Going to the dentist for a cleaning is always such a chore, albeit a necessary chore, but your teeth never feel so clean as when you come out of that cleaning. Now what if you could experience that feeling at home while still getting feedback of your own brushing habits (and not feeling judged)?
Philips, the makers of a number of smart home products, has made perhaps the smartest toothbrush known to man; the Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige. The company claims that the toothbrush adapts to you and “cares intuitively,” even finding ways to communicate with you on improving your brushing with light indicators on the brush and through their app.
The Sonicare 9900 Prestige is the highest end of Philips’ line of toothbrushes. It is one of the brushes that connects to the Philips Sonicare App, which monitors your brushing in real time and lets you know if you are brushing evenly and sufficiently by showing you your mouth map and where coverage was missed.
What separates the Prestige from the other app-connected brushes in their line is their Sense-IQ technology. It senses the pressure, motion and coverage one hundred times per minute. It also adapts to you as you brush. It will adjust its own intensity if you are pushing down too hard.
“The Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige itself is very elegant.”
The brush comes with a charging station, USB cable, travel case and one A3 Premium All-In-One Brush Head. Philips claims that their brush removes up to 20% more plaque, 100% more stains and makes your gums 15% healthier in a matter of 6 weeks vs. a manual toothbrush.
The Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige itself is very elegant. It is well-balanced for a power toothbrush, which is not the experience you get from the battery-powered ones. It had a charge upon opening it and just turning it on, the intensity of the motor was impressive. The high pitch vibration gave me the feeling that it was going to give me a good brush.
Usually, when putting toothpaste on a cheap battery-powered toothbrush, I have no problem turning it on before putting it in my mouth. This is a BIG MISTAKE with Sonicare. I put my charcoal toothpaste on the brush (yes, black toothpaste) and, the instant I turned it on, my bathroom sink was a speckled mess. Lesson learned. Let’s try again.
Without moving the brush around, you can feel the scrubbing motion of the brush head. You can hear the change in the motor speed when the pressure changes, and you can feel every bit of the intense vibration. But it is quite comfortable in your mouth. I prefer a slightly larger brush head, but it was adequate for getting where I needed it to be.
The idea of an app for your toothbrush remains a little strange to me. It isn’t completely without value, though. It can help you break some bad habits. It is nice to get some feedback initially to see if you are using too much pressure or not spending enough time brushing a specific area, but aside from that, it feels like little more than a novelty to me.
For example, after you have brushed your teeth, it gives you reminders to clean your tongue and floss. It also gives you a report about what days you have been brushing. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think that people who don’t brush their teeth often enough or floss are forgetting, and the people who are doing it don’t need reminders. So, these feel like steps that either slow down the brushing process or make you lie to your phone.
A $399.99 USD price tag (plus $14.99 USD per replacement brush head) is more than I can recommend for anybody to spend on a toothbrush. I can’t tell someone to buy something that I would not buy for myself. But if you are seeking a high end product because you have the money and seek to spend it on a premium hygiene device, then look no further.