Sonicare Toothbrushes: Our evaluation of Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes.

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Here's a listing of the Sonicare toothbrush lines that we spout our opinion about here on Animated-Teeth.com - FlexCare / HealthyWhite / Essence / Xtreme.

What we've done is we've taken a look at all of the different features offered on these brushes and then outlined for you circumstances (at least in our opinion) where each of them may, or may not, provide a value for you, the toothbrush user.

What type of information do our reviews provide?

We try to answer questions like:
1) What benefit does this function provide?
2) Is this benefit substantial?
3) Is this feature unique to this specific model?
4) Is buying a brush with this feature on it worth the cost?

Overall, we mostly look at things from a standpoint of value and cost-effectiveness. However, even with those models that seem to have a features list that's a bit bloated (and a cost to match), we explain why having that specific toothbrush might still make a good choice.

Philips and Sonicare are registered trademarks of Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.


Are Sonicare toothbrushes good products?

Before you decide to read our reviews, you may have the simple question "Does Sonicare make good toothbrushes?"

In a word, the answer to this question is yes; the sonic toothbrushes that Philips Sonicare makes are good, great actually, products. It's hard to believe that any dentist would have a problem recommending a Sonicare toothbrush to one of their patients. Just ask your own.

Philips Sonicare has always been an innovator and leader in the field of sonic toothbrushes. And, in fact, Sonicare was the first manufacturer to bring a sonic toothbrush to the consumer marketplace (almost 3 decades ago).

Are Sonicare toothbrushes quality products?

In general, yes, Philips Sonicare makes very good quality toothbrushes. As with any product, you can find reports (like on the web) from customers who have had a poor experience with their Sonicare toothbrush. However, this does not seem to be the norm. (On our Sonicare review pages, we specifically address the issue of 'model-specific problems' for each toothbrush line.)

Overall, from our own personal experiences as well as what we have read and heard, people typically consider Sonicare electric toothbrushes to be quality products and have a good experience when owning them.

Are Sonicare toothbrushes a good buy?

As a criticism, we would state that we feel that some of the Sonicare toothbrush models are a bit pricey. But that doesn't necessarily mean that a Sonicare can't be a "best" or "best-value" buy in an electric toothbrush.

What it does mean is that you need to take a little time and do some research. (Of course, that's what our review pages are all about.) You need to understand the different options that various Sonicare models offer and how these features relate to your needs. After all, why spend money on options and features that you will never use? If you approach your decision making in this manner, a Sonicare electric toothbrush can provide a great value.


Are there any safety concerns with the use of a sonic toothbrush?

Sonicare toothbrushes create over 30,000 brush strokes per minute. And it's been suggested that this vigorous brushing action might cause tooth wear, or damage existing dental work or oral soft tissues. As an answer, here are the conclusions drawn from two different studies that evaluated this issue.

A study was set up (our Donly et al reference) that simulated, on extracted teeth, 6-months' usage of either a sonic toothbrush or a manual one. At the completion of the study, teeth having received these different treatments were evaluated using a scanning electron microscope. The conclusions of the study were as follows:

  1. Neither method of brushing appeared to cause tooth wear. (More specifically, there was no apparent wear of tooth enamel, dentin, or cementum).
  2. Composite resin dental fillings ("white" dental fillings) which were subjected to both methods of brushing showed no evidence of wear or abrasion.
  3. This same study also evaluated the effects of sonic and manual tooth brushing on the retention of dental crowns (over a 12-month period of simulated brushing). The study's conclusions were that neither brushing method had a detrimental effect on dental-crown bond strength.

Another study (our Johnson et al reference) evaluated the mouths of subjects who used sonic toothbrushes over a 6-month time frame. At the termination of the study, no soft tissue abnormalities attributed to the use of a sonic toothbrush could be identified.

About electric toothbrushes and brushing forces.

Our Bowen reference evaluated several electric toothbrush clinical studies that had been published between the years 1989 and 2002. From their review the authors of this study determined that on average users of all types of electric toothbrushes, including sonics, applied 128 grams of force when brushing. The typical manual toothbrush user applied over twice this amount (285 grams of force).


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