Philips Sonicare HX9172 FlexCare Platinum Review

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Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 17.59.28Here at ToothbrushTown, we’re big big fans of Oral-B brushes. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t great alternatives out there, and today we’re taking a look at one of them.

The Sonicare HX9172 from Philips is a unique brush, to say the least; it actively rids its brush heads of plaque bacteria when you’re not using it! Read on to find out how.

I’m Feeling Supersonic

Philips favour “sonic” brushing technology when it comes to their electric toothbrushes. Just what the heck does that actually mean?

The idea behind sonic brushes, is that they vibrate at such a high speed that they whip up saliva and toothpaste into a bit of a lather, driving it in-between your teeth and up to your gums and thus removing more plaque bacteria.

It’s a pretty simple idea, and one that Philips say results in 100% better plaque removal than a normal brush.

The only independent study conducted into electric brushes didn’t really back this up, concluding that sonic brushes didn’t offer any further plaque removal benefits over ordinary brushes.

However, where sonic toothbrushes do tend to outshine others is in stain removal.

The brush heads move at such a pace that they can give your teeth a really good polishing, and Philips say that you’ll notice that your teeth are a whiter shade within weeks of use (and many Sonicare devotees swear by them for just this reason).

Easy Does It

If you’re not used to a sonic speed toothbrush, then you may be concerned that it’ll simply be too uncomfortable.

There’s no need to worry about that.

Out of the box, the HX9172 doesn’t start at it’s full speed. It’ll start slower, and then over the first 2 weeks of use gradually ramp up its speed, getting you used to the sonic vibration speeds as you go.

It also has three intensity settings, so that you can adjust the speed to your specific tastes; ensuring that you get a nice comfortable brushing.

Bacteria On Your Brush? Yuk

One thing a lot of people don’t consider about their toothbrush, is that it is usually absolutely teeming with bacteria. After all, that’s the whole purpose of brushing; to remove bacteria.

Brushing your teeth to rid your mouth of pesky plaque bacteria is what keeps your teeth nice and healthy, but did you ever consider where that bacteria goes after you’ve got rid of it?

It doesn’t all die. A lot of bacteria lives on within in the bristles of your toothbrush, multiplying and breeding in-between brushings.

By the time you come back to brushing your teeth, that brush then goes straight back into your mouth. Disgusting!

Incidentally, this is the reason that dentists recommend changing brush after suffering with the flu.

Bacteria Killing Machine

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 18.03.36With you HX9172 you’re not just getting a toothbrush, you’re getting a lean mean bacteria killing machine!

The brush comes with a unique UV Sanitiser, it’s the little box you can see to the left of the charging stand.

After you’ve finished brushing, pop the toothbrush head off the handset, open up this box, and place the brush head inside.

Then, without you needing to lift a finger, the sanitiser uses ultraviolet rays to kill 99% of bacteria on the brush!

When you return to brush again, it will be squeeky clean, and none of that yukky plaque bacteria will make its way back into your mouth!

What Else Do You Get?

As with most modern toothbrushes, the HX9172 contains the usual brushing timers; it’ll tell you when you’ve been brushing for long enough, and when to switch your attention to an new area of your mouth.

It also includes a pressure sensor, which warns you if you’re applying too much pressure to your teeth (a rookie brushing mistake that lots of people tend to make).

It has 3 different brushing modes (clean, whitening and gum care), 2 brush heads included free of charge, and reminder bristles on the heads to let you know when you need new ones.

The battery isn’t too shabby either (in fact, it’s one of the better lasting batteries that you’ll find in any brush), lasting 3 weeks if you brush twice a day for 2 minutes each time.

Oral-B vs Sonicare

So which technology is better? Philips’ “Sonic” brushing, or Oral-B’s so-called “3D Cleaning”?

Whilst both will take excellent care of your teeth, Oral-B do have the edge here in terms of plaque removal.

Their rotating technology has been independently proven to remove 10% more plaque than any other toothbrush (reducing your chances of Gingivitis by 20%).

On the other hand, the Philips’ sonic technology tends to be better at whitening and removing stains.

So, the choice really depends on your goals.

If your oral health needs improving or you’re concerned about plaque build up, then go with Oral-B.

If whitening and stain removal is your goal then a Philips’ Sonicare brush would be a good choice.

Cool Ideas But Kinda Pricey

I must admit to being somewhat bowled over by the UV Sanitiser included with the HX9172.

Previously, I’d taken to filling a bottle cap with mouthwash and leaving my brush heads in there to soak, in order to kill bacteria. But none of that faff is necessary with the UV Sanitiser; it makes sure my brushes are always as clean as can be without any effort. It’s a really cool feature.

Personally, I do prefer Oral-B brushes for their independently proven brushing tech (and the added bonus that they are considerably cheaper than Sonicare brushes). But, if whitening and stain removal is your goal, then most people report that Sonicare offers superiority in that regard.

It’s a great brush, and I love the UV Sanitiser, but ultimately the HX9172 loses a little of my favour in terms of value for money; it’s certainly not cheap.