Ultreo: The Review.

Bed and Bath, Design, Fresh looks, Gadgets, Health, Reviews, Useful Things by Richard

Do you know how everytime you go to the dentist, you’re told that you should floss more, and that you should be using a Sonicare brush, not that $3 cheapo manual toothbrush you’ve been using? Now you can go one step further. The Ultreo is a new toothbrush that’s been getting some well-deserved press lately. It was developed by Dr. Pierre Mourad, a research associate professor in the University of Washington Department of Neurological Surgery, and Jack Gallagher, former president of Optiva Corporation (developers of Sonicare®). I’ve been using one for a couple of weeks (you’re supposed to notice whiter teeth in around 14 days) and these are my impressions:

It’s a really cool toothbrush. The geek in me giggles with excitement everytime I pick this thing up. Ultreo really paid attention to the details in both designing and packaging (it’s almost as good an experience as opening a product box with a fruit logo on it, if you know what I mean.) In the package, besides an illustrated, full-color manual, you’ll find an AC adapter/charging base, one ultrasound brushhead, an ultrasound waveguide protector, and a travel caddy for easy portability.

The Ultreo uses both sonic bristle action and an ultrasonic waveguide to create an intense scrubbing action by making very tiny bubbles move rapidly in your mouth. As they expand and contract, they are able to remove plaque bacteria. Brushing your teeth with this brush takes a little getting used to because there is a specific way to hold it in order to get the maximum effect. You’re also not really supposed to put much pressure on your teeth at all, which requires a little shift in thinking… the bubbles do all of the scrubbing. Once I got used to it, though (probably the second time I used it) it was just fine. You’re also supposed to tackle your mouth in 4 different zones: outside lower teeth, inside lower teeth, outside upper teeth, and inside upper teeth. The Ultreo gives you 30 seconds in each zone, beeps to let you know it’s time to move to the next one and turns off after the dental professional-recommended 2 minutes of brush-time. I usually end up brushing a little longer than those 2 minutes, but it’s not a big deal… I just turn the brush back on and keep on brushing. It lets you know when it’s time to change the brushhead, and that indicator can be programmed for up to 2 users per handle so you can actually share a brush handle with your significant other and just use separate brushheads.

So how effective is the Ultreo, really? It’s been clinically proven to remove up to 95% of plaque in the first minute of brushing, get your teeth whiter in 14 days, and reduce gingitivis in 30 days. Those sonically activated bubbles can get where bristles alone could never reach. Here’s a study comparing its effectiveness to a couple of other popular toothbrushes.

My mouth definitely feels cleaner every time I brush, and my teeth actually have gotten whiter in the relatively short time that I’ve been using this brush. I highly recommend it.

Here’s are a few pictures that I took to highlight some of the things I noticed.

A close up of the brush head, so you can see the sonic waveguide

A close-up of the brush head, so you can see the sonic bristles and the orange power tip

The charger base, which I expect works through induction because there aren’t any visible metal contacts on either it or the bottom of the toothbrush, which is below

The awesomely cool power button, which is sealed from moisture

So what might stop you from buying a toothbrush this awesome? The price tag, of course. The Ultreo runs $149, and that’s admittedly a little expensive, even for something on the high end of electric toothbrushes… but you get what you pay for, in this case. Hopefully it’ll even save you a few cavities/dentist visits along the way. Still not convinced? It takes around 14 days to see results, and there is a 30 day, no-questions-asked money-back guarantee, so you can totally get one, play with it for awhile and only keep it if it is working for you (and I’m sure it will be. :))


While FreshArrival does receive products from companies to review from time to time, they don’t pay us to review them. Our honest opinions are always presented. If a product sucks, we simply don’t write about it.

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