The idea of being able to brush your teeth in seconds vs minutes has been an intriguing idea since we first saw a company at CES promising it not that long ago (2017). However, we never did get a chance to test one out to see how well it actually worked. Fast-forward to CES 2023, there is now another company promising the same called Y-Brush.
Y-Brush offers a similar design that features a tray-style brush that fits into your mouth as if you were sliding in an Invisalign tray. The tray is filled with bristles aimed at cleaning all of your teeth in one shot.
These bristles are aimed at your teeth from multiple angles, allowing them to focus on all sides of those pearly whites at once. With the idea that you can clean your teeth in as little as 10 seconds. It uses sonic vibrations to move the bristles around, allowing them to get the job done.
Now, the default recommended time to brush your teeth with a normal brush is just 2 minutes. This isn’t much to ask for but it does feel like forever when you’re in the act. At least for most people as it does feel like a chore more than anything else (at times). So as funny as it seems, this could really make for an interesting alternative.
The entire brush is comprised of just two parts. Like most electric toothbrushes, you have the base/body and the replaceable head. The head pops on and off of the body quite easily by simply pinching it from the sides and pulling it off, or simply sliding it on and popping it into place.
There are three model options to choose from, starting with one for kids (the right-most option in the above image) which is a child-friendly version of the NylonStart (middle option). Then there is the fancier option, called the NylonBlack (left-most option). The latter option is the one we have been testing out.
Well, more like “I have been testing out” since sharing a toothbrush head would be kind of awkward. However, many of my colleagues have been there to observe (awkwardly) or take note of the opinions that I bring to the table after each use.
There isn’t much to the toothbrush, other than the base, one tray, and a small little rubber nipple that slides over the head of a tube of toothpaste (to help spread the paste as it comes out). You also get some instructions that are quite informative. Although, if the instructions aren’t straightforward enough, the company does have a tutorial video you can check out as well.
The NylonBlack also comes in a “premium edition” kit that comes with a stand to place the head on to dry, as well as a travel bag. However, ours was just the NylonBlack by itself, thus it didn’t come with these items. Since those extras aren’t exactly detrimental to the performance of the unit, this didn’t matter as they are self-explanatory in nature.
The overall look of the unit is basic. Nothing fancy to see here outside of the attention-getting tray (be prepared for your friends to ask questions if they use your bathroom). There is a single button on the front of the unit as well as a USB port on the side that is protected by a water-tight cover/plug.
A single charge is supposed to get you up to 3 months’ worth of use. This is likely based on the normal practice of brushing your teeth twice a day. And also likely based on getting used to using it for just 10 seconds a day.
You don’t get there immediately though. The instructions walk you through taking a few baby steps to get used to using the brush. It may take days or a few weeks, but you should be rocking a 10-second brush in no time. Again, there is a tutorial video above if the instructions aren’t 100% obvious.
The kids’ version and the normal NylonStart model have a single mode. You turn it on and start brushing. It will then provide a vibrating feedback alert every 10 seconds letting you know how long you have been using it.
However, the NylonBlack has four different modes to choose from, including soft strength (15 seconds), normal (10 seconds), intensive (5 seconds), and unlimited. The latter option is more like the standard NylonStart (one would assume, at least).
You first press the button to turn it on and then press it a single time to change each mode to where you want it. The button will light up in three directions or all at once. The three directions represent the different timed options while the fully lit button represents unlimited.
Once you have selected the timed mode that you want, you press it down for a few seconds to start the sonic cleaning (after you have placed it in your mouth, at least).
While it is operating, the idea is to lightly bite down in repetition while sliding it left and right in your mouth. The light biting allows the bristles to make an impact through pressure and the sliding allows those bristles to get to all the teeth in a single session (including these pesky back teeth)
Once you have finished, you flip it around to clean the other half of your teeth. It can only clean the top and bottom separately as it would be far too bulky of a tray if they tried to make it clean everything all at once. That and your mouth is likely a bit unique in overall shape compared to others.
You eventually work your way to the 5-second mode for both top and bottom once you are used to using it properly. When you get there, you can finally bask in the glory of a much quicker brushing experience every day.
The trays are replaceable as they only last so long (of course). This life span is said to be around six months and then you need to swap it out. The trays are a little expensive as they do run $35, so that is something to consider.
The nipple it comes with does work really well at spreading the toothpaste around the tray. Normally, a regular toothbrush only needs a small bead not much larger than the size of a pea. However, since the whole tray is working at once, you have to spread toothpaste evenly across it. You can do this without the nipple accessory but you’ll likely use up even more toothpaste doing so.
It is reusable and made out of silicone so it isn’t that hard to clean. The unit tray isn’t hard to clean either. Like most plastic/resin braces, the company does recommend that you to soak them briefly in diluted mouthwash from time to time to keep the tray clean.
The idea of being able to brush your teeth in as little as 10 seconds is pretty cool. I am sure there are many out there that would jump at the chance of using something like this. It just comes down to user preference more than anything.
Some may find that they prefer a normal toothbrush as it is familiar or a normal electric model for similar reasons. It isn’t as aggressive as Sonicare’s toothbrushes no matter what mode you use. So I find that this is something you have to get over. This might not take long for you or you might prefer the abuse of a Sonicare brush (I think I do a little).
As cool as it is, it is not a replacement for flossing. You still need to floss. However, nothing really is. No brush qualifies as a replacement and even water flossers (ie, waterpik) recommend the continuation of flossing within their instructions. So this doesn’t change anything and it doesn’t hurt the score as this would be expected.
The trays are a little expensive. A normal toothbrush can be found for relatively cheap and even replacement heads for normal electric brushes can be found online for a decent price. So this does make the trays feel like a bit much. At the same time, this company is based in France, so this may have a lot to do with price (global supply chain/transportation challenges).
You will find yourself using a bit more toothpaste than normal due to having to bead it all along the tray vs a small pea-sized portion on a normal brush. This isn’t a deal killer, but it does affect things a little and is something to consider.
As for how well it works. I have been using it for around two weeks now to really get a hang of it. It doesn’t really take long outside or knowing how much pressure to put into your bite. Too little and it isn’t really doing much in your mouth. Too much and there will be too much resistance countering the sonic vibrations.
Once you do get the hang of it, you’ll notice that it actually is cleaning. It really can replace your normal toothbrush. Although I do find options like the Sonicare brushes focus better on the gums than this does. It may be because we all have different size mouths and teeth. It may be because the side bristles point straight in and not enough angle to really get to those gums thoroughly.
So it really does clean, while needing a few tweaks maybe for perfection. I am sure the company will continue to develop and improve upon the design over time. For now, it is a neat idea and might just be one of the easiest ways to get your kids to brush their teeth.
$89.99 – $149.99
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
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