All dental care starts with brushing your teeth, but even so, surprisingly few people know how to brush properly. Studies show that almost 50% of people brush their teeth with poor technique! You can’t just flop a toothbrush around your mouth for a minute and call it a day. Proper brushing takes time and meticulous practice—unless you happen to be using a high-quality electric toothbrush.
When it comes to high-quality electric toothbrushes, two brands immediately stand out: Oral-B and Sonicare. There may be other competitors in that arena, but if you want the best quality and the most affordable price, these are the brands to be looking at.
But with their product lines, and the number of toothbrushes on offer, how do you know what to get? Where do you even start?
In this article, we’re going to be doing some brush-to-brush comparisons to see which brand performs better, and then we’ll give you a rundown of how an electric toothbrush can help you take better care of your teeth.
Don’t wait up – read on!
Table of Contents
- Top 3 Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush
- Top 3 Braun Oral B Electric Toothbrush
- A History Of Both Brands
- Braun Oral-B:
- Braun Oral-B Models List:
- Philips Sonicare:
- Philips Sonicare Models List:
- The Arena: Brush-To-Brush Comparisons
- Oral B 8000 vs Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700 (Top Models)
- Sonicare Diamond Clean VS Oral-B Black 7000 (High End Models)
- Oral B Pro 7500 vs Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100
- Oral B Pro 6000 vs Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100
- Oral-B professional precision 5000 vs Philips Sonicare HX6921/30 Flexcare Plus
- Oral-B Pro 3000 Vs Philips Sonicare 3 Series
- Oral-B Pro 1500 vs Philips Sonicare 2 Series
- Oral-B Professional Deep Sweep Triaction 1000 vs Philips Sonicare HX5610/01 Essence
- Oral B Kids vs Sonicare for Kids Electric Toothbrush
- Helpful Guides For Brushing Your Teeth
The meat of the guide is below, and it’s a very chunky section. If you don’t have enough time to read through the whole thing, here are our top choices per price bracket.
Top 3 Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush
Top 3 Braun Oral B Electric Toothbrush
A History Of Both Brands
Oral-B and Sonicare are not ‘new brands’ by any stretch of the imagination, they both have a rich history that’s brought them to the very top of the electric toothbrush market. If you’re interested in how they became the corporate behemoths they are today, we go over the history of both brands in this section.
Dr. Hutson’s association with the brand ended in the 1960s when he sold it and returned to California. In 1984, it was acquired by the Gillette group, and the name came to be used by Braun; this is why you’ll often see the ‘Powered by Braun’ label. With Gillette’s merger with Procter & Gamble in late 2005, Oral-B is now a subsidiary of P&G.
Innovation has always been one of Oral-B’s hallmarks. The now-familiar oscillating-rotating mechanism first came out in 1991, and even then it already had a two-minute timer. 3D cleaning came to the market in 1998, and the wireless Smart Guide came with the Triumph electric toothbrush in 2007. In 2014, they came out with the Pro 5000, the first electric toothbrush to incorporate Bluetooth capability.
Braun Oral-B Models List:
Braun Oral-B 8000 Series: Oral-B Genius Pro 8000
Braun Oral-B 6000 Series:Oral-B Pro 6000
Braun Oral-B 5000 Series: Oral-B Pro Smart Series 5000
Braun Oral-B 4000 series: Oral-B Professional Care Smart Series 4000
Braun Oral-B 3000 series: Oral-B Professional Care 3000
Oral b for kids: Oral-B Pro-Health For Me
The Sonicare story started in 1987, when entrepreneur David Giuliani met with Doctors David Engel and Roy Martin. They founded a company called GEMTech that undertook research into dental hygiene. In 1992, they unveiled the first Sonicare toothbrush. Three years after that, the company changed its name to Optiva Corporation, which was then acquired by Philips in 2000.
While certainly innovative before then, it was only after the acquisition that Sonicare truly took off. By the end of 2001, Sonicare was the top-selling brand of rechargeable electric toothbrushes in the United States. The label has been Philips Sonicare since 2003.
They’ve stuck to the sonic toothbrush formula they innovated in 1992, and have improved on it since then. Sonicare hasn’t quite been on the forefront of innovation in the same way that Oral-B has, instead focusing on simplicity and easy-to-use products. For example, while fewer of their toothbrushes incorporate Bluetooth connectivity, their phone app is much simpler and more intuitive for the average user than Oral-B’s.
Philips Sonicare Models List:
Philips Sonicare healty white: HX6731/02
Philips Sonicare 2 series plaque control: HX6211/04.
Philips Sonicare easy clean: HX6511/50
The Arena: Brush-To-Brush Comparisons
Starting from the most expensive and making our way to the bottom rung, we’re going to examine one toothbrush each from Oral-B and Philips Sonicare and find out which is the better one at each price point.
Oral B 8000 vs Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700 (Top Models)
The very top-end toothbrushes will take a great chunk out of your wallet, but that outlay gets you high quality and a good set of features.
|Features||Oral B Pro 8000||Diamond Clean Smart|
|Modes||6||4 & 3|
|Running time||12 Days||3 Weeks|
|Voltage||110 v||110 - 120 v|
When budget is no boundary, you can get a lot of capability, and the Genius Pro 8000 is proof of that. It’s one of the most advanced toothbrushes you can get on the market, and in terms of performance alone, it’s certainly our very top-rated electric toothbrush from Oral-B.
The box opens up to reveal the handle, three brush heads (one each of CrossAction, 3D White, and Sensitive), the charging station, a storage space for the brush heads, a travel case, a charger for the travel case, a white smartphone holder, and the manual.
It’s nice and slender at the grip, not nearly as chunky as some other models. Six cleaning modes are available, giving you a wide range of choices for your needs. Right below the neck is the 360-degree LED SmartRing; we cover this feature later on, but it’s both decorative and useful. A pressure sensor is linked to the SmartRing, and it’ll flash if you’re pressing the toothbrush too hard.
Lithium-ion batteries give the Genius Pro twelve days of battery life; which is better than average for Oral-B. The travel case can hold the brush itself and two more brush heads, and the built-in charger keeps the battery topped up so you’ll be ready to brush when you arrive at your destination.
The real star of the show is the Bluetooth connectivity, letting the Genius Pro 8000 link to a downloadable app on your smartphone. We cover that later on, as a few other Oral-B toothbrushes are also Bluetooth compatible.
Opposite Oral-B’s top-end model, Sonicare brings in the DiamondClean Smart 9700. Just like the Oral-B model, it offers Bluetooth connectivity to an app on your phone, and a dozen useful features that come with that.
The box contains the handle, eight brush heads (three Plaque Control, two Gum Care, two Premium White, and one TongueCare+), the charging glass, the travel case and charger, and the manual.
The handle offers a typical lineup of five different brushing modes and three levels of intensity, and in addition to this, the DiamondClean Smart is also BrushSync-capable. We cover BrushSync in a later section; for now, suffice it to say it makes switching heads a lot less fiddly.
Battery life is around three weeks maximum, so no need to worry about it dying mid-brush. There’s also a travel case, which makes the Sonicare a breeze to carry around. It even functions as a charger, so even if you depart with a flat battery, you’re ready to brush your teeth when you arrive.
