- What’s The Oral Microbiome All About?
- Should I Try an Oral Microbiome Testing Kit?
- Quick Summary of Bristle Oral Health Test Review
- The Bottom Line: Is It Worth It?
At any given moment, your mouth can have up to six million different bacteria living in it with as many as 700 different species. This might sound gross, but much of this bacteria works together to protect you against foreign substances. When an imbalance occurs, this can lead to health complications such as inflammatory bowel disease, cirrhosis of the liver and even diabetes.
We rely on our microbiome to work closely with our immune system to keep us healthy. A diverse microbiome in your mouth as well as your gut can translate to good health, which is why we’re going to be talking about Bristle in this article. Bristle has an oral health test that can provide you with quite a bit of insightful information that allows you to make appropriate changes that will benefit your body.
What’s The Oral Microbiome All About?
Our oral microbiome is a collection of different microorganisms that reside in the mouth on the teeth, gums and tongue. Both humans and animals have an oral microbiome that is mainly made up of bacteria. The moist and warm environment inside of our mouth makes it easy for this bacteria to thrive. As your hydration level changes, the temperature inside of your mouth changes and then you eat a variety of foods, this will affect your oral microbiome.
We know that not all bacteria is beneficial, and there are some of those harmful varieties in our mouth as well. There are certain types of bacteria that lives under the gums and on your teeth that can lead to the development of cavities and gum disease. Brushing and flossing are so important because they can remove bad bacteria while leaving behind the good stuff. Aside from the health of our teeth and gums, our oral microbiome affects many other processes within the body.
Should I Try an Oral Microbiome Testing Kit?
Because our microbiome is so diverse and affects so many different bodily functions, we can experience all kinds of effects from an increase in certain bad bacteria. An oral microbiome testing kit is designed to check a sample from your mouth to see what exactly is living in your microbiome. You’ll get an idea of how much good bacteria is present, how much bad bacteria is hanging out and how you can go about improving your oral health.
You may be dealing with oral symptoms that have pointed you in the direction of an oral microbiome testing kit. Maybe you’ve been faced with an increase in cavities or have been diagnosed with gum disease. There are other issues within your body that you might not realize could be intertwined with a bad oral microbiome. Uncontrolled diabetes, stroke, heart disease and cancer may all be related to your oral health. It’s beneficial to obtain as much data as possible so you can truly understand what’s going on in your body and make necessary adjustments.
Quick Summary of Bristle Oral Health Test Review
|Product:||Oral Health Test|
|Claimed Benefits of test:||Find out oral symptoms, understand your oral bacteria, actionable steps to optimize your oral health|
|1:1 Oral Health coaching:||Yes|
|Where to buy / coupon code:||bristlehealth.com|
|Avg. Customer Rating:||4.8/5|
Bristle Oral Health Test
What Is Bristle?
Bristle has a brand vision of creating a new kind of care that focuses on preventing disease rather than just treating it. From an oral perspective, their products are designed to give you information on what the current state of your health is and how it can be improved. The brand acknowledges the importance of oral health and a diverse oral microbiome. Aside from using our mouths to eat, drink and communicate, this is also a location in our body that is a first line defense against all kinds of pathogens.
You’ve probably given some thought to what is going on in your body at one time or another. You may pay attention to the foods that you eat to ensure they’re healthy choices. Hydration is something that keeps your body functioning optimally. Exercise promotes heart health, digestive health and so much more. Unfortunately, the oral microbiome is something that is often overlooked. Whether it be because people don’t know it exists or people don’t think it’s important, Bristle has gone to great lengths to tackle some major issues in healthcare that neglect oral microbiome health.
Bristle can provide you with valuable testing kits and insight that can change your life. Whether you’re dealing with bad breath or frequent cavities, your test and personalized results can help you change your hygiene and diet in an impactful way.
- Allows you to address and improve your oral health
- Avoid invasive procedures and expensive medical bills with insightful information and recommendations
- Identifies the root cause of problems like halitosis, tooth decay, inflamed gums, gut inflammation, burning inside your mouth and a coating on your tongue
- Measures your oral bacteria and fungi
- Provides information on how your oral microbiome compares to other peoples whether they are dealing with symptoms or not
- This test only addresses your oral microbiome, not your gut microbiome (which is also very important for overall health)
- They do not currently ship to New York
- Slightly expensive with a price point of just over $100 per testing kit
How Does Bristle’s Oral Microbiome Test Work?
Now that you understand how important your oral microbiome is, you may be interested in how a test kit from Bristle actually works. Let’s look at the details of ordering, administering and reviewing your results.
Order Your Oral Microbiome Testing Kit Online
Simply visit https://www.bristlehealth.com/ for more information on ordering their oral microbiome testing kit. It costs $119 to receive the kit, and you do not have to worry about shipping costs. Also, you may be eligible for reimbursement through your HSA / FSA account.
Administer Your Mouth Test At-Home
The Bristle Oral Microbiome Test Kit requires just a small sample of your saliva to provide you with results. You are asked to spit into a small collection tube that contains a solution that will stabilize your saliva for the transport to Bristle. Included is a prepaid envelope that you simply have to drop in the mail. The company will send you your results digitally, and all of your information is kept confidential. You receive very detailed instructions on how to administer your test, so don’t stress about the process.
Review Your Oral Test Results
Your Bristle test kit will check for all 100+ bacteria in your saliva that can promote better oral health and cause issues like bad breath, gum inflammation and tooth decay. Your report also includes information on a personalized diet that can improve your oral health, hygiene tips and product recommendations. It takes approximately two to three weeks to receive your results once Bristle has received your sample.
