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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Product Review: The Oral 'Toothmaster Plus' Electric Toothbrush

The implement works very well. In use, teeth feel extremely clean, and while lacking a spectroscope to assess claims that my teeth were several shades whiter after a week, I certainly didnt have that gacky feeling that you might get if using a less technologically sophisticated device, such as a stick.

There are, however, a few issues. The first of these is battery changing. The machine is powered by two 'AA' batteries, renewal of which is achieved by removal of the base section of the sculpted plastic handle. Due to the fact that water is frequently involved in toothbrushing, this base section is a very tight fit. Once the new ones are installed, replacing the base requires firm pressure against a rubber sealing ring separating the removable base from the remainder of the sculpted handle. The first design flaw I discovered is that if you get frustrated trying to get the base to fit securely, smashing the base of the whole object against a doorframe, or using a hammer (even a lightweight tack hammer) to ensure the base docks permanently in the handle results in fissures (or cracks) in the base. These fissures allow water entrance into the battery compartment, causing shorting of the batteries. Once this problem has occurred, then even repeated wraps of electrical tape, Saran wrap and duct tape do not provide permanent solutions as watertightness can never be re-established. Additionally, as water attacks the glue of the tape you have applied, brushing rapidly becomes a messy business, and a pool of assorted goo agglomerates in the basin.

A second technical problem with this toothbrush is its utility as piece of bicycle cleaning equipment. In standard useage, a non-electrical toothbrush is a controllable, yet effective, (essential) part of your bike cleaning kit. The only trick is to have the correct cleaning solution at hand for the toothbrush head after use on the bike as any degreaser left on the head leaves an unpleasant aftertaste (when later combined with toothpaste). However, this electrical device has no frequency or amplitude control (of vibration). Thus, if you have applied cleaning fluid to your rims, even the gentlest application of the tool results in uncontrollable spatter across a considerable diameter. In tests, the newly painted wall I tried this against required repainting across a vertical diameter of about 1.5 metres and horizontally, the carpet has been ruined from between 1 to 1.34metres.

All in all though, an excellent product, and if these minor defects are adjusted in the new versions, I'm sure we will be giving it five stars. Rating: ***


William Large said...

Couldn't you get a rechargeable toothbrush that does not use AA batteries?

JoeyMac said...

perhaps a new 'eco' motorized toothbrush where the rotation is handled by a small hand crank? Hand crank spin is also adjustable to solve your bicycle cleaning dilemma. It may require 3 hands to use, but if we can solve that, we may have the next greatest invention.

MJN said...

Ah, the rechargeable toothbrush - a hazardous item, solely responsible for the Collapse of Easter Island, numerous electrocutions and divorces.

The biggest problem with these is that the handy base does not dock securely with the handle. Thus, when the charge runs out mid-brush (as it always does) theere is a problem. You know that they work continually while on charge, so the obvious solution is to hold the base to the handle while brushing your teeth, thus recharging as you brush. However there is a major problem with this - you cannot now pee and brush your teeth at the same time, unless you hold the seat up with your knees.
I devised a solution to this whereby I sawed the base off my electric toothbrush (The Smileatron Junior) and soldered the charging wires directly to the toothbrush. Later in hospital, I was advised, that the resulting electrocution and subsequent house fire meant that the warranty on said brush was void, so I could'nt even get my 32 pounds back. Result was divorce, homelessness, and dirty teeth.

As you know, the tendency for societies to come up with overcomplicated solutions to their problems has been cited (in wikipedia) as a probable cause of the collapse of many civilisations. I dont see it as far fetched to believe that the whole Easter Island collapse was due to this very problem, or even the related one of automated window blinds.

As for Joe's idea, sounds like a good idea. But I have a suggestion to improve your eco-tooth brush, namely that we should attach a smallish two stroke diesel engine to it. That would remove the problem of the three hands. If we paint the engine green, and call it the 'EnviroDrive' no one will know it's petrol.

JoeyMac said...

yikes. I almost choked on the sentence that started with "my solution was to saw the base off my...."