The actual charger also needs mentioning, because it’s made of literal glass and employs wireless charging. All you have to do is stick the glass on top of the charging plate, then drop the toothbrush in tail-end first. It takes about twenty-four hours to charge, but you’ll get a solid three-week battery life.
Comparison and Result
There’s very few nitpicks you can muster against top-end products. In fact, in terms of performance, the two toothbrushes were so alike that our decision had to be based on their peripherals, especially their apps.
The Genius 8000 tries to do too much with the app, and the Position Detection Technology (also covered later in a section of its own) is rather unreliable. The user interface is excellent, but it’s in an awkward position: too many features for the casual user, not enough added value to the experienced user. Beyond that, Sonicare’s counterpart app isn’t as extensive as Oral-B’s, but it’s a lot less fiddly.
In matters beyond the Bluetooth, there’s also the smartphone accommodation. Sonicare is simple; they don’t have any. But compared to the odd white suction cup arrangement that is Oral-B’s idea, ‘nothing’ may be better. Oral-B’s Position Detection Technology relies on your phone camera, so you pretty much have to stick the white smartphone holder in the middle of your bathroom mirror. Not really the best of looks.
The Sonicare DiamondClean Smart wins this matchup, as the Oral-B tries to do too much for not enough gain. Not to say it’s bad; it’s a very, very good toothbrush, and if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool Oral-B user, it won’t disappoint you. It’s just that the DiamondClean Smart is better.
Sonicare Diamond Clean VS Oral-B Black 7000 (High End Models)
Our next pair examines the high-end brushes from both labels. Not quite the top-end, but not nearly as expensive, and almost as good.
|Features||Philips Diamond Clean||Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries|
|Run Time||3 weeks||10 days|
There’s a reason that Oral-B is among the top names in the toothbrush business, and the 7000 SmartSeries with the included Smart Guide demonstrates why.
One pack includes the handle, three brush heads (one each of CrossAction, ProWhite, and Sensitive Clean), the charger, a detachable storage compartment for other brush heads, a travel case, and a Wireless Smart Guide.
The handle is pretty much the same general shape as the Genius 8000; this is a common theme you’ll see with the other Oral-B brushes in this article. The front of the brush is less crowded but also a bit less informative, but that’s not a significant problem. It still has the same six cleaning modes in addition to a pressure sensor.
You get ten days of battery life, which is about average for Oral-B. The travel case this time is just a case, with no charging capability. You do get a three-bar battery indicator, and it’ll flash red when you’re low on battery.
We cover the Smart Guide more fully in a later section. We’ve already expressed our grievances with Oral-B’s Bluetooth application, but the Smart Guide more than makes up for it; it’s a nice and nifty little assistant to your brushing routine.
This version of the DiamondClean is a cheaper package than the previous one, though with correspondingly less items. So how does it hold up?
It comes with the handle, two brush heads (standard and compact) with covers, a travel case with built-in charger, plus a USB cable and adapter plug, and the same charging glass and plate that the DiamondClean Smart has.
The handle itself is a very minimalist white stick with just one notable feature: the power button, which does double duty as the mode switch button. The five available brushing modes are displayed on the handle once you press the button to switch through them, along with a battery indicator near the bottom.
The included brush heads are unique to the DiamondClean model, but it can just as easily accept other standard Sonicare heads if you prefer those. The battery lasts for three weeks, in the finest Sonicare form. The same wireless charging rig used by the DiamondClean Smart is here too; just drop the handle in tail-end first, and wireless induction takes care of the rest.
The travel case is just as white and minimalist as the toothbrush it carries, and has room for the handle and two brush heads. The cable plugs into a micro-USB port on one end, letting you charge without having to take it out of the case. Note that the case is not vented, so make sure everything’s dry before you close the case.
Comparison and Result
These two brushes are basically their top-end counterparts, with a few features stripped out to save on the cost to the buyer. Based purely on brushing performance, they’re the same as the previous models; your teeth will be just as clean no matter what toothbrush you use.
But we have to look beyond just cleaning capability. At this price point, you want more out of your toothbrush than just good performance.
The problem right now is that this matchup isn’t entirely fair, because the Sonicare DiamondClean is not a smart toothbrush. It doesn’t have Bluetooth capability or even BrushSync capability. This isn’t to say it’s a bad toothbrush, but it lacks any ability to provide real time feedback about your brushing performance.
At this price point, you want more than just a very good toothbrush. You want something that can actively help you improve your dental health. The Sonicare DiamondClean can’t help you that way, while the Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries definitely does.
Oral B Pro 7500 vs Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100
This matchup focuses on the high-end of the mid-range products. These products have versatility and build-quality that you just won’t find in other mid-range products, but they’re a fair bit more expensive.
|Features||Oral B Pro 7500||Philips Sonicare 6100|
|Battery life||12 days||12 days|
|Modes||5 cleaning||3 intensity|
|Timer pulses||30 sec||Yes|
From here on out, we’re looking at Oral-B’s Pro line. The Genius line may be its top-shelf offering, but it’s more of a high-end product.
The box provides a good spread to start: the handle, three brush heads (one each of CrossAction, 3D White, and FlossAction), the charging station and a removable storage compartment for brush heads, a travel case, and the manual.
The face of the handle is quite a bit different from the 7000 SmartSeries; you now have icons of the five available cleaning modes. The Pro 7500 also has the same SmartRing like the Genius 8000, with the same functions, most notably flashing when either the timer or the pressure sensor go off.
Sadly, it doesn’t come with the Wireless Smart Guide, but it is Bluetooth capable with the app. The Pro 7500 doesn’t come with Position Detection Technology, so there won’t be any need to hook your smartphone up anywhere.
You get about fourteen days out of the battery; so far that’s the best we’ve seen from Oral-B. The travel case is nice and light, with room for two brush heads.
Mid-range also means ‘solid yet unremarkable’, and the ProtectiveClean 6100 demonstrates why it fits.
The box comes with a fairly good complement: the handle, two Optimal White brush heads, the charger, a travel case, and the manual.
The handle is a nice clean stick with just two buttons: one for power, one for switching cleaning mode and intensity. Speaking of those, you have three of each, so experiment to see which combination of the two works for your preferences. Beyond that, you get a set of indicator lights for intensity, cleaning mode (helpfully labeled), plus BrushSync and battery indicators. It’s a very grippy handle, as well; you don’t need to fear it slipping out of your hands anytime soon.
The BrushSync capability means that the ProtectiveClean 6100 is at its best when paired with Sonicare’s smart brush heads; check our section on BrushSync to see how you can tell which ones are which.
Battery life varies according to the mode and intensity you use. Sonicare claims two weeks, but actual users report anywhere between twenty days to five weeks, depending on settings. The travel case is pretty standard: plastic with space for the handle and two brush heads. Plus it’s vented, so no worries of a damp brush head building up mold while it’s in there.
Comparison and Result
In this bracket, you get a nice intersection of price, capability, and extras. It’s hard to find an outright bad brush at this bracket, and neither the ProtectiveClean 6100 nor the Pro 7500 disappoint.
