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Philips Sonicare

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Research has proven that electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque and reducing gingivitis. Philips Sonicare is one of the oldest and largest electric toothbrush companies in this vertical and is well-respected. Sonicare is the brand name of the electric toothbrush line by Philips.

Philips first acquired its electric toothbrush division in October 2000 and a few months later changed its name to Philips Oral Healthcare, Inc. By the end of 2001, it had become the number one selling rechargeable toothbrush in the United States. In 2003 Philips rebranded its toothbrush line as Philips Sonicare. 

Philips Sonicare has a full line of electric toothbrushes unlike some newcomers to the vertical that focus on offering just a few models. Its toothbrushes are offered at different price points and with different features.

At the highest end, the company offers a toothbrush with smart sensors, multiple modes, and app. Its most basic toothbrush is a non-sonic power toothbrush model at an affordable price point and slim design. Philips Sonicare also offers a sonic toothbrush for children making it a one-stop shop for families looking to upgrade from their manual dental hygiene routine. 

Philips Sonicare’s advanced technology pulses fluid between the teeth and along the gum-line while sonic brush-strokes gently remove plaque. It promises healthier gums, and better stain removal than with a manual toothbrush.

Philips Sonicare also has toothbrushes with the newest technology like smart sensors to tell you where you’ve missed brushing and how much pressure you’re using. Its BrushSync technology tracks your brush head’s actual usage to send you new heads when you need them. Intelligent toothbrushing is the future and Philips Sonicare is continuing to set the standard. 

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The Good

  • Free Shipping and Good Return Policy
  • Smart Sensors and Other High Tech Features
  • Dental Health App
  • Different Brush Heads and Accessories
  • Battery-Powered and Rechargeable Options 
  • ADA Accepted

Free Shipping and Good Return Policy

Not all electric toothbrush companies give customers free shipping, but Philips Sonicare offers free shipping on all orders. This customer-friendly policy is mirrored in its flexible return policy. Customers can return products for free within 30 days of purchase. Items must be returned clean and with the original packaging.

This is a great return and shipping policy in comparison to many competitors that charge shipping fees or have a lot of stipulations limiting returns. However, there are other electric toothbrush sellers that give customers a longer time period for returns. 

Pressure Sensors and Other High Tech Features

Philips Sonicare’s electric toothbrushes stand out from competitors with their high-tech features and adoption of new dental hygiene technology. A lot of research goes into these toothbrushes. One of the newest technology features are brush head sensors and an accompanying app that give users real-time feedback. The position sensor on these high-end toothbrushes guides you to brush in the areas you’ve missed. 

BrushSync technology also keeps track of your brush head usage and how hard you’ve been brushing. When it's time to replace your brush head, a light on your handle will appear and beep. The technology can also automatically order you more brush heads via the Bluetooth® wireless technology connecting your toothbrush to the app. 

Dental Health App

Like other high-end, high tech electric toothbrushes, Philips Sonicare’s higher-end models connect to an app to give you more detailed brushing feedback. The Philips Sonicare app is available for both Apple and Android devices.

Once you sync the app with your toothbrush, you can receive personalized guidance and tips to improve your brushing habits. The coaching feature monitors whether you’re reaching all areas of your mouth, how long you brush, and how much pressure you’re using and then provides you with tailored advice. 

The app also produces a progress report each week giving you helpful brushing insights in order to help you maintain your oral health.

Another unique and potentially helpful service on the app is its Sonicare Teledentisty solutions. Customers can provide some background information and photos of their mouth and receive a personalized, comprehensive dental evaluation from a licensed dental professional within 24 hours. This is a unique service not provided by the company's top competitor which also has an app.

Different Brush Heads and Accessories

Philips Sonicare’s electric toothbrush line has a number of options and with them different brush heads to choose from depending on your needs. Its premium brush comes with seven brush heads, each with different features such as gum care, whitening, and plaque control. Many competitors offer just one brush head style. 

The company's premium toothbrush also has well-designed accessories that come with your purchase. For example, its charger was designed to look like a glass. You simply place your toothbrush into the glass holder, and it starts charging instantly. Many models also come with travel cases. 

Battery-Powered and Rechargeable Options

Philips Sonicare has a large line of electric toothbrushes with different power options. Most are rechargeable and come with charging stands, but some are battery-powered. It's nice that customers have the choice between the two charging options for their toothbrush.

Some newer, and often more affordable, electric toothbrushes only come with a USB charger which may be very inconvenient and potentially unsanitary if you have to charge your toothbrush using your laptop. 

ADA Accepted

The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean toothbrushes have earned the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Seal. A powered toothbrush earns the ADA Seal when the manufacturer provides scientific evidence demonstrating safety and efficacy in the removal of plaque and reduction of gingivitis.

Toothbrushes with the ADA Seal have had data reviewed by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs and have met the recommendations for both manual and powered toothbrushes. Not all of Philips Sonicare’s toothbrushes are ADA accepted. Its top competitor actually has more of its toothbrushes that are ADA accepted.

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The Bad

  • Expensive
  • Pressure Sensors Only in App

Expensive

The Philips Sonicare premium electric toothbrushes are some of the highest-end on the market which commands a premium price. If customers would like a toothbrush with sensors and all the latest features they are looking at paying between $200 to $300.

This is very expensive compared to some other electric toothbrush companies and wildly expensive compared to the cost of a manual toothbrush. The other maker of premium, high-end electric toothbrushes also has models in the same price range although some are priced better than Philips Sonicare’s. 

While the company sells these expensive toothbrush models, it also has several models that are more affordable. Overall, we are impressed with the large range of prices and models that Philips Sonicare offers.

Pressure Sensors Only in App

There is a danger of brushing too hard and damaging gums and tooth enamel when using an electric toothbrush. Because of this, Philips Sonicare has pressure-sensing smart sensors in some of its higher-end toothbrushes.

Users can view whether they are using the correct amount of pressure in the Philips Sonicare app. This means that while you are brushing you will need to have the toothbrush synced to your app and have the app open.

A top competitor also offers a pressure sensor that gives you real-time feedback in the form of a green or red light directly on the brush. If you prefer not to brush with your phone or tablet nearby, you may prefer a version that gives you direct feedback. 

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The Bottom Line

Philips Sonicare has a long history of selling well-researched, high-tech electric toothbrushes and was one of the original big names in the space. It has a large line of electric toothbrushes with a variety of prices and features from its powered toothbrush for under $40 to its top of the line toothbrush with sensors and BrushSync technology for close to $300.

Because of its large selection of prices, features, and charging options, we feel that Philips Sonicare will have an electric toothbrush option for anyone. However, in order to get the most out of your toothbrush you may need to be prepared to spend a lot more. 

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