Take Action to Improve Your Oral Health
There are a number of ways that you can improve your oral health, and Bristle includes a great deal of information with your test results. The foods that you eat play a large role in your oral health. The products that you use to brush your teeth, floss and rinse are exceptionally important. It’s also important to pay attention to how often you brush, how much water you’re drinking throughout the day, other substances that you’re putting into your mouth frequently (chewing gum, coffee, wine, etc.) and your overall lifestyle choices.
1:1 Expert Oral Health Coaching
Bristle connects you with a certified health coach that you can converse with on a one-on-one basis. Your coach can help educate you on what your results mean, the important changes that you should consider making and they’ll hold you accountable so you keep up with your lifestyle changes. Bristle provides you with the opportunity to retest, which allows you to track your progress. You can also share your data with your dentist and primary care physician. The results you receive may help them better manage your overall health.
Bristle has a very comprehensive website that details a lot of the information they are providing you with through their testing kit. Here are some of the claimed benefits that they advertise.
Identify the Root Cause of Your Oral Symptoms
The connection between our oral microbiome and our overall oral health is astounding. That connection even continues on to affect our whole body. When you take the steps to identify the root cause of things like bad breath and tooth decay, you’re able to make changes that can impact the entire course of your life.
Understand Your Unique Oral Bacteria
Measuring the amount of good and bad bacteria in the mouth can provide insightful information into the state of our oral microbiome. We all have a very different oral bacteria profile, which means that we all experience differing degrees of symptoms. Understanding what’s going on inside of your mouth allows you to make changes that will work for you. Not every lifestyle change will work for every person because of their unique needs.
Actionable Steps to Achieve Oral Health
Not only can you take actionable steps to achieve oral health by way of Bristle’s testing kit, but you can take control of your overall health as well. Measuring your risk of disease over time can often allow you to prevent problems before they begin. You can also quickly rectify a problem now that you know what’s going on inside of your mouth.
Cost and Where to Buy
You can visit https://www.bristlehealth.com/ to view their oral microbiome testing kit. It costs $119 currently, and you receive everything that you need. This includes test tubes with a stabilization fluid, packaging materials and a prepaid envelope. Your results are sent to you digitally once the testing is completed.
If you’re interested in retesting in a few months to see if you’ve been successful with the changes that you’ve made, you can purchase a subscription for four test kits per year at $99 per test, or two test kits per year at $109 per test. Obviously, there are better savings with the more test kits that you purchase.
Does Bristle Accept Insurance?
Bristle does not currently accept dental or health insurance, but you are potentially able to utilize your HSA or FSA account for reimbursement of your testing kit.
Real Bristle Reviews and Average Rating
Currently, Bristle does not list any reviews for their product on their website. This may change, but they do have some information on professionals that back their product. From dental professionals to microbiome experts, there seems to be a great deal of reputability from this brand and their microbiome testing kit.
Alternatives Compared to Bristle Oral Microbiome Testing
While Bristle is the only test that analyzes all bacteria in your oral microbiome, there are other saliva tests for oral bacteria. Here are some of your alternatives.
Wally Oral Test Kit
The Wally Oral Test Kit is a little bit different than what Bristle offers. They have a two-part process that not only tests your saliva to determine what kind of bacteria is living in your mouth, but you are also required to insert cheek retractors into your mouth and snap a photo. This photo will help professionals assessing your data determine if you have any issues such as gum inflammation, gum recession, stains, discoloration, decalcification, abreactions and much more.
The saliva test will provide you with microbiome information as well as what the pH of your saliva is and your saliva’s buffering capacity. This is essentially a description of how good your saliva is at remineralizing your teeth and preventing dry mouth symptoms.
Inspiring oral health by way of salivary diagnostics is the main goal of Oral DNA. They have a few different oral tests that you can choose from, based on what information you’re trying to collect. They have a MyPerioPath test kit that will determine your risk of periodontal disease. There is also an Alert 2 test that combines the MyPerioPath test and MyPerioID test, which checks your genetic risk factors for periodontal disease. They also have other tests not necessarily relating to your oral microbiome, such as a Covid-19 test and a herpes simplex virus test.
The Bottom Line: Is It Worth It?
We’ve talked before about how important beneficial bacteria is in the body. Previously, I’ve reviewed the importance of a gut microbiome test kit that determines the overall health of your gut and body as a whole. These oral microbiome test kits are similar, but you’re collecting data relating to the microbiome that resides in your mouth. You may have dental or mouth issues that have been bothering you for a while now, or you may simply be interested in determining how your oral health may be impacting your body as a whole. It’s never a bad idea to collect data about your body, especially in a non-invasive way. Learning ways to improve your oral microbiome and oral health can lead to better health in the coming years.
Tips for Success from the RD
If you’re interested in creating a more diverse oral microbiome or want to address oral health as a whole, here are some of my most helpful tips.
- Pay close attention to your diet. Consuming a lot of sugary foods or beverages can cause bad bacteria to multiply very quickly. If you eat candy or sweets, try to brush your teeth shortly after to remove any residual sugar from in between your teeth or on your gums. It’s best to wait at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking to brush your teeth. Eating and drinking causes the mouth to become acidic, and brushing during this time can damage enamel
- Maintain a good oral hygiene routine each day. This means you should be flossing regularly, brushing two to three times each day and using an oral rinse, such as the Tuski water flosser.
- Use the right products that will help clean your teeth but also protect them. There are many different varieties of toothpaste and mouthwash that can clean the teeth, kill bad bacteria, protect your gums, freshen your breath and even whiten your teeth.