My dentist is an odd man. He once told me that, whilst chocolate was bad for my teeth, whisky neutralised the sugar so I should wash every Mars bar down with a wee dram. And, when a healthcare professional recommends something, who am I to argue? Apart from that quirk, he seems to be ageing in reverse. I've been a patient of his since I was a child and then he looked like the average middle-aged dentist: 'tache, salt and pepper hair and the kind of pallor one associates with working opposite a graveyard in rainy 'ol Belfast. Now, though, he positively radiates health and looks younger than I do, a fact which outrages me every time I go for a check-up. I'm quietly convinced that he's either discovered St Tropez fake tan, or a mistress.
Anyway, the last time I went I plonked myself on the chair, merrily expecting to be told that I should really floss more often (all dentists are obliged to say that. It's dentist law), given a sticker and sent on my way. What actually happened was that I idly mentioned that I thought one of my side teeth on my lower jaw had become a bit sensitive. With that gung-ho spirit common to all dentists he stuck his scraper in, I squealed and shot a foot off the chair and he cheerfully announced that he'd found an enormous cavity. Which he then insisted on showing to me on the 3D x-ray machine thingy, all the while chucklingly telling me how he could have fixed it sooner if only I wasn't so remiss at making appointments. Dentists are sadists. I know this because he likes to do his scraping and drilling in time with whatever piece of classical music is currently playing on the radio. God help me the day it's Ride of the Valkyries. Anyway, after a lot more shoving sharp implements in my gums than seemed strictly necessary, I was the proud owner of a ginormous filling and a guilt complex about my lacklustre teeth brushing skills. Off to Tesco it was, then, to invest in a snazzy new toothbrush,
The most important bit - does it magically play a tune through your fillings that only you can hear?
No. Curses! To be honest, I'm not even sure if such a thing exists. If it did, I'd want it to play Since You've Been Gone by Rainbow, which is the greatest rock song ever.
Overwhelmingly toothbrushy. You'd think they'd have cunningly disguised it as, say, a hand grenade so that you could startle the bejesus out of your partner and/or kids. After all, calling it the 'Professional 500' does rather make it sound like something a hitman would use.
Well, it'll brush your teeth but it won't make the tea or owt, regardless of how much you implore it (and believe me, I've tried).
The main plus points are that it has 3D cleaning technology, which sounds suspiciously like something like Braun have just made up, but which actually means that it rotates, oscillates and pulsates around your toothypegs to leave them extra-specially shiny. It also has a handy inbuilt timer that buzzes to tell you when you should stop cleaning one quarter of your gob and move onto the next. After two minutes it does a longer buzz and then you're all done. And that's it, really. Newer versions have pressure sensors that tell you if you're brushing too hard, but I say you should live life on the edge and learn the valuable lesson that blood spouting profusely from your gums is nature's way of telling you that you're being over-zealous.
What does it come with?
A spare brush head and a charger. And a sniper rifle! I'm totally fibbing about the sniper rifle, though. It's worth noting that the charger is one of those two pin jobbies that are designed to fit in shaving power points. My stupid bathroom doesn't have one of those so I had to buy an adapter and plug it in on the landing, where I'm quietly convinced the cats are using it on their gnashers. You probably won't have that problem, though.
Will it given me blindingly white Simon Cowell-esque chompers?
No, and for that you should be truly grateful. His teeth are weird, and not least because his bottom lip disappears when he smiles. I can only assume that the whiteness creates some kind of force field that his pearly whites get sucked into.
What it will do is leave your teeth nicely clean and smooth. When I switched from my old, quite-rubbish-battery-powered-toothbrush I really noticed a massive difference. My teeth felt much more like they do after the dentist has properly cleaned them. I'm not convinced of Braun's claims that it cleans hard-to-reach areas: I find that I still need to use floss and interdental brushes for my teeth to feel like they've had the best clean possible.
This is a decent electric toothbrush that is now available at bargainous prices since Braun have rolled out quite a few updated versions. If you don't need a lot of added extras and fancy sensors, this should keep your teeth in good condition.