Following is a back and forth we recently had. Not everyone is totally happy with us.
-----Original Message----- Subject: Fwd: Your order has been shipped. Order#0070XXX
I sent the email below over two weeks ago and thought I might have gotten a reply. Thanks, Stuart Y
Begin forwarded message:
Subject: Re: Your order has been shipped. Order#007054
Hello. I recently received the above referenced order and have been enjoying your fine products. I have been using one of the tooth brushes included in the order and I wanted to give you some customer feedback. While I am enjoying the smoothness of the bristles I felt that you should know that the handle is not long enough for easy brushing of my entire mouth. It is difficult to reach my rear teeth and to clean them thoroughly. The description and photograph on your web page do not describe these as short or small and I suspect that your photo uses a support which makes them appear longer than they really are. While I am sure that no one intended to deceive, the effect is that a buyer has no way to know that these products are short. I compared these brushes to the ones of another brand and found that they were 1-1.5 inches shorter. This makes a great difference in function. Any thoughts on this? Thanks, Stuart Y.
=-=-=- On Oct 2, 2009, at 3:35 PM, Bob wrote: Dear Mr. Y,
Thank you for your email. The design of our handles is such that it conforms with the optimal specifications for a toothbrush, as described by Charles C. Bass, M.D. We consider Dr. Bass to be the father of modern preventive dentistry. We regret you feel that the toothbrush is "not long enough for easy brushing of my entire mouth." A few questions, if we may. How do you hold a toothbrush? Like a baseball bat, or a violin bow? Our toothbrushes are for use with the Bass technique of personal oral hygiene, not a mass market product.
Bob, for POH =-=-=-
A rather unresponsive response if may say so. I think that your rounded bristles are great and I understand that they contribute to oral health and comfort. As for treating my toothbrush like a violin, your website does not describe this in any way or place that I could find. Also, if one size fits all then why do you make childrens toothbrushes. Obviously mouths come in a wide range of sizes and depths. While the techniques for brushing and optimal brush head size MAY be universal, length clearly is not. Your response sounded more like someone quoting scripture than a thoughtful or courteous reply to the customers who keep you in business. If there is a technique described in the Holy Writ of Dr. Bass that describes how to hold your toothbrush then why is it not obviously accessible on the web site. If I have missed an obvious link on the site then please forgive me but if not then I would appreciate a more full, responsive and courteous reply. Thank you, Stuart Y.
On Oct 19, 2009, at 10:43 AM, Bob wrote: Dear Mr. Y,
We apologize for not being more forthcoming, and hope to offer a fuller explanation to your satisfaction. Our toothbrushes, as we mentioned, comply with the original specifications written by Dr. Bass. We have attached a copy for your perusal. In the document, he explains his reasoning. One of the factors involved in his design is the amount of leverage that is imparted to the bristles. Longer handles impart more leverage. Since the object of personal oral hygiene is to disrupt and disorganize bacterial colonies (plaque) the bending of the bristles, the length of the handle and even the length of each bristle is given careful thought.
As to my remark inquiring as to how you personally hold a toothbrush, I was sincere. If one holds the toothbrush with a full fist, like one would grip a baseball bat, then the ability to manipulate the toothbrush carefully and with intent is limited. On the other hand, the fine motor skills that are available when one uses the fingertips (violin bow) enable the tips of the bristles to be manipulated into the sulcus (gumline) of the tooth.
The existing mass market product you referred to are definitely longer than our toothbrushes. Much more mass in the handle. It is our position that they are much too long. POH toothbrushes are the right length, according to Dr. Bass.
As to Dr. Bass, pardon us if we come off as treating Dr. Bass' research as holy writ. The founder of our company, Robert G. Jones, D.D.S. was a young dentist practicing in Tulsa in the 1950's. The constant stream of misery and suffering that came through his door pained him. In his search for something to help his patients ease their discomfort, he came across the papers in question. At the time Dr. Bass wrote the seminal paper on personal oral hygiene, the dental schools were still teaching that, in essence, teeth fall out because we age, and cavities happened. There was some research that showed the benefit of cleaning the teeth, but Dr. Bass proved that proper oral hygiene prevented the diseases that caused such pain, at least to Dr. Jones' satisfaction. Science has since confirmed the information, and oral hygiene is today one of the cornerstones of modern preventive dentistry. Dr. Bass did his research after he retired as Dean of the Tulane Medical School, and was not supported by any commercial entity. We consider his research important because his were the latest non-commercially motivated studies on the hows and whys of oral hygiene.
Dear Bob, Please forgive my not responding to your very cordial and informative email sooner but I was busy getting married. What you (and the late Dr. Bass) have shared with me makes much sense and I appreciate the additional information. I am prepared to treat it as valid unless my own experience indicates otherwise but I am comfortable that it is very fundamentally sound. I shall hereafter endeavor to play a concerto on my molars and a sonata on my bicuspids.
Stuart Y. ps My wife notices the difference with your brushes and likes them.
The dental floss stories though, those really are amazing...