Back in 2019 I reviewed the ION-SEI electric toothbrush (which I still love and use to this day). However I was recently given the opportunity to try two new toothbrushes (one electric, one manual) which utilise similarly unique, exciting technology that you don’t often see in the Western oral care industry.
Soladey is a range of ionic toothbrushes made by Shiken, a Japanese company who have been a professional dental care manufacturer since 1975.
Let’s start off with looking at the manual toothbrush – Soladey 5.
WHAT IS THE SPECIAL TECHNOLOGY?
When exposed to any light source (whether natural sunlight or a fluorescent bathroom light), the photo-sensitive titanium rod converts the light into negatively charged ions (electrons). Additionally, there is a solar panel (yes, you read that right!), located at the bottom of the toothbrush that also generates streams of ions that travel through the bristles of the brush head into the mouth. It then blends with your saliva to attract positive (hydrogen) ions from the acid in the dental plaque on your teeth, which results in the disintegration of the plaque.
Another benefit of having these ions is that they are able to form a protective, negatively charged layer over your teeth which makes it more difficult for plaque to adhere to and therefore your teeth stay much cleaner in between brushes and over time until your next dental visit! The ionic action will neutralise acids in the mouth, thereby reducing dental erosion and providing fresher breath.
This toothbrush combines the power of electrons generated by a semiconductor (titanium dioxide rod) and solar panels. The semiconductor is made using Soladey’s patented technology.
The brush head has three vertical rows of compact honeycomb point bristles with a pointed brush tip to allow for a deep clean between teeth and around your molars. The brush head can be detached and replaced easily and the upside is that they are compatible with all Soladey’s current range of toothbrushes.
HOW TO USE?
Attach the brush head and wet the exposed semiconductor (black rod) with water. This can be used with or without toothpaste. Ensure you are brushing in a well lit space (otherwise you will not get the benefit of the solar panels generating the ions); the light can be either natural or artificial. Brush as normal for 2 minutes.
Once finished, rinse and shake off excess moisture. If the black rod has a build up of toothpaste then you can remove the bristle-head and just clean it with water. When not in use, this doesn’t need to be stored in light as the charging effect is only necessary during use.
So my experience of this is slightly biased as I definitely prefer using an electric toothbrush over manual. However, I will say that given the technology, it is a far superior manual brush compared to others so if I had to use one then it would be this.
I do sometimes use a manual when I have weekends away or short trips and don’t want to worry about my electric one losing charge or having to bring all the extra charging cables etc. I would have used the Soladey 5 in these situations if it wasn’t for the Rhythm5 (which I will get on to in my review below).
What I do love most about using this however is the brush size. I like that it’s small enough that I can really get into all the hard to reach areas and my back molars for an extra clean brush. My husband used this for a couple months so I could get a different perspective of it from someone who enjoys using manual toothbrushes. He liked the ease of using this and also commented on enjoying the smaller brush head more (especially in comparison to the larger rectangle brush head of the Ion-Sei and other standard manual brushes.)
However there is one major gripe that I do have with this toothbrush and that is with the location of the solar panel at the bottom. I looked at how my husband was brushing and noted he held it in a way that completely covered up the solar panel without realising it because that is just the natural position of his hand when brushing. I also experienced the same problem. The length of the brush is not long enough and therefore if you hold it higher, it just feels unnatural and uncomfortable. This is a shame as you are partially losing out on the benefits of the ionic technology being generated by the solar panels. This is also a big reason why I just prefer the Rhythm2 as it does not have the same issue.
In conclusion, while still better than any other manual toothbrush and handy to have in certain situations where you might need one, it’s not a toothbrush that would have me choosing it on a regular basis over an electric toothbrush. I do think this would be great to have for anyone who does prefer manual as it has better longevity as opposed to other ones; you only need to replace the brush head rather than throwing the whole thing away and therefore reduces wastage.
This comes in black, white and pink. You can purchase the Soladey 5 for £33 on Amazon: https://amzn.eu/d/h4rYlhC
WHAT IS THE SPECIAL TECHNOLOGY?
The Rhythm2 harnesses the same ionic technology of the Soladey 5 (a titanium rod and solar panels to generate ions), but with the added feature of sonic waves to help fight stubborn plaque and cavity-causing bacteria.
