* Prices may differ from that shown
As a dentist, I am lucky enough to receive plenty of dental equipment to try out. My latest tester was the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean toothbrush. It is ranked as top of the range on the market at the moment and unfortunately comes with a £250 price tag to match.
Aesthetically the sonicare is very pleasing. It is an all white, tapered rod, with a power button. When turned a column of lights indicating the mode being used and the power level indicator is also visible. It comes with a carry case and two charging units. The case is silver on the outside, green inside, stylish but also robust. You can be assured that your toothbrush will not be damaged when travelling. The case also doubles up as a charging unit. It has a USB port, into which you plug in the provided cable and connect the case either to mains (via the provided USB adaptor) or to your computer. The second charging unit is one for the bathroom; a water glass which sits upon a charging unit that you plug into a shaver socket. Unfortunately for those looking to pick up a new toothbrush, the charging units will not work with previous models of philips toothbrushes. The battery power is also very very good. A fully charged toothbrush, used twice a day has lasted me for 3 weeks now. The indicator will turn orange and flash, to let you know when the toothbrush needs charging. Philips also provide you with two of their patented diamond head brushes, which have diamond shaped bristles.
The toothbrush comes with 5 different modalities, a set up which can currently only be seen with the Oral B triumph 5000 toothbrush. The default is "Clean" with a simple two-minute brush, while "White" adds an extra thirty seconds on top for you to give the front teeth some extra attention. "Polish" is a minute session of intensive front-teeth buffing, while "Gum Care" pairs the "Clean" experience with a further minute of gentler gum massage. Finally, "Sensitive" ramps down the enthusiasm of the Sonicare system for those with sensitive teeth and gums. All great when used correctly, however once a cycle has started, the toothbrush will turn of when the time is up. While useful, it can be annoying if something is stuck in your teeth. It is also possible to switch between modes mid brush. An important note, and a useful tool, is that the toothbrush will beep every 30 seconds reminding you to move onto the next quarter of your mouth.
The toothbrush vibrates from side to side, instead of rotating in circular motions like the majority of electric toothbrushes. Studies performed both by philips, and through separate bodies have shown that the sonicare motion is more effective at removing plaque and bacteria than any other electric toothbrush on the market. I feel that while I had to get used to the motion initially, the diamond shaped brushes are far more effective at getting into the gaps between the teeth and into the gum pockets, providing me with a far superior clean. I usually add the white mode, and combined with a specific colgate toothpaste my teeth are far whiter than they ever have been. I am an avid tea drinker and unfortunately, tea tends to stain. The toothbrush is also gentle. I often experience some gum irritation when trialing a new brush, however the bristles and motion of the sonicare have left my gum intact and healthy.
Overall I feel that this toothbrush stands in a line of its own. The clean provided is far superior to its competitor the Oral B triumph 5000. It is important to know that the Oral B is half the price but if you can afford the sonicare, I would not hesitate. In comparison to a manual toothbrush, there is simply no competition. The sonicare promises to brighten your smile in one week. This may not be the case, but by at least two you will definitely notice a difference. Not as quick as a tooth whitening session at the dentist, but far cheaper.
I was very unfortunate to regularly suffer with build ups of plaque and tartar on my teeth, and had to visit the dentist several times a year for a rather unpleasant scale and polish. My dentist first recommended to me that i would benefit for buying a sonicare toothbrush and I admit that I wasn't keen on the idea to begin with due to the initial outlay involved. However, when I realised how much I was spending on visits to the dentist and treatments, I thought that it had to be worth a go.
My first Sonicare toothbrush was highly effective, and considerably reduced the problems and issues that I had previously experienced. After using this for a couple of years, I wondered if I should 'upgrade' to the Diamond edition and after more careful consideration I ordered a new unit through my dentist.
