Judie: I’ve used various electronic toothbrushes off and on for years, but since 2007 I’ve used Philips Sonicare toothbrushes exclusively. My first was their less expensive e-series model (liked it), which I replaced it with a HealthyWhite (loved it). Now that we’ve tried Sonicare’s DiamondClean toothbrush, Dan and I can safely say that we’ve both got the best toothbrush everrrrr.
Make no mistake about it, the other models of Sonicare toothbrushes that I’ve used have always done an excellent job on my teeth. At my bi-annual checkup and cleaning, my dentist and his techs usually comment unprompted on how great my gums and teeth look, and I’m not gonna lie — it makes me happy to hear that. Who doesn’t want a healthy and sparkling mouth?
It wasn’t always that way, though.
I used to use regular toothbrushes — always with the soft bristles — but I would brush a bit too aggressively. Okay, more than a bit too aggressively. And I did it more than twice a day.This may be a bit TMI, but over time, I had managed to make my gums recede on the left side; I’m right-handed, so I learned after the fact that I was over-brushing on the more convenient half of my mouth with my dominant hand.
One extremely painful (and expensive) gum transplant later, and I was using my first Sonicare upon my dentist’s recommendation. Have you ever had gum transplant surgery? Let me fill you in on how it goes: They cut a sizeable section of skin out of the roof of your mouth, and then they cut the gum where it will be placed, and then they patch the skin into that spot. You have to be super careful with the transplanted skin, because there is a good chance that it won’t take. But that’s not the worst part.
The worst part is the hole in the top of your mouth that takes for-freaking-ever to heal. They gave me hydrocodone to get through the pain, and I used all of that bottle as well as most of the refill. I like to think that I have a high tolerance for pain, but that is definitely an experience I hope to never repeat; it was one of the most painful surgeries and “healing processes” I have ever been through … and I’ve been through childbirth! That should tell you something.
Dan: I’ve always been lucky. My teeth are tough, healthy, and have required very little maintenance from me. I brush regularly multiple times a day, use Listerine and floss… but not as often as I should. Braces as a teen closed a gap between my from two teeth that reopened within days of the post-braces permanent retainer being removed. I decided to let it go. I still have a retainer on my lower teeth, and keeping that area has been a challenge. I now need cleanings more frequently, and they are done after I have been numbed since the lower teeth are extremely sensitive. Over the past few years, at my dentist’s urging and as my teeth have shifted a bit, I’ve begun using a water pick regularly. Still, by the time I’m ready for my next cleaning my teeth just don’t feel all that clean — even after brushing, flossing and dental picking.
My review sample of the Sonicare DiamondClean Sonic Toothbrush arrived, and after just the first use I was sold. SOLD!!!! I all but felt like I had just seen the dentist.
Judie: So how does the Sonicare help prevent expensive and ultimately painful brushing mishaps like mine? Instead of scrubbing your teeth like you would do when manually brushing, when you use a Sonicare you basically hold the toothbrush to your teeth at a 45º angle. There is no need to brush up and down; there is no need to press hard, there is no need to do anything other than just pass the Sonicare brush gently and slowly across your teeth in “a small back and forth motion [not up and down] so the longer bristles reach between your teeth.” You need only to apply light pressure, and “let the Sonicare do the brushing for you.”
Dan: Okay, so the first two days I used the Sonicare DiamondClean Sonic Toothbrush I sort of took a hybrid approach to using the device. I let it do its thing, but I also brushed. I then realized that the entire point of the Sonicare DiamondClean Sonic Toothbrush is to let it do the work. I stopped applying pressure and … shockingly … saw the same awesome results.
Judie: The Sonicare uses a Quadpacer, which is an interval timer that will emit a beep and pause to help you time your brushing in the four quadrants of your mouth. So what makes the DiamondClean model in particular so special?
It has five modes, and the Quadpacer will beep at different intervals depending upon the mode that you have selected:
- Clean – the standard mode for a whole mouth clean
- Whiten – removes surface stains to whiten teeth
- Polish – brightens and polishes teeth to bring out their natural brilliance
- Gum Care – gently stimulates and massages gums
- Sensitive – an extra-gentle mode for sensitive teeth
My old Sonicare had two modes; the DiamondClean takes my favorite brush to a whole new level. It also looks pretty freaking cool sitting on my bathroom counter (which the old one never managed to do).
Dan: Okay so, thus far, I’ve only use two of the three modes — Clean and Gum Care. I’m happy to know the others are there, but these two seem to be working just fine for me.
The Sonicare DiamondClean range is not only Philips’ most advanced yet, it’s also their most simple and stylish. DiamondClean Black’s power handle has a ceramic finish and a chrome accent ring that highlights the elegant neck of the brush. The technology in the handle is hidden so that the sleek matt black finish of the brush is uncluttered by electronic visual displays. Only when the simple on button is pressed are the brushing modes illuminated to reveal the array of options. These are then simply selected by scrolling down using a one button action.
Let’s take a look at what’s in the box.
The box includes a USB/AC wall charger, a miniUSB to USB charging cable, two black DiamondClean heads, the DiamondClean Sonic toothbrush is inside the black and neon green ballistic nylon charging travel case, and under that cover piece is a glass cup, and a chrome charging base with AC cable.
