on 23 August 2014
I treated myself to this when it was on Deal of the Day for sixty-eight quid, and I am so glad I did. In the promo video one of the people says this gets your teeth "ridiculously clean". She's not wrong!
It's really easy to use, and does a cracking job. I am now a full convert and won't ever go back to a manual brush.
I have not had any serious dental issues as I take reasonable care of my teeth, but recently I have started to develop a couple of sensitive spots. These sensitive spots persisted despite me using enamel repair toothpaste/mouthwash. After just FOUR DAYS with this new brush the sensitive areas disappeared altogether. I did not encounter any of the gum bleeds during the initial week of use which some users report. I also noticed a significant lightening in the shade of my teeth, and the gradual removal of some dark stains which accumulated when I was a smoker.
One thing that surprised me is just how brief a two minute brushing period is when you have a device like this to time it for you. I had always believed that I was under-brushing, but as it turns out time compresses when you use a manual brush. I found you have to be quite nippy with this thing to hit every surface. It does such a thorough job though that you can move it around the mouth much more quickly than you might expect.
The blurb says the InterCare heads remove six times more plaque than manual brushing (why then is the DiamondClean system more expensive when those heads only remove twice as much plaque?). Having flossed manually after using the brush I am inclined to believe that blurb. Virtually nothing came out using dental floss, and an interdental brush only lifted small amounts of matter shortly after eating. The incredibly clean feeling apparently really does come from the teeth being incredibly clean!
If you are coming from a manual toothbrush, I would recommend taking the plunge. I really doubt that you will have any regrets.
on 1 August 2013
...but it doesn't feel divine.
I used a standard Braun Oral B brush for years, several models over the years. But I found that recently, the model I use just doesn't do a good job of cleaning the gum line. In fact, it does a shoddy job.
So I decided to give this Philips model a chance.
It takes a full 24 hours to charge, which is a long time. The charger is fine, has a nice handy storage feature for the lead to make it shorter if you like. Also 2 holders for brush heads. Two come with it, large and small, along with travel protectors and a nice white plastic travel box for the toothbrush and heads.
The unit is much more customizable than my Braun. You can get rid of the timer feature by deactivating it, and you can use a warm-up feature to slide you in gradually over some days before it gives the full sonic experience. There are three speed settings. There is also a gum care and a polish setting.
Using it is not very pleasant. I am not used to it, true, and maybe I will grow to like it, but using it sends shivers down my spine and my lips and mouth felt numb after using it. The cleaning result seems good - it seems to do a better job than the Braun, but I am not sure I can tolerate the sonic effects. It is pretty extreme. It feels so powerful that I would almost expect it to cause pain to the fillings I have, but it hasn't as yet.
It is very noisy - kind of like cross between a large buzzing insect and a jet engine.
I am just not convinced of this. I mean, it is good at cleaning, but its pretty unpleasant to use. Maybe it will grow on me. I will update my review in the coming weeks to let you know how I get on. Until then, I say it's OK. Good cleaning results, but not sure it is something I can endure.
It is expensive. I don't think the UV unit on the higher model is worth the extra cost. At this moment on Amazon (01-08-13), the model with the UV unit is retailing at one hundred and twelve pounds, whereas this, the next model down, is retailing at one hundred and thirty-nine pounds. That must be some kind of a mistake on Amazon's part.
UPDATE: I prefer my Braun Oral B brush. I still use this brush, perhaps for 1 in 5 cleanings, but I still find it pretty unpleasant.
Update 2: The numbness effect does not last; your mouth will get used to it. The impressive thing about this device is it really holds its charge, including when not in regular use. I use mine perhaps once a week, using the Braun Oral B alternative the rest of the time. My Philips keeps its charge for weeks at a time.
Firstly, there are a few things I should point out. Reading the product description you see that this has a long battery life between charges, but please remember, this is based on one person only cleaning their teeth for two minutes twice a day. If there is going to be more than you using this, then please take that into account, and if like me it takes you longer than two minutes to clean your teeth, this will reduce this time as well. So saying, I should think that you are going to get well over a week without having to recharge this, which is better than what I currently get on my toothbrush, which is four days at best. In the box you get an owner's manual, and please read this as well; there are certain alterations you can make to customise this. I personally get fed up with the quad pacer sounding every thirty seconds, so I have turned that off, and if you are a bit wary of using this for the first time, you may want to initiate the easy start feature, which slowly ramps up the intensity over a period of days.