But if you put the two against each other, it’s pretty clear which one wins.
The problem with the ProtectiveClean 6100 is that while it’s good, it’s not good enough. It doesn’t really stand out in any area at all, and it falls short in one aspect: providing feedback. The Pro 7500 and its Bluetooth capability can tell you how you’re doing with your brushing, where you need to concentrate more.
If all you wanted was a very good toothbrush, you can get one for much cheaper than this price range. To justify the expense you’re putting into, a toothbrush has to offer more, which the ProtectiveClean 6100 just doesn’t. What’s the point in being able to customize your brushing experience if you don’t know what you’re doing right or wrong?
To be fair to the ProtectiveClean, its flaws only really come out in comparison. It’s a pretty good toothbrush on its own, it just doesn’t really compare well to others in its price range. That’s why our pick for the high end of mid-range is the Oral-B Pro 7500. With its capabilities and its Bluetooth connectivity, it can show you where you need to up your brushing game.
Oral B Pro 6000 vs Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100
Think of this section as the budget version of the high-mid range, since both of these toothbrushes are similar to the two we previously compared.
|Features||Oral B Pro 6000||Philips Sonicare 5100|
|30 sec pulse||Yes||Quad Pacer|
|Run time||10 days||2 weeks|
The box opens up onto a package containing the handle, a CrossAction brush head, the charger, a storage compartment for brush heads, and a travel case.
The handle is pretty much the same as on the Pro 7500: the LED SmartRing just below the attachment point, power and mode switch buttons, cleaning mode icons, Bluetooth symbol, three-bar battery indicator. You have the same five cleaning modes, and the SmartRing still flashes on input from the timer and pressure sensor.
Bluetooth compatibility lets it connect to the app on your phone, and from there you can get feedback about your brushing performance. Same as with the Pro 7500, it’s just Bluetooth, no Position Detection Technology.
The battery life, at twelve days, isn’t really much to write home about. The travel case is also the same, light plastic capable of taking two brush heads and the handle.
The Pro 7500 that we covered earlier is pretty much the same package as the Pro 6000, except for the extra brush heads. They even look and feel exactly the same.
Staying with Sonicare’s ProtectiveClean label, their next offering is the ProtectiveClean 5100. Open up the box, and you get a fairly minimal package: the handle, a G2 Optimal Gum Care brush head, the charger, a travel case, and the manual.
Outwardly, the ProtectiveClean 5100 may look like the 6100. The handle is pretty much the same as the 6100. It’s just as grippy as the 6100, and it’s got all the same indicator lights for cleaning mode, BrushSync, and battery status. But the intensity setting is gone in the 5100, leaving you with just the cleaning modes. You’ve still got the same three: Clean, White, and Gum Care.
Another difference is that the ProtectiveClean 5100 is BrushSync-compatible, but only for the brush replacement feature. With only three modes to use and no intensity setting, this isn’t as much of a downside as you’d think.
Just like its more expensive brother, the ProtectiveClean 5100’s precise battery life depends on settings. Two weeks is the absolute minimum you can get; most users report longer lifetimes, with five weeks being the maximum. The travel case is the exact same: space for the handle and two brush heads, vented to permit the brush heads to dry without unseemly mold buildup.
Comparison and Result
This bracket of budget high mid-range is an odd one; as you’ve seen, they’re basically downgrades of the toothbrushes in the actual high-mid bracket. Still, that’s not a knock on them: it’s nearly the same performance at a lower price.
The Pro 6000 is in an awkward position here, though. The Pro 7500 above it comes with two more included brush heads to the Pro 6000’s one. The lower-numbered Pro toothbrushes offer almost as much capability with a fraction of the price. Even Bluetooth can be found at a lower price than where the Pro 6000 is at. Whereas if you have money to spare, you can get much better performance if you invest a bit more.
The ProtectiveClean 5100 may have fewer features overall, but it holds its own better. There’s actually a reason to get it, and enough differences marking it out from the other brackets; it’s a good midrange toothbrush with a good number of conveniences, plus Sonicare’s native qualities.
Put all that together, and the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 is a better buy. You don’t get Bluetooth capability, but good brushing habits and frequent consultation with your dentist can easily fill that need. In the meantime, the brush itself is a great product that will serve you well.
Oral-B professional precision 5000 vs Philips Sonicare HX6921/30 Flexcare Plus
We’re now in the very middle of mid-range. The game here is one of balance: how much can you put into a toothbrush without it breaking the bank?
|Features||Oral B Pro 5000||Philips Flexcare Plus|
|Run time||10 days||3 weeks|
The Pro 5000 is the top of the ‘lower’ half of the Pro line. Every other iteration of the Pro uses the same body, just taking stuff out as needed to reduce costs.
The box comes with six items: the handle, a CrossAction toothbrush head, a travel case, a storage case for brush heads, the charger, and the manual. The handle has a rubber pad on the back for better grip. You’ve got five cleaning modes: Daily Clean, Deep Clean, Sensitive, Whitening, and Massage.
The handle looks a lot like the 7000 SmartSeries, with the same display panel, power and mode switch buttons, and indicators for Bluetooth and battery status. It also comes with a pressure sensor that flashes a red light on the back of the handle if you’re pressing too hard.
And it’s Bluetooth compatible. Oral-B likes making its toothbrushes smart, pushing Bluetooth down as far as they can. True, it can be a bit fiddly, but you get a very good smart toothbrush that can connect to your phone. The data gathered and the feedback from the app will do a lot to improve your dental health, since you can refine your brushing routine with the app.
You get ten days of battery life which is typical of Oral-B. The travel case is a fairly standard one: translucent blue plastic with slots for two brush heads. It’s vented, to let any damp brush heads dry without mold buildup.
Where Oral-B continues on its Pro line, with Sonicare we’re now looking at an item from its FlexCare range. Specifically, we’re looking at the FlexCare Plus.
The box comes with a charging station with integrated storage for brush heads, a ProResults gum health brush head, a travel case, and the manual.
The handle is a fairly clean one, just the power button and a mode switch button. Indicator lights are on the panel below the mode switch button, and light up only when the power’s on. The battery indicator has three bars to help indicate just how much charge you’ve got left.
You have five cleaning modes to find the one that works for you. Notably, you can only select a cleaning mode while the power is off. This helps avoid any potential trouble with accidentally switching modes mid-brush.
It also features Bluetooth connectivity, and Sonicare’s app is honestly the better of the two for an average user. We’ll explain more about that in a later section.
Battery life is excellent, as Sonicare always is, at three weeks. The charging platform is larger than Sonicare’s standard, but it’s still the same charger you’ve seen on the other brushes, just with an extra shell around it. The two pegs behind the charging peg are holders for extra brush heads. The travel case is the same one we’ve seen previously: white, plastic, vented. Nothing new there.
Comparison and Result
Honestly, of all the matchups we’ve considered so far, this is the closest to call. Both are Bluetooth-compatible, and both have a good range of cleaning modes for you to consider. Both have travel cases and room for extra brush heads with their chargers.