Judie: Let me start with the glass cup and its inductive charging base. This is a much more attractive charger than the white base my old Sonicare had; the cup is pretty handy for using to rinse your mouth out after brushing, and it may be able to replace something you probably already had sitting on your bathroom counter.
Dan: We’ve never been in the habit of leaving a rising cup sitting on the counter, so when Elana walked in and saw it the first time it took her a minute to realize what it was. I may end up using it as a cup, but the fact that you just drop the device into the cup and it begins to charge is just freaking cool! It honestly makes me want similar inductive charging technology on all my gadgets. Yes, I’ve seen the future of charging and I like it!!
Judie: The USB charging travel case is a new feature; most Sonicare brushes come with a plain white case that will hold a brush head or two and the Sonicare toothbrush; end of story. This case will charge your toothbrush from the USB port on your laptop or from the wall charger adapter.
The brush already holds a three-week charge, so the charging case may not be something you will ever need to take advantage of … but if you need to, you can. Options are good, right?
A dot and a triangle printed on each of the two heads makes it easy to tell one from another. This won’t be a big deal if you are the only one using the toothbrush, but if you share the base with a significant other, you’ll be glad for the differentiation.
Brush heads are supposed to last for about three months; since most people are going to forget to mark it in their calendar, there is a blue section of bristles that will gradually turn white. Once the bristles turn white, you’ll know that it’s time to replace the head.
Here’s the assembled Black Sonicare DiamondClean in all its Limited Edition glory. It has a ceramic black finish instead of the white plastic finish that I am used to. The only button on it is the neon green power button on the front, and when it is pressed …
… all of the different modes are displayed. When you press the power button, it will start in clean mode; if you prefer a different mode, you just press quickly until that mode is highlighted.
Sonicare says that the DiamondClean will operate at up to 31,000 brush strokes per minute, and that it removes up to 100% more plaque than manual brushing. Your gum health is supposed to improve in only two weeks, and based on my experience, I would say this is true. Using the DiamondClean is also supposed to whiten your teeth 2x better than manual brushing, so there is that.
For comparison sake, here is my “old” brush, the Sonicare HealthyWhite. Like I said, it’s a great brush – it can even take the DiamondClean brush heads (which is what we’ve been using). But the HealthyWhite only has two modes, and next to the black one, it looks … plain? Is that shallow of me? Yes? Oh well. Did I mention that the DiamondClean has five modes?
Dan: I won’t show you my old manual toothbrush that was already overdue for replacement, but let’s just say the review sample of the Sonicare came at a perfect time.
I have a lot of traveling coming up and the fact that the device comes with the inductive charging system AND a travel/charging kit is awesome. Now I just need to get one of Phillip’s travel water flossers and I’ll be good to go!
Judie: It’s worth pointing out that the inductive charging bottoms of the two brushes are totally different. The HealthyWhite toothbrush sits on an inductive charging base that has a peg, while the bottom of the DiamondClean is concave, and the only time that seems to matter is when it is inside the convex charging travel case. The bottom of the charging glass cup is also concave, so go figure. Unfortunately, you can’t use the same charger on both models, so if you suddenly find yourself in a household with two different types of Sonicare toothbrushes, you won’t be able to share chargers any more.
The Sonicare DiamondClean Sonic Toothbrush is simple to use, and it leaves your teeth exquisitely clean. How clean? The closest I can compare it to is “just left the dentist’s office after having your teeth scraped and polished” clean. Now granted, I am someone who brushes and flosses (with string) at least twice a day, and I see the dentist twice a year — whether I think I need it or not. So bear in mind that my teeth and gums are in good shape to start, but I still feel like they’ve had an extra deep cleaning each time I leave the dentist’s office. I get the same feeling when I run the Sonicare on Clean for two minutes and then I run it over my teeth again in Polish mode. Holy cow.
Dan: “The closest I can compare it to is “just left the dentist’s office after having your teeth scraped and polished” clean.” Let’s be clear- that was my response before just reading Judie’s experience. Two for two on that front should tell you something about this impressive product!!
Judie: I’m guessing that the best thing would probably be to start with a thorough cleaning at your dentist’s, and then start using the Sonicare DiamondClean. Or heck, you could start using the Sonicare DiamondClean and then go to the dentist. I can’t imagine that your dentist won’t notice how great your teeth look, but the real benefit is this: better tooth and gum care at home means less scraping at the dentist’s, and that is a very good thing!
Dan: When I first say the price of the Sonicare DiamondClean Sonic Toothbrush I was taken a bit aback. When compared to the manual toothbrushes I use the north-of-$200 price is a lot to take in. After using the Sonicare for a week, all I can tell you is that if the review sample disappeared tomorrow I would be ordering a new one immediately. ‘Nuff said!
Judie: Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Limited Black Edition is available from several online sources including Target and Amazon; there is also a white version if black isn’t your thing.
MSRP: $219.99 (get it for less from our Amazon affiliate store)
What I Like: Five modes for fantastic deep cleaning and polishing; inductive charging glass is pretty cool; the charging travel case is handy for long trips; the Sonicare DiamondClean is a great looking toothbrush
What Needs Improvement: It’s expensive; the charging base only works with this model — so if your significant other uses a different Sonicare model, you’ll have two chargers on the bathroom counter
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit