Call me old-fashioned, but I'm not sold on electric toothbrushes yet. I have tried them on and off over the years, but have always fallen back to manual brushing. The Philips Sonicare 3100 Sonic Electric Toothbrush, though, may yet change my mind, thanks to its slim design, and quiet operation.
- Sonic technology
- Quadpacer and SmarTimer features
- Slim ergonomic design
- 14-day battery life
There are basically two big brands when it comes to electric toothbrushes — Oral-B and Philips. The key difference is the type of brush head. Philips uses vibrating bristles that look more like a manual toothbrush, while Oral-B has a round oscillating brush head. Having tried both, I would say Oral-B feels easier to get the hang of it. It took me a while to figure out the Philips Sonicare 3100, like how to navigate it from tooth to tooth, the angle to hold the toothbrush, and so-on. In comparison, the Oral-B toothbrush was noisier, and bulkier. But in terms of how effective they cleaned my teeth, it's basically a tie based on a side-by-side testing. Ultimately, it all boils down to your personal preference.
The Sonicare 3100 comes with a pressure sensor that helpfully lets you know if you're pushing the toothbrush too hard against your teeth or gums. It takes quite a bit of force to trigger it. You must really be doing it wrong to get the pulsing sound warning. Like many electric toothbrushes, the Sonicare has a built-in 2-minute timer (SmarTimer) that's divided into four 30-second segments. Basically, you should clean your teeth for at least 2 minutes, with 30 seconds spent equally on each quadrant of your teeth. There's like an audio cue every 30 seconds (Quadpacer), and the toothbrush actually stops automatically after 2 minutes. I feel that this timer, also available in some form in other brands, is one of the reasons to get an electric toothbrush over a manual one.
The Philips also has a brush head replacement feature that indicates when you should change the brush head, based on your usage. I haven't used it enough yet to see this feature in action. But there's supposed to be a light indicator on the toothbrush handle. In terms of battery life, the Sonicare 3100 comfortably lasts the two weeks touted by Philips. I have had to charge it once in my time (less than a month) with it. It doesn't come with a power adapter, which is fine (it has a USB-A cable). But I would have liked a travel case.
My Sonicare 3100 (HX3671/54) review set is a limited edition version that's in black. But from what I can tell, it's essentially similar to the white HX3671/23 model, which sells for S$99. I think it has just about all the features you'd want in an electric toothbrush. Sure, the higher-end models will have fancy smart features with Bluetooth connectivity, and what not. But in the end, I think the Sonicare 3100 gets the job done. And it's slimmer, and quieter than a similar Oral-B model. Pair the Sonicare 3100 with an oral irrigator like this one from Philips, and you're all set. Get it from Amazon SG, Lazada, and Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by Philips.
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