PomaBrush full review

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The PomaBrush, available now on Indiegogo and Kickstarter, is not like any other electric toothbrush I’ve ever used. Its surface is smooth, matt silicone. The first time I used it, I was unprepared for the sensation of silicone bristles. They're much softer and more flexible than the nylon bristles on an ordinary toothbrush head. Brushing your teeth with it is a very strange experience.

My first thought was that it couldn’t possibly be effective but once I had finished brushing, my teeth felt very clean. Over the course of the testing period, I found myself reaching for the PomaBrush instead of my usual electric toothbrush purely because I wanted to use it.

Features & Design

The PomaBrush is light without feeling flimsy. It comes with a USB charging case that’s an integral part of the product. It’s shiny in contrast to the matt brush but both are equally elegantly and simply designed. The case is solid, with a pleasing, rounded shape and a magnetic closing mechanism that shuts with a satisfying click. 

PomaBrush case

According to its makers, the PomaBrush only needs to be charged three times a year but three months of the four-month total charge is held in the case, so you’ll need to store your brush in it at some point.

I couldn't verify the battery life over the course of the testing period as it just lasts too long, but there are three green lights in the case to indicate battery life. I charged it when it first arrived and what I can say is that the charge in the case didn't deplete over the course of three weeks. 

I wanted to test the claim (as far as I could) that the silicone is naturally resistant to bacteria, so I brushed my teeth, put it back in the case, closed the lid and left it overnight.  

If you’ve ever travelled and put a damp brush back into a case and left it for a few hours, by the time you unpack it when you reach your destination, it has acquired a very specific musty odour.

This is not the case with the PomaBrush, which can be kept in the case and comes out smelling only very faintly of rubber and toothpaste.  

It's also waterproof, so you can take it into the shower if you want to brush your teeth there. (Do you?)

PomaBrush in case

Compared to other electric toothbrushes, the PomaBrush has very few features. This is by design, as the makers of the brush deliberately pared it down to only the essentials, in contrast to other manufacturers who pile on more features with each iteration.

But more features can be a good thing. One of the advantages of electric toothbrushes over manual ones is the feedback they can give you. They can show you where you’re going wrong with your brushing and help you to improve your technique. It’s not just more powerful plaque removal that helps to protect your teeth – it’s more effective brushing as well.

So, with its pared-back functionality, how does the PomaBrush measure up?

PomaBrush in case

First off, it doesn't come with an app, so it doesn't collect data on your brushing. A well-designed app can be a useful tool in letting someone know if they're consistently neglecting parts of their mouth or brushing too hard. But let's be honest – does anyone really use their app all the time? If you don't, it can just become another bit of digital clutter on your phone, taking up space and making you feel vaguely guilty when you don't use it.

If you're confident in your brushing technique, you can do without some of the feedback an app provides.  

What the PomaBrush does have is a timer that pauses after every thirty seconds of brushing so you know to move on to the next section of your mouth. After the two-minute recommended brushing time, it automatically switches off. This is one of the most important bits of brushing guidance you can get.

However, there's no pressure alert. Most electric toothbrushes now will light up or make a sound if you press too hard. The PomaBrush has no mechanism to do this. But the silicone bristles themselves may help you figure it out. They're so completely yielding that you'll need to adopt a new, lighter touch when you brush.

Besides, the fact that the bristles are silicone and not nylon means that they are gentler on your gums and teeth. You won't damage your gums the way you can with a nylon brush head if you press too hard, although you may compromise the effectiveness of brushing. Still, the head vibrates at 15,000 times per minute, making it one of the most powerful sonic brushes on the market.

Are silicone bristles better than nylon for brushing? There are some promising studies but it's too early to say. While dentists praise the material, there is some concern that the thicker bristles can't get between teeth as well as slim nylon bristles.

What can be said is that silicone bristles are definitely better for gum health, so if that's a problem area for you, a silicone brush could be the answer. 

My one concern is how long the brush head will last. The manufacturer says it should last much longer than an ordinary brush head – up to six months. There was no change after the testing period, although the bristles can move out of alignment. Run your finger over them, though, and they spring back into place. 

Price & Availability

At the moment, the PomaBrush is only available from Indiegogo and Kickstarter. If you buy now, it’ll cost you £63 ($79 for US buyers), instead of the RRP of £119 ($149). Replacement heads are available for £9 each. Ideally, you should swap out the brushing head every six months.

When compared to other electric toothbrushes, we think the PomaBrush represents an excellent deal at its current price and a competitive price at its RRP. It comes with a charging case and a USB-C cable and has a two-year product warranty.

Verdict

The PomaBrush is attractive and a pleasure to use. It leaves your teeth feeling clean and the silicone brush head is a good option for people who need gentler care for their gums.   

If you're looking for an electric toothbrush that's simpler and more straightforward than most on the market, this could be for you. It would especially suit people who travel often.

Want to check out other options? Have a look at our round-up of the best electric toothbrushes we've tested.

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