Skip to main content

The PomaBrush exposes a problem I have with silicone toothbrush heads

I have a bone to pick with these new electric and smart toothbrushes that have come out in the last year that use silicone brushes. There’s a reason I haven’t used a manual toothbrush in ages. That’s because the sonic technology employed by most of today’s electric toothbrushes has immense cleaning power to remove dirt and debris from teeth, all without requiring the user to exert much effort in the brushing process.

But now, there’s this fad of silicone-based brushes being used instead of the traditional nylon-bristled variety we’re all acquainted with. For the last couple of months, I’ve been using the PomaBrush by Brompton, which is notable for the fact that it can deliver upwards of four months of battery-powered performance on a single charge. That’s one serious claim, but it’s tough for me to accept because of the silicone brush it uses.

Giving it a shot not once, but three times

One of my favorite toothbrushes to use continues to be the Oral-B iO Series 9 Smart Toothbrush. Despite its staggering $300 cost, it’s the best clean I’ve experienced to date — while also packing some smart features that guide me toward better brushing. Every time I finish brushing with it, I can tell it’s a deep clean because of the smooth feel of my teeth.

PomaBrush silicone toothbrush on table with brush heads.
John Velasco / Digital Trends

The PomaBrush comes with a silicone brush head that reportedly dishes out 15,000 vibrations per minute. I didn’t know what to expect using one for the first time, but I came away unimpressed after the two-minute cleaning interval was up. Sure, it performed much like any other electric toothbrush I’ve used. However, I just didn’t feel it performed to the same degree I’ve come to expect with nylon brushes.

Even though my first time was disappointing, I gave it a second shot — then a third to really affirm my sentiments. It felt like I was just brushing rubber against my teeth, but that’s the reality. The experience reminded me of the time a year ago when I tried using a silicone-based brush head to clean the toilet. If you haven’t tried one, call yourself lucky because you’d be wasting money. Sure, the silicone was gentle against the porcelain surface, but it did absolutely nothing to remove stuck-on stains and other debris.

Doesn’t hold up long term

Luckily, PomaBrush does offer a combination brush head that features charcoal-infused nylon bristles surrounded by silicone bristles. I opted to use this particular one over the all-silicone brush head because it does a better job at cleaning — something that can be attributed to the nylon bristles. Well, it’s been a solid two months, and the surprising thing that came up during that time was the long-term durability of silicone bristles.

Missing bristles on the PomaBrush silicone toothbrush.
John Velasco / Digital Trends

Thank goodness I decided to give up on the all-silicone brush head, because a few of the silicone bristles on the combination brush did fall off unexpectedly. I didn’t notice it until I was done brushing and rinsed it under water. Looking back on it now, I can only imagine how the all-silicone one would look after two months of use. It wouldn’t look pretty, that’s for sure. Based on my experience, the silicone material just can’t hold up nearly as well as nylon. I’d rather see nylon bristles slowly lose their rigidity than have silicone bristles come off completely.

This fad has to end

The PomaBrush isn’t the only new electric or smart toothbrush that has popularized the use of silicone brushes. In fact, the Quip smart toothbrush made waves very recently for its minimalist design and silicone brush head — as has the 360 Sonic Brush Pro, which claims to clean teeth in 45 seconds. If you’re like me and adamant about having an exceptional clean each and every time, then stay clear from this silicone fad because you’ll be brushing endlessly without results.

Brush heads of the PomaBrush silicone toothbrush side by side.
John Velasco / Digital Trends

I understand why silicone brush heads exist, I really do. They’re far gentler than traditional nylon brush heads (evident with my toilet brush experience too), which is good if you happen to have sensitive gums. For some, using an electric toothbrush is still intense enough to cause bleeding gums, so these silicone brush heads make for the proper alternative.

Editors' Recommendations

John Velasco
John is the Smart Home editor at Digital Trends covering all of the latest tech in this emerging market. From uncovering some…
Working out at home? These are the best total gyms for home use
home gym total system multifunction

Home gym systems are a one-stop shop for adding fitness equipment to your home gym. If you've been working out at home, you know how important it is to mix up the routine once in a while. Although a home gym is a significant investment, it actually saves you money in the long run over paying for a monthly gym membership. Having a total gym in your home can also save you time because you don’t have to physically go anywhere to work out. Multigym equipment systems also let you do a wide variety of workouts in one sitting or allow you to do legs one day and arms the next. There are many to choose from, and the price range is vast, so we have done the homework for you and selected a few of the best for you to review before making a purchase.
Most Compact: Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

The Bowflex Blaze features over 60 different exercises and 210 pounds of power-rod resistance. The sliding seat rail allows you to perform aerobic rowing and leg presses. You can customize your workouts by building on the wide range of cable and pulley positions. This machine includes a lat bar and a squat bar and triple-function hand grip or ankle cuffs. This is a well-rounded machine and will do the job for many households, especially since you can buy additional weight to upgrade this machine to 310 pounds or 410 pounds of resistance. The Bowflex Blaze has a bench that folds up and wheels for easy storage.

Read more
How to take an ECG with your Apple Watch and see irregular heart notifications
ecg app apple watch

The ECG app is one of the most vital features of the Apple Watch, allowing you to see an electrocardiogram of your heart whenever you want. Along with this, the Apple Watch can notify you of irregular heart rhythms.

Read more
The best Black Friday air fryer deals for 2022
Best Black Friday Air Fryer Deals

Though Black Friday's over for another year, you'll still find plenty of Black Friday deals out there. If you're in the market for an air fryer, we don't blame you. It's the kitchen gadget that no one can stop talking about. After all, what other device can whip up a perfect crunchy batch of fries or delicious fried chicken while using minimal energy and providing healthier results? Big retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, and Amazon have plenty of Black Friday air fryer deals on right now, so how do you know where to start? Below, we've picked some of the best available deals from brands like Bell, Insignia, Ninja, and many more, so keep reading to find your new air fryer for less.
Best Black Friday air fryer deals under $100
Bella Pro Series 2-quart Analog Air Fryer -- $20, was $45

If you're still tentative about air fryers, it's hard to go wrong buying the Bella Pro Series 2-quart Analog Air Fryer. This simple-to-use air fryer doesn't boast a stainless steel case or perform multiple functions, but it does the main job creating crispy, healthy, good-tasting snacks and appetizers. No preheating time means you're ready to cook faster than a conventional oven, and dishwasher-safe components makes cleanup quick and easy. The small Bella Pro Series air fryer is one of the best air fryer deals, priced to attract new cooks to the category.

Read more