The toothbrush itself is similar in appearance to previous Sonicare models, but has far more additional features and some revamped thinking. The toothbrush is sleek and is fairly light and comfortable to hold. There are five cleaning options (Clean, Whitening, Gum Care, Sensitive, Polish) which highlight up one at a time with each press of the power button, allowing you to select a tailor-made programme. For the first few times to get used to the brush I chose 'clean' but I have tried the gum care and whitening options also. The frequency of the vibration is altered according to the specific selection - it is worth noting at this point, if you have not used an electric toothbrush before, it can take a few tries before you get used to the sensation but it is well worth perservering! The toothbrush also has a built in timer and will briefly pause every 30 seconds during a two-minute clean; this is so you can work on one section of your mouth at a time (eg, lower left, lower right, upper left, upper right). You can pause brushing at any time by pressing the power buttn and as long as you resume brushing in less than 45 seconds the toothbrush will remember where it is in the cycle. From the first use I felt that there was a noticable difference in how clean and fresh my mouth felt even compared to my usual sonicare toothbrush, and the inclusion of the gum care option has seen an improvement in my gum health as verified by my dentist!
The unit comes with a charging glass - this can also be used to rinse your mouth - which sits in a silver holder. The brush simply sits in the glass to charge, which looks quite pleasant and is easy to clean. The charging unit is fitted as standard with a two-pin bathroom plug so you will probably need to buy an adaptor. Also provided is a travel case with a USB port so that you can charge your brush conveniently when on the go. I like this feature a lot as it is easy to pack your brush, keep it clean and free from damage and ensure you can charge it whilst away from home in one simple small box!
The brush heads are easy to replace - you just pull them off and push the new one on - and the heads themselves have a blue stripe which fades over time to serve as a reminder to replace them. I would recommend carefully wiped round the bottom of the brush head where it meets the unit after each use as I got a build up of toothpaste caked in the small gap over a period of time! It was easy enough to clean out, but much easier to prevent! You can also get two diffrent sized brush heads - a standard one or a compact one. I recommend the compact myself, as I found this much more comfortable to clean with s
it might be worth giving both a try if you experience any discomfort on first use.
All in all, I am very impressed with this model; it is contemporary, easy to use and clean and really does deliver great results. I know that it may seem pricey compared to other toothbrushes on the market, but if you really want something to not only clean but actively help care for and look after the health of your teeth, gums and mouth then it is worth it. The initial outlay will pay itself back in reduced problems and visits to the dentist!
My first foray into Sonic toothbrushes started when I first bought a Philips Sonicare back in 2001 and apart from a travel brush that uses replaceable AA batteries, thus lending me an instant "Sonic" versus "conventionally cordless & oscillating" toothbrush process, I've seen quite a difference between the uses of the two products. With the Philips Sonicare being used as my usual brush between the interim periods of travelling with my old travel Braun Oral-B, my visits to the hygienist started to whittle down to just three a year compared to the 15 visits I had the year before I ever discovered Sonic toothbrushes! The appearance & health of my teeth left by the Sonic brush was also noted by my dentist who cancelled any kind of future visits with the hygienist because the Sonic brush at the time could clean up my gums and shift hard deposits such as tartar between teeth and wedged deep down into the gum line. As such I've been a fan of Sonic toothbrushes for a number of years when it eliminates the extra costs of extra cleaning services given at dentists in the long run, just as a bonus!
Another factor for consideration is that Sonic technology in toothbrushes vibrate but have a fixed position compared to moving brush heads, or oscillating types and in the past I've found some oscillating brushes to be too abrasive on the sides of my mouth causing tearing in the skin leading to ulcers compared to the gentler vibrations that help to loosen dirt with just as close-contact brushes designed in tandem. Though my successor Braun Sonic Complete was great on performance, it is now requiring to be charged weekly compared to its usual 2 week run and this is as sure an obvious sign that it is on its way after four years reliable service.
I thought I'd treat myself to a new Sonic brush from any brand including Braun, but the cost prices of £249 to £300 really put me off! The Sonicare HX9332/04 Diamond Clean by Philips seemed like the ideal replacement and at a reduced cost of £118 from Amazon UK now slashed to £106 and £100 elsewhere offline at franchise shops, it makes a lot of sense to consider this brush over other brands - particularly when Braun's Oral B "oscillating brush" top of the range brushes cost around the same price.
