Brits don’t like talking about their teeth at the best of times, but walking into a swanky apartment first thing in the morning to discuss dental care with Harley Street dentists really gave me the wobblers. Philips, who were hosting the event, had tracked down what must be the world’s best-looking dentists – whose smiles would be more at home in California than Camberwell – and then laid on a beautiful breakfast buffet. Pastries, fruit, cake, tea and coffee – which, of course, no one dared touch in front of dentists. Sigh.
We were there to see the latest dental care tech from Philips, and the thing that caught our eye the most was the new Philips Sonicare TongueCare+. It’s a little blue brush that attaches to your electric toothbrush to clean your manky tongue.
If you’re thinking of that Mitchell and Webb sketch, you’re not alone:
“Is there any health benefit to brushing your tongue?”
“I have no idea”
Well, Philips do. They reckon “80% of bad breath comes from odour-producing bacteria that accumulate and hide deep within the porous surface of your tongue.”
Or, as Dr Zaki Kanaan, General/Cosmetic Dentist at K2 Dental put it at the event, “Your tongue is like a dirty carpet.” Grim.
The TongueCare+ comes with a bottle of BreathRx, a blue tongue cleaning spray that tastes exactly like being in the dentist’s chair. You spray it on the brush, turn your toothbrush on, and brush your tongue ’til you feel confident to speak to other humans again. After the carpet analogy, it might be a while.
Between the 240 microbristles (I haven’t counted) on the brush, the 31,000 vibrations per minute of the handle (ditto), and the 99% germ-killing power of the spray, your tongue should be cleaner than your high school crush’s white Adidas trainers. It’s a weird feeling: kind of tickly but enjoyable. Like petting a furry caterpillar.
Since I wasn’t having breath issues to begin with (that I’m aware of #paranoia), I can’t say whether it’ll definitely stop you killing plants whenever you speak, but your tongue definitely feels squeaky-clean afterwards. And apparently it’s 2.5 times better than brushing your tongue with your manual toothbrush, you sluggard.
If you’d like sparkly-clean breath and the tongue equivalent of a pristine white shagpile, the Philips Sonicare TongueCare+ fits on any Philips Sonicare toothbrush and costs £23.83 from Boots with a bottle of spray. Hope you’re not ticklish.
All images: Philips Sonicare