The Pro 5000 has a pressure sensor, while the FlexCare is a more comfortable brush experience. The FlexCare has Sonicare’s classic long battery life and user-friendly app; the Pro 5000’s included brush head is a better general-use head, and it generally comes cheaper than the Sonicare.
Truth be told, you won’t be let down by either toothbrush in this comparison, and they’re so similar that your personal preference will play a greater role than any feature either toothbrush has. If you already have a preference for either brand, go for the one you’ve tried. Or even go for the opposite one, try it out and see what’s more comfortable.
On our part, since we still have to choose one, we’ve chosen a solid performer with no real faults: the Oral-B Pro 5000.
Oral-B Pro 3000 Vs Philips Sonicare 3 Series
This is the lower end of mid-range. We’re still not quite into budget territory yet, but this is the bracket you look at if you only have a little extra to spare for your toothbrush.
|Model||Oral-B Pro 3000||Sonicare 3 Series|
|Battery life||7 Days||21 Days|
|Voltage||110 V||110 - 240V|
On Oral-B’s side of the battle, we’re continuing with another of their Pro models, the Pro 3000.
The box ships with five pieces: the handle, the charging pedestal, a storage compartment for brush heads, the manual, and a Pro White brush head. The Pro White is a slightly larger brush head made to remove stains and leave your teeth looking whiter. You can always replace the head, of course. It comes with three brushing modes: Daily Clean, Sensitive, and Gum Care.
It does give up the dedicated mode switch button you see on the higher versions; to switch cleaning modes, just press the power button after it’s on to cycle through cleaning modes, or hold for two seconds to turn it off.
Your most notable brushing aid is the same pressure sensor with the red indicator light on the back, same as on the Pro 5000. Plus again, it’s Bluetooth capable; in fact, the Pro 3000 is the cheapest iteration of the Pro line to incorporate Bluetooth connectivity.
Battery life is typical for Oral-B: A little over one week. The battery indicator is simplified; instead of the three-bar indicator you get on the later versions, you get just the one light, which turns red when you’re low on battery, or green when charging.
Overall, the Pro 3000 is a solid performer, and a good choice for anyone looking to upgrade from their budget-level toothbrushes.
Sonicare covers the lower end of midrange with a pair of solid, simple brushes. The 3 Series also adds a few extras to round out the experience better.
The box comes with the brush handle, a ProResults Gum Health brush head, a charger, and a travel case. The handle is on the slim side, but it grips very well, especially with a set of raised dots on the back. It also features three intensity settings to adjust your cleaning experience.
The intensities vary the speed at which the 3 Series vibrates. High is the standard setting, and you can throttle it down to medium or low should your teeth and gums find the high setting too uncomfortable. The power button switches between speeds. It’s rather short on brushing aids; you get the standard Smartimer and Quadpacer, but there’s no pressure sensor.
The included Gum Health head is softer and gentler than typical brush heads, as it’s intended to help prevent gum disease by cleaning the gumline. Couple that with a lower-intensity brush, and you’ve got a nice comfortable brushing experience. The handle is compatible with Sonicare’s other brush heads if you have different needs.
Battery life is an excellent three weeks, as you’d expect from Sonicare. The battery indicator at the bottom shows green for full or near full charge and yellow for low, and it’ll also beep and flash to alert you to low battery status. The travel case has room for the handle and two brush heads.
Comparison And Result
The thing is, at this price point, do you really need Bluetooth connectivity?
The problem with the Pro 3000 is that it wants to be a Pro 5000. This is not bad per se, it’s just that with Oral-B’s replaceable brush heads, once you get enough power backing up the brush head, all other features don’t feel quite that necessary.
Just about the main downside of the 3 Series is its lack of a pressure sensor. It’s not a dealbreaker, though; a pressure sensor is there for error control. Not having it won’t completely ruin your brushing experience.
In terms of brushing performance, the 3 Series is more comfortable, thanks to the included brush head and the speed control. The Pro 3000 does have its alternate modes, it’s just that the 3 Series is better at it.
The question here is, can you work with too many features or too few? Given the two brushes at play, our choice is the Philips Sonicare 3 Series. The Oral-B Pro 3000 isn’t a slouch, but the Bluetooth feels gimmicky at this price point. If you feel that the added tracking capability that the app gives is something you need, then the Pro 3000 will suit you fine, but simplicity wins for us, hence our choice.
Oral-B Pro 1500 vs Philips Sonicare 2 Series
These two options are on the lower end, the bracket just beyond budget. If you want to improve your dental health but don’t want to spend too much, this is the bracket for you.
|Features||Oral B Pro 1500||Sonicare 2 series|
|Battery||14 days||14 days|
|Warranty||2 years||2 years|
As you’d expect, the Pro 1500 is the next step down from the Pro 3000, so if you’ve already used one, you’ll find it quite familiar; the handle is almost exactly the same. The real question is, what’s different?
Honestly, not that much. You do lose the Gum Care setting, leaving you with Daily Clean and Sensitive, but most users will be relying on those two anyway. The box itself doesn’t carry much: just the handle, a Cross-Action brush head, and the charger.
The handle incorporates ridges on the front and back to aid in grip, so it won’t slip out of your hand any time soon. Otherwise, it’s a fairly minimal design; the only other relevant details are the indicator lights displaying battery status and if it’s charging.
Battery life is fairly good for Oral-B, as the Pro 1500 carries a lithium-ion battery that gives it two weeks of life. Not bad, but it still isn’t a patch on Sonicare’s usual battery lives.
You’ve got the classic set of brushing aids: two-minute and thirty-second timers, plus the pressure sensor and its red light on the back.
Overall, the Pro 1500 is a very good low-cost toothbrush, if rather minimalist; there’s no extras to make your life easier, not even a travel case. Still, that doesn’t take away from its solid performance.
Sometimes you just want something nicely simple and solid, and in that regard, the 2 Series delivers in spades.
Unpacking the box gives us the brush handle, a brush head, and the charging pedestal. The handle itself is largely unremarkable, except for the raised dots at the back to provide grip and the indicator light at the bottom showing battery status.
The charging pedestal is Sonicare’s classic little oval with the charging peg on top. Battery life is nearly four weeks, and the low-battery indicator will blink to notify when you’ve got about six uses left before going flat. The automatic power off means you won’t be wasting a moment of that battery life.
The expected 2-minute Smartimer with 30-second Quadpacer is also there, though that’s all you get for brushing aids. The cover for the brush head helps keep it clean.
There’s not really any downsides to the 2 Series, not at the price point it sits at. It’s a very solid, reliable brush; perhaps a bit light on features, but overall a good performer when it comes to cleaning teeth. Can anyone really ask for more?
Comparison and Result
These two brushes aren’t quite bargain-basement, but it would be flattering them to call them mid-range. Still, for being premium budget options, they’re reasonably good, and well worth the extra expense over their lower-cost counterparts.
The Oral-B Pro 1500’s pressure sensor helps you brush the right way; important when you’re still getting used to an electric toothbrush. It also gives you another option with the Sensitive mode, and thus more room to find out what works for you.
