Foreo Issa: A Silicone Electronic Toothbrush!

(L to R) Foreo Issa and Issa Mini

(L to R) Foreo Issa and Issa Mini

i’ve expressed my love for the Foreo Luna before, so i was more than willing to give their next gadget, an electronic toothbrush, a try.  i’ve owned Philip’s Sonicares and Zila’s Rotadents before, but i’ve never been 100% happy with them.  the Sonicare’s bristles were too harsh, which can cause your gum line to recede, and the vibrations too harsh.  my dentist recommended the Rotadent over the Sonicare.  i liked that the filaments of the Rotadent brush head were much gentler.  however, i didn’t like its poor battery life, and Zila’s customer service wasn’t great.  i’m happy to report that so far my experience with the Issa Mini has been great.  i’ll post a follow up a few months from now to report if my dentist notices a difference when he cleans my teeth.

Issa and Mini heads

the blue Issa you see on the left is a full size toothbrush intended for adults.  it has 8 different vibration settings controlled by the + button above the power button and the – button below.  the pink Issa Mini on the left is designed for kids.  it only comes with 1 vibration setting, but it has a smiley and frown face where the +/- signs are on the adult brush, which will flash to show the user or parent whether the user has brushed for the required 2 minutes.  i went with the Mini because i was worried the full size would be too bulky in my mouth.  the full size Issa brush head extends from my back teeth almost to my canines.  to my surprise, despite its giant size (relative to my mouth), it also did a very good job cleaning my back teeth.  however, the large handle wasn’t as comfortable in my small hand as the mini Issa.  because of the silicone, it will make a squeaky noise as you brush.  as with any new toothbrush, you have to play around with it a little to see how to angle it best for cleaning the hard to reach areas.  my Mini Issa pulses once every 15 seconds while the full size Issa pulses once every 30 seconds to remind you to switch quadrants.  personally, i like the 15 second pulses as i like to divide my teeth in 8 sections instead of 4 when i’m brushing.  it helps me pay special attention to the more difficult areas.  at the end of the 2 minutes, both Issa will pulse multiple times to let you know you’ve hit the required amount of time.  it does not, however, turn off.  again, this is to my preference as i usually brush my teeth a little longer than 2 minutes to make sure i’ve given my trouble areas enough attention as i’m prone to gingivitis.  the boyfriend reports that the full size Issa will turn off after an extra 30 seconds.  the silicone brush head feels soft against my gums and the vibration of the Mini is just right for me.  as i mentioned before, the full size Issa has adjustable vibrational settings.  at its gentlest setting, the Issa is more gentle than the Mini.  the Mini seems to be around the full size Issa’s 4th setting.

the usage of the Issa is foolproof.  there’s no need to worry about what angle you need to hold the brush head in relation to your teeth/gums.  it’s also impossible to exert too much pressure due to the flexible wand that the brush head is connected to.  there’s also a little bit of flexibility in the brush head itself allowing it to conform to the shape of your teeth better.  simply, do a mix of circular motions and back and forth buffing.

i appreciate its stream lined look, and the Mini’s handle fits comfortably in my hand.  one of my favorite things about Foreo products is the awesome battery life!  the Issa is supposed to be able to run for 300 uses before needing to be recharged and the Mini for 200 uses.  i’m not dedicated enough to sit there for hours turning it on and off to test this, but i can say it hasn’t needed charging in the 2.5 weeks that we’ve owned it.  Foreo says that the brush head only needs to be replaced once a year.  if you’re a traveler, i don’t need to tell you how great it is to be able to leave behind the charger.  i will also add how great it is that i no longer have to consider how to pack my toothbrush so the bristles don’t become kinked or have to worry about whether i’ve squeezed out enough moisture from the bristles to prevent mold.

i only have two minor gripes about our Issas.  one, it came with no instructions.  second, the customer service failed to contact me for color choice before they sent our Issas out.  despite those minor details, i’m very happy with my Mini Issa thus far, and the boyfriend really loves his too.  they’re available for purchase at until aug 5th.  after that, you can only purchase it via invitation.  the Issa is priced at $199 and the Mini Issa at $119.  the purchase will come with 5 additional invitations to buy and if all 5 invites are used, Foreo will reward you with a Luna Mini.

Readers, what do you think?  do you like the hygenic benefits of silicone or feel like it’s a gimmick? do you prefer a manual toothbrush or electronic?