Nar2's Quick Skip Product Spec
* Model: Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean HX9332/04.
* Sonic toothbrush with 2.0 USB charger case & charger glass.
* 2 pin plug & USB charge plug supplied.
* 2 brush heads - small and large also included.
* Weight of brush and main unit: 139 grams (Braun Sonic 153g).
* 5 modes of cleaning action, battery indicator & 2-minute timer.
* My price from Amazon UK: £118 now £106, £149 Argos, £124 at Boots.com, £100 at John Lewis & Debenhams.
* 2-year guarantee.
General Design & Quality
There are a lot of features that I love about this product that attracted me to the "flagship" of the Philips range, not excluding the funky actual glass made "whisky" induction tumbler where the toothbrush can be left in it to charge - provided you slot in the plug charger base underneath it. Philips have already recognised the fact that the tumbler is made of glass and have already supplied a £27 replacement glass on their website as part of the accessories list for the Diamond Clean toothbrush. Sadly I don't have an electrical point in my bathroom, but it is still handy to consider in the future if I do put an electrical shaver plug as you get a 2 pin plug for charging the "usual" way when it comes to personal care machines.
However, the bright green material clad "reading glasses" travel case is more appropriate to me where charging is concerned as there's a permanently built in 2.0 USB slot with a removable cord already included with this product which makes it easy to charge off any PC or MAC, or even if you have a USB battery charger plug for an iPod! I much prefer Philips decision here to fit the older style 2.0 USB cord as it makes it easier if you have an old work laptop with you on business trips and the case itself is well made and able to withstand general abuse. You get a USB plug anyway just for charging the toothbrush as an option if you don't want to feed the toothbrush charge off the battery on your computer.
The toothbrush itself is quite a lovely item to look at and hold, with a finish that could so easily come from Apple Mac. For the cost price here, it is well worth the money. Decked out in a smooth white/cream ceramic finish and with five cleaning modes on offer ("Clean," "White," "Polish," "Gum Care," and "Sensitive."), I find the Sonicare HX9332 does what it largely says on the box. You get a smaller clean head and a standard larger toothbrush head with the travel case, each having lift off protective caps that can still be stored in the toothbrush hard case supplied and the bristles have a soft feel to them without being harder compared to the ones on my Braun Sonic Complete.
General Performance & Downsides
At the time of waiting for my Philips Sonicare HX9332 to arrive, I ordered a basic set of three standard Sonicare toothbrush heads from Argos and was delighted to find that they fit the Sonicare HX9332/04 Diamond Clean, even if it fails to say so on the box. However, when it comes to actual performance, I find there's a big difference between the standard replacement heads for all the other Philips Sonicare toothbrushes and the ones suitable for the HX 9334 Diamond Clean. This is because the green heads have slightly shorter filaments and aren't as spaced out as the larger brush head that is made for the Diamond Clean, not only made obvious by the name of the brand and its type blazoned along the top of the main brush spine before simply pushing it down onto the pin and checking that the brush head is completely flush with the rest of the unit.
The highest "clean" speed can be a bit too strong if you are not used to it, but if you have owned a Sonic brush before, the memories of being cleaned properly may start to flood back! This is a very powerful and fast brush able to select just one of the speeds by pressing on the main button once to go down the list, highlighted by the lights of the words that appear easily when activated. A built in timer lasting 2 minutes tells me when it is time to change the angle of the brush or to just press the button again for the LED's to light up, signalling the auto-shut off mechanism and placing the brush either in the glass charger jar or just standing up on its own - which the Philips can do quite successfully.
Compared to my Braun Sonic Complete brush head, the Philips Diamond Clean is a lot smaller and far more nimble to reach into the farthest corners of my mouth. Thus, the cleaning performance is a lot quicker, able to direct the long spine of the brush into areas on the top and bottom gums and spending as Philips suggest, 30 seconds on each "quad" part of your mouth. After the cleaning and brushing is done, my mouth feels as if it has been cleaned professionally. Any need to floss? No, not with this brush!