The Sonicare 2 Series, on the other hand, is a straightforward, simple machine; basically a standard toothbrush given a few upgrades. True, you don’t have the extra option of the Pro 1500’s Sensitive mode, but it’s already more comfortable and easier on the gums to start with, so it doesn’t really need the extra.
The Sonicare 2 Series wins here mainly because you don’t have to fiddle with it or think about it. The lack of a pressure sensor is a point against it, but good technique more than makes up for that. The Pro 1500 can still be rough on the teeth, even with the Sensitive mode up.
Oral-B Professional Deep Sweep Triaction 1000 vs Philips Sonicare HX5610/01 Essence
These brushes are strictly for budget users. They don’t have as many features as the previous ones, but they’re still a huge step up from a manual toothbrush.
|Model||Sonicare Essence||Deep Sweep 1000|
|Battery life||Up to 2 weeks||Up to 7 days|
|Voltage||110-220 V||110 V|
|color||White blue||Light blue|
The Pro 1000 isn’t really the very bottom of the Pro line (there’s a Pro 500), but it’s the last of the Pro line we’re looking at in this guide.
The box ships with just four pieces: the handle, a brush head, the charger, and the instruction manual.
The colored section of the handle is rubber, and gives you an excellent grip even when wet. Just a bit under the neck is the power button. Near the base, you have two indicator lights, for ‘low battery’ and ‘charging’. The included brush is a standard Oral-B Cross-Action head.
The charger is a small white pedestal with a peg sticking out on top, which fits into the recess on the brush handle’s bottom. Battery life is typical for Oral-B; the manufacturer says one week’s use, though some reports do say it can last for longer.
Brushing aids are minimal: the standard two-minute and thirty-second timers. The Pro 1000 also has a pressure sensor, though there’s no visual warning from it; instead, it stops the pulsating action if you brush too hard, and also throttles the motor.
There’s not much to it, and not much to go wrong. There are two main downsides: the battery level indicator is imprecise, only flashing when the battery is almost flat. Another is that since there’s only one brushing mode, the Pro 1000 is a bit rough on the gums.
The Essence is one of Sonicare’s older models, but it’s still on the market as a budget brush. Let’s see what it’s got.
Open the box, and you’ve got four items: the toothbrush handle, an E-series brush head, the charging station, and the manual; you’re not likely to get anything more at this price point. The handle is a bit on the chunky side, and it also feels heavy. Grip is aided by the two textured strips down the side. The power button also functions as the battery indicator, though it can only signal ‘low battery’ or ‘being charged’.
For brushing aids, there’s Sonicare’s classic two-minute Smartimer, but notably not the thirty-second quadpacer. Without it, you risk misjudging how much time you spend on each section of your teeth.
The good news is, it’s fully sealed and waterproof, and the handle is even dishwasher safe, if you need to clean it there. Battery life is about two weeks.
There are two main downsides. The E-series brush head is notably different than Sonicare’s other brush heads, and is incompatible with most of the other product lines. It’s also expensive to replace; what you save up front costs you down the road. The missing quadpacer is less of a hassle, but it can be a headache.
It’s showing its years, but it’ll still save you some money if you’re stretched for cash but still need to look after your teeth.
Comparison and Result
Picking between two budget models can be difficult when they’re stripped to the bone like these two. But in this comparison, one model has the clear advantage, and that’s the Pro 1000.
In terms of performance, the Pro 1000 cleans better than the Essence; at this price point, a sonic brush just doesn’t pack the same amount of cleaning punch as a rotating-oscillating one. The Pro 1000 also has the quad-pacer that the Essence is missing, making it more convenient.
The Essence doesn’t even have Sonicare’s usual voltage capability; it comes with a 120V charger as standard. You can get an adapter, but it can trip you up if you’re used to Sonicare’s other chargers. Plus, the cost of replacement heads mean that the Essence ends up being more expensive in the long run than the Pro 1000.
The Essence has exactly two advantages over the Pro 1000: It’s fully waterproof, and the battery lasts longer.
In this comparison, the Oral-B Pro 1000 wins by a country mile.
Oral B Kids vs Sonicare for Kids Electric Toothbrush
And of course, no discussion of toothbrushes can ever be complete without considering kids. After all, brushing habits should start young.
|Features||Oral B Kids||Sonicare Kids|
|Running time||5 days||10 days|
|Timer||Magic timer||kid timer|
When you’re making a kid’s toothbrush, you’ve got to think of a few things differently. Oral-B keeps this in mind with their Pro-Health Jr.
The package includes the handle, two toothbrush heads, and the charger.
From the start, design is already oriented towards children. The handle is smaller than usual, which means a child can easily grip it and move it around. The smaller head also lets it fit into the spaces in the mouth, especially the ones in the back. The handle is nicely grippy and it’s just under four ounces in weight, so there’s no worry about it slipping out of your kid’s hand.
The two-minute timer helps a child brush for the recommended duration, which pauses at the one-minute and two-minute marks. It also has the same thirty-second pacer, to alert your child to move on to the next section of teeth.
They even offer an app, the Disney Magic Timer. It features pictures of scenes from a Disney movie that your child can reveal over the course of a brushing session, figuratively using their toothbrush to scrub away what’s blocking it.
Sonicare’s own kid’s toothbrush has its own charms, though it goes about its business differently compared to the Oral-B one.
The box comes with the handle, one brush head, the charger, eight stickers for the handle, and two bonus sticker sheets.
The handle and head are the same size as Sonicare’s adult versions, which may make it difficult for smaller children to use; we’d recommend providing this to older children once you’re sure that they can grip the handle without problems. Fortunately, the back is entirely rubber and also has raised dots to improve grip; as long as your child can get a good hold, you won’t have to worry about dropping the toothbrush.
It also comes with two brushing modes, regular and gentle, selected by the bottom button on the handle. As with Sonicare’s other toothbrushes, you can only switch modes while the power is off.
The usual two-minute and thirty-second timers are there, but in a form that works better for kids. The KidTimer is active when the brush is on gentle mode. It starts your child off on a one-minute brushing session, and over the course of the next ninety days, gradually increases that until your child is brushing for a full two minutes. On standard mode, it goes to the default two minutes.
Easy-Start and the Quadpacer are also present, though your child may need some guidance to understand what the Quadpacer means.
And Sonicare also has their own Bluetooth app, which not only helps keep your child’s attention but also provides brushing advice and shows correct technique.
Comparison and Result
It’s important to look after your children’s dental health, especially since it’ll affect their future appearance a lot. This means brushing habits should be introduced early and kept up. An electric toothbrush makes it easier for kids to brush, since less effort is needed, and the built-in timers will help them brush for the proper duration.
Of course, kids are distractible, hence why both Oral-B and Sonicare have Bluetooth apps. On the whole, we prefer the Sonicare one, as it can do more than just hold your child’s attention; it’ll actively help your child in their brushing habits.
For the brushes themselves, the Oral-B Pro-Health is easier to grip and move around, while the Sonicare For Kids is gentler overall and can ease your child into the habit.
Overall, we recommend the Sonicare For Kids toothbrush. The gentleness of a sonic toothbrush and its included aids (KidTimer and Easy-Start in particular) make it a more attractive option, especially for clumsier children who might be too enthusiastic with a toothbrush and end up inadvertently damaging their own teeth and gums.
