“White Power” Toothbrush: Deal of the Day or Deal with the Devil?


Thanks, Amazon. Now I’m embarrassed by how much I like this toothbrush — almost.

We got the special Costco double pack of these, which came with lots of bells and whistles, a couple of months ago, after hemming and hawing since last fall.

I asked my dentist last November if they were just high-priced snake oil gizmos , and she casually said, “Oh, no. I can tell at first glance which patients use those and which don’t. They’re great.” And then she handed me a $15-off coupon for the Sonicare of my choice, which kind of muddied my enthusiasm but not my curiosity.

I never said I wasn’t venal.

I’ve never tried professional whitening because I’m sort of tooth-phobic and didn’t want to borrow trouble (also, $$ and I won’t give up coffee).

But over the years, I’ve tried a bunch of OTC half-assed measures to remove some of the gold from my smile. And nothing has worked worth a damn. I have, genetically, not-very-smooth teeth (vertically ridgey, kind of?) and also not-very-white ones. Plus, coffee, etc.

I’ve been using my Healthy White power toothbrush daily ever since. And this toothbrush is the first thing I’ve ever tried that cleans my teeth, titillates my gums, AND whitens my freaking teeth.

Verdict: I’m happy to laugh at Amazon’s gaff because, in the process, you’ll be dazzled by my whiter teeth.


PS. It’s related, but wait for it.

My dad worked for the phone company for a long time, and when I was growing up, he used to bring home telephone numbers that could not be found in the local phone book. Magical numbers that played recordings, like the library’s dial-a-story, but better, or music, or recordings of people speaking other languages, or probably maybe just reading out strings of numbers.

One day, he came home from work with a number that he was still chuckling about. “Here, call this. Yes, dial a 1 first.”

It rang a few times, and then a grizzly redneck recording answered,


and went on to detail a number of theories of the anatomic, geographic, and socioeconomic intricacies of people of different races.

A trendsetter in those pre-Yelp days, Mr. Watt Pee-pul rated the different races and shared his personal preferences. Well, preference — he came down pretty strongly on the side of Watt.

I think he ended by giving the address you could write for more information, as if he had managed to be too equivocating in his discourse. Or as if he could read what you wrote.

I wish it were always so amusing.

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