In the box you get the actual brush body, two toothbrush heads, a travelling charger, and a casing that you can put that into if you so desire, for home (this has bits on to hold more than one brush head, so ideal for a couple), instruction and guarantee books, and a nice hard plastic travelling case, that will hold the brush body, and two brush heads.
The brush heads are easy to click on and off, so there is no difficulty in changing them, and according to the manufacturers this will take any of the Philips click on heads, so if you are buying this as a replacement, the heads that you already own will fit (unless it is the Elite screw on type). This is rather intuitive to use, the front of the brush body has two buttons, one is the power, and the other lets you alter the program, and the speed of the brush head. You have three intensity levels for the brush head speed, these are normal clean mode, as well as white and gum care mode. Admittedly this is perhaps a bit OTT, after all you only want to clean your teeth. I should point out that when a program has finished, the brush automatically turns off, which is a bit of a nuisance, especially if like me it takes more than two minutes to clean my teeth in the basic clean operation. You have to turn the thing back on, which is really though only a minor thing. I did once read that the sonic power does diminish slightly after two minutes, so if you are still cleaning your teeth it may be advisable to quickly run the head under the tap before re-starting. I especially love the charge indicator, which has three lights and shows more clearly how much power is left in the device.
The last time I tried one of these brushes was when it first appeared on the market, and I have to say it has significantly improved since then. I found my teeth and gums to be clean and healthy after using this, and so it does work. I tried my own unofficial and non-scientific test which this passed better than my oscillating head toothbrush. This is simple if you want to replicate my experiment. Eat a bag of crisps and then clean your teeth. This removed any crisps stuck between my teeth, and the only visible indication of crisps was on one of the biting surfaces of one of my teeth, which is significantly better than with an oscillating head brush.
If you are looking for an electric toothbrush for yourself or the family then this could be the ideal one, similarly if you are thinking of changing to a different brush. However, to be perfectly candid with you, if you own an electric toothbrush and are happy with it, then stick with it, the important thing is to get your teeth clean, and to be happy with the brush you already use. I have had a quick scan through research papers and have concluded after reading numerous conflicting information that an oscillating type head is probably slightly better for removing plaque from the tooth surface that can be seen. A sonic type brush, such as this, is probably slightly better at removing unseen plaque and looking after the gums. There are only really small differences between these but it may be something to consider when purchasing a brush. I hope that this helps you on your choice of a good electric brush that will give you years of service. Remember that with something like this, you don't have to throw away the brush body when in a few years you need a new battery, you can purchase a new battery and fit it yourself, or maybe get someone you know to do it for you. It isn't hard, but it can be a bit fiddly.
In addition to the physical vibration of the bristles on the teeth, `Sonicare' electric toothbrushes utilise ultrasonic cleaning, as used in hospital sterile service units to clean the gunk off surgical instruments. You don't need to move or agitate the brush: just hold it to the teeth upper, lower, left, right, inside, outside then rinse when finished. A timer is incorporated which issues an audible signal every 30 seconds, repeated four times to ensure upper left, upper right, lower left and lower right areas are cleaned properly. We've used other electric toothbrushes which are promoted as `sonic' in the product description, but few of them actually deploy genuine ultrasonic cleaning technology like these from Philips.
This latest `FlexCare Platinum' variant has an attractive contemporary-aesthetic design and looks like a work of art. Two brush heads are supplied (which incidentally do not fit earlier Sonicare models) and the brush has three speed settings and three modes, which might be too much choice for the average user to think about. It comes with carrying case and travel charger.
Be warned that the battery takes 24 hours to charge the first time it's used, but once charged is good for around 30x brushing sessions, so if you're going on a trip for several days you shouldn't need to pack the charger.
Verdict: very stylish, very effective, lots of nice features but at the current price, rather expensive when compared to earlier Sonicare models. My advice: a good choice but if you're on a budget, wait for the price to come down - which it surely will.