Braun Oral-B VS Philips Sonicare: Features Comparison
There are a lot of things that go into an electric toothbrush, certainly a lot more than what goes into a manual one. In this section we’re going to compare a few key factors between Oral-B and Sonicare, and let you know which brand reigns supreme regarding each specific feature.
One major difference between the two labels is their brushing technology. Sonicare uses a sonic vibration, while Oral-B uses rotation-oscillation.
Rotation-oscillation is Oral-B’s preferred mechanism. The circular head turns (hence rotation), but not in a complete circle; instead it goes back and forth (thus oscillation). Some of Oral-B’s toothbrushes also feature 3D cleaning; in addition to the rotation-oscillation, the head also moves back and forth (pulsating). This helps break up plaque.
This applies the bristles to your teeth just as manual brushing would, but now that it’s mechanized, it does so much faster. Manual brushing gets you to around 300 RPM; a rotating-oscillating brush can run anywhere between 2,500 to 7,500 rotations per minute.
This gets rid of a lot more plaque than manual brushing, and is much easier. The downside is mainly that this may be a little harsh to some people, with a lot of reviews saying it feels like taking a power tool to your teeth.
Sonicare’s vibration technology works on the same principle of moving the head to apply the bristles to your teeth. The difference is in how they move and what they use. Where rotation-oscillation turns the head, vibration has the head wobbling from side to side at a very fast speed: about 31,000 brush strokes a minute.
This also provides a bonus. At that speed, each stroke agitates the water in your mouth, creating microbubbles between your teeth. This strips plaque and bacteria from the surface of the teeth even when the bristles aren’t in direct contact. Philips Sonicare calls it non-contact brushing.
Between the two, my vote goes to Oral-B’s rotation-oscillation. There just isn’t enough of a difference between cleaning power to conclusively pick one over the other. However, Oral-B heads are smaller than Sonicare ones. This means they can get to the hard-to-reach areas that would be off-limits to a larger head, so you can be thorough in your brushing.
Excellent Design And Ergonomics
Design and ergonomics matter for comfort. You’ll be using that toothbrush around twice a day, every day, so it pays to have a toothbrush that isn’t a pain to hold up. And you want to keep a good grip on it; a toothbrush is no good if it keeps falling out of your hand.
There are many ways to make a toothbrush more ‘grippy’. Sometimes it can come down to the material; some of the toothbrushes we’ve outlined above have rubberized grips to prevent slippage. Alternatively, a handle can incorporate raised dots or ridges on the places where fingers naturally end up.
Between the two, Sonicare generally fares better in this area. Sonicare brushes are usually more grippy than Oral-B ones, and on the whole are easier to get your hand around. Oral-B tends to be a hit-or-miss proposition; some have better grips, some are worse; Sonicare is universally easy to hold on to.
Battery Life And Voltage Capability
Good battery life means that you won’t need to worry about your toothbrush dying on you mid-brush, and it can go for longer between recharges. How important long battery life depends on your preferences. For some, it won’t matter, as they might stick the toothbrush back onto the charger after each use, and thus never have to worry. Others may travel a lot, or prefer to charge when the toothbrush signals it’s low on battery.
All thoughts of battery life are constrained by the length of a typical brushing: two minutes, with two brushings a day. With this in mind, Oral-B toothbrushes generally last about seven to twelve days per charge. Sonicare fares better with an average of fifteen days, and some models can go for much longer.
Along with battery life, we also have to consider voltage capability. This isn’t much of a worry if you’re staying in the same country, but if you’re traveling internationally, it’s best to check what the standard voltage is in the country you’re visiting. Most of North and South America are 120V, but most of Europe, Asia, and Africa are 240V.
Oral-B includes differing chargers per voltage, so you’ll have to check if you’ve got a 120V or a 240V charger before you plug in. On the other hand, most Sonicare toothbrushes use 100-240V chargers, so no matter where you go, you can always charge a Sonicare toothbrush.
In the power battle, there’s no contest: Sonicare has better battery life and voltage capability, and so takes the prize in this area.
One advantage that electric toothbrushes have over manual ones is that they can include extras. Most electric toothbrushes will carry two timers: one set to two minutes long, another to thirty seconds. Sonicare calls these its Smartimer and Quadpacer; Oral-B has no special name for them.
Either way, they work to fill the same role. Dentists have found that duration of brushing is more important than intensity; that is, it’s better to brush for longer than it is to brush harder. A brush of two minutes is the recommended duration, hence the first timer. The thirty-second timer divides those two minutes into four blocks, so that you can brush four sections of your teeth. Sonicare lays these out as lower front, lower back, upper front, and upper back; Oral-B’s guide prefers upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right.
Also common are pressure sensors. Unlike with a normal toothbrush where you do have to press, an electric toothbrush just needs you to hold the bristles close enough to your teeth. A pressure sensor will warn you if you’re pushing too hard, so that you can brush properly and avoid damage to your teeth and gums.
In addition to this, as you move up in price, you may also find brushing modes. These will vary the strength of the motor and the pattern of movement to better achieve a specific goal. Common modes are typical cleaning (the standard setting), sensitive (slower brush strokes for painful areas or sensitive gums), whitening (removing stains from the teeth); and you may find more or less depending on the specific model.
Plus there’s Bluetooth connectivity. We cover this more fully later. As a summary, Bluetooth capability lets a toothbrush connect to your phone and the manufacturer’s app there, sending data to the app so that you can better adjust your brushing habits.
On the whole, Oral-B wins here. More of their toothbrushes include pressure sensors and Bluetooth capability. This means that you get more feedback on your performance, and can therefore adjust how you brush.
The capability to switch out brush heads means a manufacturer can make specialized brush heads in addition to their standard-use heads. This gets you brush heads like the Oral-B FlossAction or Ortho Care, or the Sonicare Plaque Control or Sensitive. All of these have their own roles.
In truth, the range of brush heads offered by both manufacturers is fairly wide, so whether you’re with Oral-B or Sonicare, you can find a brush head for your specific need. What matters instead is compatibility; that is, how many brush heads can fit on how many models?
For Oral-B, it’s simple enough: All Oral-B brush heads fit on all Oral-B electric toothbrushes. No exceptions, no special cases, no further hassles; just stick them on and go.
Sonicare has an extra feature that may benefit you: BrushSync. We cover the full capabilities of BrushSync later on; for now, think of BrushSync heads as smart brush heads. This does mean that you can get standard heads and smart BrushSync heads.
The good news is that Sonicare brush heads do fit on most Sonicare toothbrushes, with the only exception being the budget Essence brush. The bad news is that not all Sonicare toothbrushes have BrushSync. You can put a BrushSync head onto a standard handle or the other way around, but then you’re paying extra for no added functionality.
With this in mind, Oral-B wins the contest of brush heads. While they might not yet have Sonicare’s smart brush heads, they face fewer problems in the matter of head-and-handle compatibility. On the other hand, Sonicare has a few too many exceptions plus the added headache of smart versus standard.
Price matters because a toothbrush has to be within your budget to even get you to consider it. If it’s out of your monetary reach, there’s no point trying for it.
