Mysterious Japanese electronic ion toothbrush

While cleaning out my bathroom cabinet earlier this week, I found this mysterious Japanese "Densi POWER" electronic ion toothbrush. It claims to emit 30 microamps of electric currents throughout the body, which somehow prevents cavities. The currents are only activated when it's used with toothpaste. I would stay away from it, but it has the official seal of approval from the Japanese Association of Preventive Medicine for Adult Disease on it. If anybody has any further information on this toothbrush &mdash how it works, or how it got in my bathroom cabinet, even &mdash please leave a comment.

About Lisa Katayama

I'm a contributing editor here at Boing Boing. I also have a blog (TokyoMango), a book (Urawaza), and I freelance for Wired, Make, the NY Times Magazine, PRI's Studio360, etc. I'm @tokyomango on Twitter.
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14 Responses to Mysterious Japanese electronic ion toothbrush

  1. PaulR says:

    Dang, Takuan, I came here to say essentially the same thing. To wit:

    Just because something was made by a Japanese company it doesn’t mean it’s any good, or even that it works…

    It’s kinda like British television:
    I was in Scotland in the late 70’s. I realized that the great television show that they were sending across the pond (Masterpiece Theatre, ‘I, Claudius’, Monty Python, etc) weren’t anywhere near being representative of the whole spectrum of crapulence that was available on the telly in the UK at the time.

  2. jerwin says:

    I’m sure that I would be somewhat better informed if I spoke Japanese, but most of the google hits for “Japanese Association of Preventive Medicine for Adult Disease” seem to be slightly fringy. Kangen Water, for instance. Note that JAPMAD does not give out it’s certification willy nilly. Only the best magnetic toothbrush, or the best laetrile tea get endorsed by JAPMAD. Perhaps it’s akin to a Royal Warrant–The Queen likes Rigby & Peller; JAPMAD likes Densi Power.

  3. Chizu says:

    I’ve seen these in the local pharmacy. The power of ions. I’ll try to have a look in Matsumoto Kiyoshi today, see if they still have some.

  4. Fit Gizmos says:

    i want to try that.

  5. themark says:

    And you said you’d remember me forever…

  6. senbot says:

    Perhaps the toothbrush uses iontophoresis to transfer fluoride onto tooth surfaces.

  7. Lisa Katayama says:

    @#1: I use Japanese toothbrushes all the time, but this is the first one I’ve seen with the official-looking seal.

  8. dculberson says:

    Oh, crap, that’s where I left it. Sorry!

  9. george57l says:

    I dunno – but I wouldn’t trust anything approved by an organisation called JAPMAD. (Sorry.)

  10. Takuan says:

    Japanese consumer law does not forbid insupportable claims like some other nations.

  11. Mister Moofoo says:

    I heard many years ago about a toothbrush that used an electric charge to make the plaque come loose easier. The theory was that plaque is mildly charged (positive or negative, I forget which) and the toothbrush produced the opposite charge.

    Could still be total crap, though.

    It was on Beyond 2000 (I used to love that show).

  12. Stefing says:

    By law, all found toothbrushes have been up somebody’s arse.
    And boy did it tingle.

  13. Downpressor says:

    Japanese consumers buy nearly anything that has “ion” in the catch copy because “its good for health” (wish I had 100 Yen for every time I’ve heard that). It also seems that magnets and titanium bracelets enjoy brisk sales for their health benefits as well.

  14. Dustbuster says:

    Given the tiny, tiny current involved, I’d be surprised if this had any effect. Maybe it supposed to electrocute germs. Regardless, that fact that it only works during brushing makes for limited effectiveness. I think that fact that its a toothbrush might account for the seal of approval, i.e. it does at least as good a job of removing food debris and plaque as a regular toothbrush and thus gets the tick. It would be interesting to see if other, regular, Japanese toothbrushes are likewise given the seal.

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