handed people? This toothbrush is leftie-friendly, too! Even though I’m a righty, this is my go-to manual toothbrush.
Good Human Citizen: 5
How Products Were Evaluated
These are the criteria that were important to me as I tested and evaluated these products:
Of course, this is the most important concern for me. Since January of 2015, I and some of my patients who volunteered to help have spent at least a month or more taking each of hundreds of products for a spin to see what really works. Not only does a product have to work well to score well, but we took into consideration whether a product made a difficult task (like flossing, for example) easier or more fun.
If you haven’t heard of the EWG (Environmental Working Group), check them out! They’re a great database of information and safety assessments for over 69,000 products, from shampoo to toothpaste to the foods we eat. Every ingredient in the products we tested was evaluated using EWG safety data.
It’s a common misconception that our mouths need to be cleaned out with strong solutions to obliterate bacteria and have a tingly clean feeling afterwards—to the contrary, these harsh chemicals upset the healthy balance in the mouth that keeps the mouth (and body) healthy. Everything from exposure to plastics and harsh detergents such as SLS was taken into consideration. The best ingredients are safe, gentle, and effective—and that’s what you’ll find on this list.
How available is the product? Is it available on Amazon or the local drugstore, or do you have to hunt through a local natural foods shop to find it?
Good Human Citizen
Is the product good for the environment in terms of packaging? If it’s a toothpaste, are the ingredients safe to go down the sink and get dumped into the ocean? Is it tested on animals?
Is it over-priced or is it a bargain? Does their marketing accurately portray the product, or is it misleading? How’s the cost-to-performance ratio for a product you’re using daily?
The Rating System
I gave a rating to each product, even though each product in this list won in its category:
5=Excellent | 4=Very Good | 3=Good | 2=Fair | 1=Poor