On the whole, Oral-B toothbrushes tend to run cheaper than their Sonicare equivalents, though this can be modified by things like sales and the whims of online markets, if you’re getting it from Amazon.
The thing is that you can’t just look at price alone to consider if an item is worth it. Other factors, like the ones listed here, have to come into play. Oral-B’s short battery life can be a bother for some people, while others may not be so satisfied with Sonicare’s lack of extra features.
If we’re considering just prices and nothing else, Oral-B prices are lower and discounts are more evident. If you want the cheapest possible toothbrush within a given price range, chances are it’ll be Oral-B.
A Complete Family Package
If you have a family, you also need to get the best deal for them. Dental care has to start early and habits have to be instilled in your children, especially in this age of sugar and soda. A good expense into toothbrushes now can save you dental bills years down the road.
Here is where a lot of the previous points come in. Oral-B brushes tend to run cheaper and have more features in a given price bracket than Sonicare, which makes them more useful for a family; you get more value for money that way.
Replacement brush heads are cheaper with Oral-B, and those savings add up over time. Oral-B also includes brush head storage compartments in the box, which makes it much easier to organize who’s using what brush head. Battery life is also less of a factor; a family can simply stick the handle back on top of the charger after use and ensure it’s always topped up.
Overall, the only downside so far is that neither Oral-B nor Sonicare have yet managed a ‘family mode’ for their smartphone apps; both assume a single user.
While ultimately a minor factor, noise level can still affect comfort and the general experience of brushing.
In this regard, Sonicare definitely does better than Oral-B. Sonicare’s mechanism produces a vibration in the handle and a low humming sound, but not one that’s noticeable; it’s only a little louder than a manual toothbrush.
On the other hand, Oral-B toothbrushes are pretty loud and have repeatedly been described as ‘power tools’. While certainly effective at removing plaque from the teeth, their sound output could use some improvement. Using an Oral-B toothbrush while everyone’s asleep may well wake someone if you haven’t closed the bathroom door.
The only time a Sonicare model gets as loud as a standard Oral-B toothbrush is when it’s on Deep Clean or a similar mode. On the whole, Sonicare is a lot less noisy than Oral-B.
All toothbrushes can travel, but the real question is, how intuitive is it to travel with?
You’ve got to look at a few factors. A travel case is a good start, because it means you stop digging around your bag for anything that might have gotten loose. But not all travel cases are the same. How convenient is it? How many extra brush heads can it bring? Does it take up a lot of room in your luggage? Can it charge your toothbrush while you’re on the go?
It’s also a matter of the charger and the battery. Remember our previous section on voltage and battery? It also matters here. If you don’t have to worry about whether your charger will work where you’re going, or if you know you’ve got more life in your battery than the duration of your stay, you can keep your mind on more important things.
This is why our vote goes to Sonicare for best traveling capability, thanks to their long battery lives and universal voltage chargers. The only thing you have to worry about is if your plug matches the socket in your destination, and if it doesn’t, there are always plug adapters.
ADA Seal Of Acceptance And Money-Back Guarantees
Oral-B is unique among toothbrush manufacturers in that they have an actual Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association. This Seal was awarded in September of 2017, after the ADA found that Oral-B toothbrushes were “safe and effective in removing plaque and helping to prevent and reduce gingivitis”.
Manufacturers can talk up their products all day long, but there’s nothing like third-party validation to really boost a product, especially when it’s experts in that field providing that validation. When a dentist’s organization recommends a line of toothbrushes, you know you can rely on quality. Just look for the ADA seal, and you know you’re in good hands.
And in case you aren’t satisfied with the product, it’s always worth it to look at your options. Both Oral-B and Sonicare offer money-back guarantees within a given timeframe. Sonicare allows for a return and refund within thirty days from the date of delivery, while Oral-B goes out to sixty days from the day of purchase. Oral-B won’t ask questions why, while Sonicare specifically permits for unsatisfied customers to make use of the money-back guarantee. Check with them for specific details.
Overall, Oral-B wins in the security and quality front: with both a stamp of approval from the ADA and a generous money-back guarantee, you can be sure of the quality of their products, and if it really isn’t up to par, you’ll be able to get some money-back.
Both Brand Introduce Some Unique Features
When it comes to two similar competing brands, the question on everyone’s minds is always, “how are they different?” In this section we’ll examine a few features that are unique to each brand, so that you can better judge which brand works better for you.
Oral-B released the first electric toothbrush with Bluetooth capability back in 2014, and has since then integrated the same capability into many of its mid-range and high-end toothbrushes. Sonicare has followed, though not nearly to the extent of Oral-B.
Bluetooth connectivity lets your toothbrush sync with the manufacturer’s app on your phone. This gives you access to a wealth of features and data that you can use to ensure great dental health; there’s so much in both the Sonicare and Oral-B apps that it would take a whole guide just to get through them.
Combined with the features already on your toothbrush, the apps provide feedback on how much pressure you should be applying, and track how long you’ve been brushing. This lets you correct your brushing habits, and thus take better care of your teeth.
Oral-B Position Detection Technology
So far this is a feature only seen in the high-end Oral-B toothbrushes. Position detection technology uses your phone camera to monitor where your toothbrush is, where in your mouth you’re brushing, and track how long you’re spending on each section of your teeth. This lets you see if you’re giving each of your teeth the time it deserves, or if you’ve missed a spot.
While an excellent idea in theory, multiple reports do show that it’s a rather hit-or-miss proposition; the technology has been known to misread the position of the brush and therefore give incorrect feedback, and this happens too frequently to be easily dismissed.
Also, its reliance on your phone camera limits both you and your phone. It can only work while your phone is standing perfectly straight, and the camera has to be pointed at your mouth, both of which mean that you have to stick the included smartphone holder at the spot your face would go on your mirror.
Overall, it works quite well, if you can manage to get it to work.
Sonicare Bluetooth Realtime Feedback
Oral-B may have led the way with Bluetooth integration and they may have their Position Detection Technology, but Sonicare is easily keeping up with them in that area with their real-time feedback.
The brush sends data gathered from sensors on your toothbrush to the app on your phone: how hard you’re brushing, where you’re brushing and what you’ve missed, and tells you how you’re doing, if you’ve brushed well enough or if you need to go back and brush a spot again.
It doesn’t stop at just the brushing. It also checks if you’ve flossed, rinsed with mouthwash, and cleaned your tongue. All of this data is tallied together, and you get points for brushing well. With this system in place, you now have a way to see how well you’re doing, what you’re doing wrong, and how to fix that.
Oral-B Wireless Smart Guide
It’s a tiny, unassuming thing, but the Smart Guide just about the best part of any Oral-B toothbrush!
While you’re brushing, the guide shows you a visual timer to track the duration of your brushing, what brushing mode you’ve selected, and a quadrant display that goes with the thirty-second timer to be sure you’re brushing all your teeth evenly. If you push your toothbrush too hard and trip the pressure sensor, the Smart Guide also shows that, giving you a sad face.
It does need two AAA batteries that need to be switched out every few months, but with the benefits it brings, it’s well worth the cost, being a simple, portable, and unobtrusive extra that helps get you in the right habits of brushing.