A third additional solar panel is included to give an extra boost, thereby emitting a larger quantity of ions.
The bottom of the toothbrush also has a Hotaru (firefly) lamp – the blinking LED light glows like a firefly to indicate ions being generated as you brush.
- Power supply – one AAA alkaline battery
- Battery longevity – approx. 120 uses (240 mins) for 2 minutes per use
- 2 modes of sonic vibration – Standard mode – 18,000 vibrations/min. High mode – 22,000 vibrations/min.
- Weight – approx. 50g without battery
- Size – 221mm length & 22.6mm maximum diameter
- Stand included – transparent plastic stand to hold toothbrush upright
The combination of solar panel, titanium rod and sonic waves effectively removes plaque by emitting two types of electrons. These coat the teeth entirely and ensure your teeth remain clean even 12 hours after brushing!
This runs on battery which you insert by twisting and removing the bottom of the toothbrush. There are no charging cables required.
It has two types of sonic vibrations – standard and high depending on how you like your brushing strength and the sensitivity of your teeth and gums.
The honeycomb shaped bristles contain binchotan charcoal and silver which both have antibacterial properties and work to keep the brush clean even when not in use. Again, these heads are replaceable and interchangeable with any other Soladey toothbrushes.
HOW TO USE?
Attach the brush head, wet the semiconductor rod with water and use either with or without toothpaste for 2 minutes. Pressing the power button once turns it on in standard mode. If you press it twice it becomes high mode and a third press turns it off.
Once finished, rinse and shake off excess moisture. If the black rod has a build up of toothpaste then you can remove the bristle-head and just clean it with water. When not in use, this doesn’t need to be stored in light as the charging effect is only necessary during use. Place into the brush holder stand included when not in use.
Let’s start off with saying I love this toothbrush! To be honest I was hesitant before trying when I read that it was battery powered rather than a rechargeable electric toothbrush as I wasn’t keen on having to constantly replace the battery. However I think it has decent longevity with 120 uses if you brush for two minutes, which equates to about 4 months usage. I haven’t used it for that long, so still to be seen how many uses I will actually get. The upside is that when the battery needs replacing, it is also a reminder to me that I should be replacing the brush head too! I have to admit I don’t replace as often as I really should be doing ha.
I have used the Ion-Sei for 5 years at this point so it was a really nice change to try something a little different and the one thing i found I missed was having a much smaller brush head that could get into the little nooks and crannies of my teeth and hard to reach places at the back of my mouth. As it is smaller, I also found myself being more intentional with my brushing and paying more attention to ensuring I had covered every area of my mouth. My teeth feel super clean and smooth after using this and I am very happy with the results. No issues on the cleaning side of things.
There are only a couple downsides for me in comparison to the Ion-Sei that include having no self timer and auto shut off after 2 minutes, and only having two modes instead of three. The two modes are both fairly gentle in my opinion so if you like a lot more intensity to your brushing then this might not be for you. The high mode works for me but standard mode feels a little too weak and I rarely use it. It would however be great for people with sensitivity.
My husband really enjoyed using this too. He likes both modes and has more sensitive teeth and gums than me.
Another minor point is that this toothbrush can’t stand up by itself. Due to its tapered bottom, it needs to rely on the included plastic stand. Not a dealbreaker at all, but can be a slight annoyance when you need to put it down momentarily and have little sink space to do so. It is a very me problem, but thought I’d point it out anyway. Also, when travelling, I’d rather not have to take the stand which takes up extra space in my toiletry bag. However, what I do appreciate is that this is a fantastic toothbrush to take away on trips. I hate taking extra cables, adaptors and plugs away, but I still want to use my electric toothbrush. The upside to being battery powered, is that I can use it and not have to worry if it will die on me or have to bring extra cables.
Overall though, the pros certainly outweigh the minor cons and I have adjusted nicely to using this as my everyday toothbrush and it makes my teeth feel wonderful. I would say it’s a great option if you’re looking to upgrade your toothbrush and I highly recommend this one. If you are looking to up your oral hygiene care then the technology this offers is one of the best.
You can purchase the Soladey Rhythm2 for £99 on Amazon here: https://amzn.eu/d/ig01S3I