After cleaning, there is a fresh and "open" feeling where my mouth feels as if it has been given a make over rather than the usual feeling of just mint alone from the toothpaste gel I always use, to get the best results from Sonic brushes. This is because the vibrations from the Philips whip up gel into a frothy and light foam compared to toothpaste alone that doesn't seem to aid much with the use of the vibrations. Though it can't be tested, Philips claim that the Diamond Clean offers up to 31,000 rpms which seem to sit with my experience of a fully cleaned out mouth and it would stand to reason when my own Braun Sonic Complete offers 20,000 rpms and no longer gives me that clean, fresh feeling once the brush has finished cleaning.
A claim on the box that seems to be largely promoted is the fact that the Philips Sonicare HX9332 can give whiter teeth in two weeks usage that has actually turned out to be completely true - provided you go by the daily twice a day routine! Tartar and plaque gets taken off easily - provided you keep using the Sonicare with the daily twice a day routine - and the natural whiteness of my teeth is beginning to look restored.
Compared to the Braun Sonic Complete's brush, toothpaste leakage when in use, is not much of an issue on account that the brush heads are thinner by diameter with longer, softer bristles. General things like pieces of nuts that get wedged deep into my bottom front set of teeth get whipped away by the Philips, cleanly compared to the Braun Sonic and logically best to keep your mouth closed as much as you can when using any Sonic brushes as the vibrations are far higher than a moveable brush head without the Sonic technology built in.
Certainly if you are used to moving an electric toothbrush around your mouth, the Philips Sonicare is a refreshing change, which not much movement required, letting the brush do the work for you and only changing the angled head when you want to move onto the next section of teeth.
Charging & Other Downsides
A battery indicator in green also shows up whenever the brush is used and goes orange when it is time to charge up. Generally although it requires 24 hours for its initial charge out of the box to last for 3 weeks, thereafter the Sonicare Diamond Clean only requires 4 to 8 hours thereafter for a 2-week usage. I have only had the toothbrush for the month and a few days, so after its initial 3 week use and then tagged onto my computer for 2 hours before using it again, the Philips Diamond Clean seems to sustain power rather well, even if Philips fail to give any mention to the initial charging times AFTER the initial introduction to your life!
However there are few other downsides and it all comes down to NOT reading the user manual when the brush cuts out in your mouth suddenly in use. Unlike so many Sonic brushes on the market, the Philips HX9332 offers minute timed clean programmes that can't be changed. Although the unit has a 1/2 minute timer built in, my Diamond Clean tends to stop before two minutes are up, or perhaps I'm going over the two minutes without really noticing, thus requiring to start up the brush again. I thought I had bought a duff brush until I noted that the five cleaning modes all have different timed sequences. The top speed "Clean" function lasts for 2 minutes, the "Whitening" program lasts for 2.5 minutes, "Polish," lasts for 1 minute, "Gum Care," for 3 minutes and the "Sensitive" program lasts for 2 minutes.
After purchase, other online reviews of this product seem to find the same downside. What they don't point out is that the "Easy start up" program can be cancelled out by pressing the On button when the brush is being charged to cancel the function. One other downside is the travel case itself - it has a plastic green interior that doesn't appear to have any drainage holes. This means the brush will have to be wiped and taken apart to ensure the brush gets dried properly before storing. Also the ceramic body is a bit too slippy to hold, even if it does look classy. Phillips could therefore add a bit more grippiness to the design to ensure that if it does fall out of your hands, and that the smooth ceramic finish on the whole brush doesn't get marked. It hasn't happened to me yet but through use, the Ceramic finish does have a slight grainy quality to it and until the brush is rinsed with water, that's when the finish can become slippery to the touch.
Generally I'm really pleased with the Philips Diamond Clean Sonic brush. Fast, quick to function and completely waterproof, this Sonic toothbrush is comfortable and not too noisy as well as being fairly light to handle and compact enough to boot. With its actual three ways of charging (glass, USB plug and through your own computer) it offers a versatile way of being used as well as being very easy to control and use, not just helped by its bells and whistles in use! Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2012.
Philips HX9332 Sonicare DiamondClean Toothbrush / Short name: Philips HX9332