Oral-B 360-Degree SmartRing
This ring of LED lights is found on some of Oral-B’s high-end toothbrushes, mounted at the top of the handle, just below the brush mount. It serves two small but useful purposes:
First, you can switch the colors around on the app, with a selection of twelve different colors. Tired of looking green? Switch it over to purple.
But it’s not all just pretty lights, as it’s also integrated with the rest of the toothbrush to provide visual warnings. If you’re applying too much pressure, it’ll flash red in conjunction with the brush itself warning you. It’ll also flash with the 30-second and 2-minute timers to keep you brushing at the correct intervals.
Sonicare Smartimer Automatic Shutdown
Any battery-powered device has to deal with the issue of power management. Sonicare’s 2-minute Smartimer includes a solution by automatically shutting down the toothbrush at the end of the two-minute brushing cycle, to avoid over-draining the battery. Sonicare doesn’t explicitly list this as a feature.
If you’d rather brush for longer, there are ways to bypass the automatic shutdown. The timer pauses when you press the power button, and resumes with another press. It also resets to the top of two minutes if you pause brushing for 30 seconds, or if you stick the handle onto the charger.
If you’re new to electric toothbrushes, the extra power on your teeth can take a little getting used to. Sonicare’s Easy-start brushing power ramp-up is their answer to that problem. Your first few brushings will be done at a lower power, and it’ll slowly increase in power until after the fourteenth brushing, after which it’ll have reached full power. This gives you a full week to get used to your Sonicare and how it brushes.
Easy-start comes activated on all Sonicare toothbrushes, and its presence is indicated by two beeps after turning on your toothbrush. If you don’t need Easy-start, you deactivate it. Assemble the brush and put it on the charger, then press and hold the power button for five seconds. One beep means Easy-start has been deactivated.
‘Smart’ can extend to a lot of things. Most of the smart toothbrushes on the market focus all their capability in the handles, but Sonicare takes it up another notch, by introducing smart brush heads and their BrushSync technology.
If you’ve bought a high-end Sonicare toothbrush, look at the brush heads and see if they have a symbol that looks like a wi-fi icon, just above the attachment point. If it does, then that head is a smart, BrushSync-enabled head.
BrushSync gives you two capabilities: one is usage tracking with replacement reminders; the other is mode pairing.
For the first one, the brush itself monitors how often it’s being used. Once it reaches the end of its service life, it’ll flash a light on the handle to inform you that you should replace the brush head. The reason we also say usage tracking is because it isn’t just a timer; it actively monitors your use of the head and only flashes the reminder based on your usage habits. If you brush more frequently, it’ll light up earlier; if you don’t use it as much, the reminder comes later.
Mode pairing automatically switches the toothbrush’s cleaning mode and brushing intensity to the settings that are most effective with the head you’ve just attached. You can change these settings yourself as well, because they’ll be saved for the next time you stick that head on.
Not all BrushSync-capable toothbrushes come with both features. To date, all BrushSync-capable toothbrushes have incorporated replacement reminders, while only the ProtectiveClean 6100 and the DiamondClean Smart have the mode pairing feature.
This does mean that if you want to take full advantage of these features, you have to pair a smart BrushSync head with a BrushSync-capable handle. You can put a standard head on a BrushSync handle or the other way around, but you won’t get the full suite of features.
Helpful Guides For Brushing Your Teeth
Of course, all this is for nothing if you don’t know how to take full advantage of whichever electric toothbrush you’ve picked. We’ve got two guides here, depending on which manufacturer you’ve chosen.
How to Get the Best Results from an Oral B Electric Toothbrush
Oral-B’s smaller brush heads let you give very close attention to each tooth. The brush will do most of the work for you; all you have to do is to guide it.
You want to spend at least two minutes brushing with proper technique, and the best way to ensure you get all your teeth is to brush them in sections. Oral-B recommends dividing them into upper right, upper left, lower right, and lower left. The two-minute timer and thirty-second pacer will help you track how long you’ve been brushing.
Of course, you have to start with the usual: wet your brush head a little bit, then add toothpaste. Not too much; the commercials always show too much toothpaste on a brush. A dollop the size of a pea will do fine.
Hold your toothbrush against your teeth, then gently guide it along the surface. If your toothbrush has a pressure sensor (which is common in Oral-B toothbrushes once you get out of the cheapest brackets), it’ll alert you if you’re pressing too hard.
Start on the outside of your teeth, and carefully guide the brush head from tooth to tooth. Give each tooth a few seconds’ attention, then go on to the next. Move the brush head along the surface of each tooth and the curve of your gums.
Then repeat the same for the inside of your teeth, and again for the working surface. Don’t forget to brush behind the back teeth.
A bit of practice with this routine, and you’ll start wondering how you ever got by with a manual toothbrush. All you need to do is guide the brush and make sure you’ve cleaned all your teeth. The toothbrush’s built-in timers will help you with that.
Getting the Best Results from Your Philips Sonicare Toothbrush
Sonicare brush heads are generally a little larger than Oral-B, and so the technique differs a little bit. Not by a whole lot, but enough that you can’t apply Oral-B techniques to Sonicare brushes.
First thing you want to do is give the bristles a little soak under the tap or into a glass of water. Put on a little bit of toothpaste; not too much, just around the size of a pea.
Once your toothbrush is loaded, put the bristles on your teeth. The head should be angled about forty-five degrees toward your gumline. Once you’ve got the bristles on your teeth, that’s when you press the power button.
Remember, this is an electric toothbrush. Apply only light pressure, just enough to keep the bristles on your teeth. Let the brush do the work. Slowly move across the teeth in little back-and-forth motions.
Don’t forget that your brush is equipped with the Smartimer and Quadpacer, so it’ll notify you when it’s time to switch. It’s two minutes total brushing time, thirty seconds per quadrant, and Sonicare’s recommended division is as follows: Upper teeth front, upper teeth back; then lower teeth front, and lower teeth back.
Just brush in whichever order you want to take the four sections, until the Quadpacer goes and tells you to move on to the next one. You’ll also want to spend a little time on the working surfaces; you can do that during, or after, the brushing, but remember not to neglect the back of your teeth.
All this may seem a bit daunting now, but once you’ve got it down, you’ll find it’s much easier than a manual toothbrush. All the effort is in the brush; it just needs your hand to get it where it needs to be.
Whether you’re looking for the most high-tech toothbrushes on the market, something that can look after your kids teeth, or if you just want something to replace your manual toothbrush; Oral-B and Sonicare are the brands you want to be looking at.
Oral-B is the original pioneer of electric toothbrushes, and its name has come to be synonymous with modern dental health. And Sonicare is a relatively new up-and-comer that places a refreshing focus on simplicity and the intuitive nature of their products.
In our guide, we’ve given you absolutely everything you need to consider about both brands, and we hope that you’re now better educated to purchase your brand new electric toothbrush.
At the end of the day, these brands are both giants in the dental industry, and their quality and customer service is second to none. With dentists and critics backing up their performance – you can entrust your smile to Oral-B and Sonicare.