Walter Shillington writes about products he knows firsthand. His articles focus on healthcare, electronics, watches, and household items.
I have a routine that I follow each morning. I feed the cat, clean out her litter box, grab a cup of coffee, and then head outside for a breath of fresh air.
Once my coffee cup is drained, I step inside and throw a few treats into the cat bowl. Velvet is always hungry. Then I head to the bathroom to complete my morning ablutions. This includes cleaning my teeth, a messy and time-consuming task that I truly detest.
The other day, I read an interesting article describing a new type of toothbrush that was about to hit the market. It appeared as if someone had stolen Dr. Who’s sonic screwdriver and secured a rubber mouthpiece onto the end. The user simply inserts the mouthpiece and turns the unit on. 20 seconds later, his teeth are squeaky clean.
I checked around. A couple of these devices were already available on Amazon, and several more were going through the final stages of crowdfunding.
The toothbrush manufactured by Babahu looked good. Their design was well thought out, and the company’s team included three Montreal based doctors specializing in the field of dentistry. Perhaps because I am a fellow countryman, I have great respect for the Canadian medical profession.
I ordered a pair of them—one for myself and one for my nephew.
- Brand: Babahu
- Model: BBH-X1
- Intended user: Children aged 6–12 (versions are available for all age groups)
- Modes: Cleaning and gum care
- Battery: 5V Lithium Ion rechargeable
- Charging time: One to two hours
- Vibration frequency: 21800 - 31800 per minute
- Brush head: U-shaped. Composed of edible silica gel
- Brush time: 20 seconds
- Features: Audio prompts utilizing child’s voice
Babahu is a start-up company located in Shenzhen, China. This firm has reached the final stage of crowdfunding and is collaborating with product manufacturer, FLEX Ltd. Their child’s version of this toothbrush is now available, and they are presently manufacturing the model intended for adults.
Flex Ltd (previously known as Flextronics) is an American multinational technological manufacturer. The company is based in Singapore, and San Jose, California hosts their administrative facilities. Flex has manufacturing operations in over 40 countries with approximately 200,000 employees.
My test unit was designed for children aged between six and twelve. The toothbrush’s body is colored brown and includes a cartoon bear’s face. A large button activates the device. It will announce, in a child’s voice, Babahu welcome and then commence operations. Other recorded announcements include Please bite gently and See you next time. A pink child’s body and a white one, designed for adults, are also available.
Babahu specifications note that the toothbrush’s body can handle a one-meter drop and is capable of withstanding submersion in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes. It is composed of plastic and contains a Maglev Sonic Motor which is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
To switch between clean and gum care modes, press the start button and hold until the appropriate LED lights. There is also an indicator that will turn red when battery power is low.
Recharging Base and Battery
The coolest recharging unit I’ve ever owned was the rapid charger I purchased for my Blackberry tablet. The connector is magnetic and if held it anywhere near the tablet’s input, would snap into place. The Blackberry, due to lack of modern software, is gathering dust, but I fondly remember its charging unit.
Babahu goes one step further, adopting a wireless induction type recharging system. You simply place the toothbrush’s body onto its stand, and within two hours, its battery is fully recharged. The charger is powered by a USB cable.
I activated the toothbrush’s cleaning mode 64 times in succession, simulating a month of usage if the owner brushed his teeth twice a day. At that point, the battery power reserve was low but not quite at the point required to activate the warning light.
The heart of a toothbrush of this type is its mouthpiece, which is referred to as a brush head. It must be sturdy, hygienic, and able to properly fit the intended user’s mouth. When activated, it is crucial that the vibrating bristles clean thoroughly without damage to teeth or gums.
The Babahu brush head is composed of an edible medical grade silica gel containing bacteriostat; a substance that prevents bacteria from multiplying. Bristles made from silicone liquid gel are molded into the mouthpiece’s unibody.
The key to prevention and control of gum disease is to brush around and under the gumline where bacteria and plaque tend to accumulate. In the Bass method of brushing, the toothbrush bristles reach under the gums and scrub away the plaque. This method instructs the user to tilt their brush to a 45-degree angle and move the bristles slightly beneath the gumline. Then, with firm but gentle pressure, sweep the brush back and forth. Babahu designed their brush head to conform to this method.
Babahu developed three differently sized mouthpieces. The one I received is intended for children between the age of six and twelve. To ensure teeth are properly cleaned without risk of damage, it is the brush head, rather than the body, that controls the vibration rate of these devices. In this case, the toothbrush will begin operation vibrating at 31800 beats per minute. Over the 20-second cleaning routine, its rate drops to 21800.
As with any toothbrush, wear and tear on the bristles will reduce their effectiveness. A single brush head will cost $15 and should be replaced every three to six months.
The Babahu X1’s normally operates in cleaning mode. If the start button is pushed and held momentarily, it will switch to gum care. Massaging your oral soft tissue increases blood flow to the area, helping that tissue to repair itself. As a result, your gums will become less susceptible to the effects of gingivitis and periodontitis.
It is important to note that, whether used for cleaning, gum care, or a combination of both, it is recommended that toothbrush usage be limited to twice per day.
- Squeeze toothpaste (preferably foam) onto both sides of u-shaped brush head.
- Ensure the start button is facing up. Push button.
- Gently bite the u-groove of the brush head. Cleaning operations will run for 20 seconds.
Foam toothpaste contains a chemical called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. The foaming action is useful for distributing the toothpaste’s cleansing ingredients throughout your mouth. I ran a quick check and found that some Colgate products fit this description and are reasonably priced.
I normally clean a toothbrush by running hot water over it. For those who are more cautious, a Babahu brush head can be easily removed from its body and boiled in hot water.
I asked my seven-year-old nephew to test this toothbrush. He’s good-humored and even though there are far more important things to do during the Christmas holidays, he agreed to help me out.
The mouthpiece fit properly although, since it is intended for children aged 6–12, it was larger than he expected. My nephew found the vibrations to be weird but not unpleasant and the verbal advice, offered in a Chinese accented childish voice, proved entertaining. He also appreciated being able to complete the job in only 20 seconds. Overall, my nephew enjoyed the experience and plans to continue using the toothbrush.
Because she could not monitor the device in operation, my nephew’s mother was unable to comment on how well the toothbrush scrubbed away the plaque beneath his gum line. She was, however, impressed by how effectively it cleaned the surface area of his teeth.
As you would expect with any newly developed device being brought to the market, fit, finish, and overall quality control are excellent. I also appreciated Babahu’s adherence to Bass standards in the design of the mouthpiece.
The brush heads determine the vibration rate of the toothbrush. This is important because, even if a child’s mouthpiece was inadvertently connected to a body intended for adult use, it would still vibrate at the frequency recommended for the child.
I feel the Babahu X1 is an excellent product. This toothbrush is highly recommended.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: Where can people order babahu X1?
Answer: The version intended for children aged 2 - 6 can be purchased at Amazon.com. Other models and accessories are available at Indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/babahu-x1-1st-a.../
© 2019 Walter Shillington