24 Mar Philips Sonicare Essence

Philips Sonicare Essence with Rechargeable Battery

I’ve always been a bit of a history buff so I thought I’d share quick tidbit about the history of the toothbrush before I go much further with this review. The electric toothbrush may be a fairly recent invention, but the toothbrush itself has been around for hundreds of years – in fact there is strong evidence that the first toothbrushes with bristles and handles were used by the Chinese as early as the 1200s. Thankfully, toothbrush technology has come a long way since those days – today you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re comfortable with using horsehair bristles in your mouth!

Well, now that we’re all a little bit wiser about the history of the toothbrush, let’s jump right in and look at the Philips Sonicare Essence and whether or not it’s the right brush for you. This brush is definitely what you’d call an entry-level model in the electric rechargeable toothbrush category. You can expect to find it at a retail price of between $25 and $50, and it’s widely available.

Sonic or Oscillating Technology?

Essentially, the electric toothbrush market can be divided into two main categories: sonic brushes and oscillating brushes. Oscillating brushes feature brush heads that rotate rapidly to replace the typical scrubbing motion that you do with a manual brush. Sonic toothbrushes, on the other hand, feature a brush head that vibrates rapidly, again replacing the natural brushing motion you’d use with a manual toothbrush.

Which one is better? There’s probably not a real simple answer to that question – it’s more about individual preference, as they both do a fantastic job of removing plaque from your teeth. The Essence toothbrush we’re looking at here falls into the sonic category, and while I can’t tell you which one you will like better I can tell you that the vibrating bristles on a sonic toothbrush like this produce a tingly feeling in your mouth which is actually quite refreshing. It doesn’t hurt that it removes twice the plaque of a manual toothbrush, either.

Standard Features

As we’ve already mentioned above, this electric toothbrush by Philips is an entry-level model; as such it doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles, but it does have some standard features that you’ll find right across the Sonicare line. It has a two-minute timer that lets you know when you’ve reached the recommended brushing time, it has an Easy-Start feature which lets you get used to an electric toothbrush gradually, it has fading brush head bristles to indicate when it’s time to change your brush head, and, of course, it uses sonic vibration technology to remove plaque.

These are the things it does have, but it’s also missing a lot of features that you’ll find in higher-end electric toothbrushes. It doesn’t have an indicator to let you know when to move on from each quadrant in your mouth (dentists recommend spending 30 seconds in each quadrant), it doesn’t have a multiple mode selection option, and it doesn’t come with a travel case. If you’ve got sensitive teeth, the lack of extra mode options that address such concerns might put you off this model.
Now, these aren’t essential features for maintaining a healthy smile – they’re simply added features. If you’re not into all these extra bells and whistles and you simply want to make sure that you’re taking the best care possible of your teeth, then chances are you’ll be more than satisfied with this entry-level brush.

Some Concerns

When you’re buying an entry-level product you’re bound to find a few things that are a little disconcerting, and that’s definitely true with this Philips offering. One of my biggest concerns is that the rechargeable battery is not lithium-ion; this unit uses the older nickel cadmium technology. The big problem with this is that nickel cadmium is known for its limited life span. These batteries are also not the best for the environment either.

The other thing to keep in mind about this brush is that it’s not made of the strongest materials. The plastic is a cheaper material than you’ll find on the higher-end models and, due to the nature of its design, there is a tendency for toothpaste to build up in the grooves. It requires a bit more maintenance than you might be expecting because of this, but the toothbrush itself does work quite well.

Does the Job

Philips Sonicare Essence Electric Toothbrush isn’t the best electric toothbrush on the market by any means, but if you’re looking for a rechargeable electric toothbrush that will remove more plaque than your typical manual toothbrush, then this brush will do the job just fine. It doesn’t have a lot of extra features, but the bottom line is that it’s definitely an upgrade on a manual toothbrush. It’s also very reasonably priced, which makes it a good choice if you’re trying to maintain a budget.

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