Another season, and another toothbrush upgrade will be popping up in your feed. This time, Philips has launched its new Sonicare 9900 Prestige. What can this brush do for your mouth, and is it worth the price? I’ll dive in in my hands on, er, my in-mouth review!
What’s the promise of Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige?
Smart toothbrushes are very diverse. Some have simple technology, while others can actually monitor you while you brush.
The Philips Sonicare toothbrush 9900 Prestige has a couple of key features; among them, it pairs with a companion app to give you some intel on your brushing. It also lets you adjust intensity settings, switch between modes, use what’s called adaptive intensity, and it gives you scrubbing feedback. More on that in just a sec.
See my hands-on review
The sleek black and gold colour scheme definitely cuts a sharp figure on the bathroom countertop, and the new charging and travel case looks way more pro and less plastic, lending a luxe feel to the kit overall. Otherwise, and configurations of the brush handle is very much like the previous Phillips brushes I have reviewed including the Philips One and Philips Platinum. UPDATE: you can skip to the bottom for an important review update I recently posted about this very expensive appliance.
What’s in the box: Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige Electric ToothBrush
This toothbrush comes with the brush handle, one brush head, a travel case which also charges it, an at-home charging base, and a charging cable and plug.
Philips Sonicare app
To provide a connected experience you need to download the Philips Sonicare app. Using a Bluetooth connection between your phone and the brush, it allows you to customize your toothbrush settings, to track your brushing progress, as well as receive tips and recommendations. More on the app and the data it tracks also coming up.…
When you use the brush, it will store recent brushing data, within the last 2-3 days it seems, and add it into the app when you connect the brush via Bluetooth.
The charging and travel case of Philips 9900 prestige is a bit lacking in my opinion. It’s not as though this case will hold a charge so you can leave the cords and cables at home while on the move. With this you will need to bring the cable and plug it in to the case then place the toothbrush into the case in order for it to recharge.
Brush Head & BrushSync technology
Philips sonicare 9900 prestige electric toothbrush comes with one brush head; it’s Phillips new premium all in one brush head model 83. This brush head replaces several other brush head options which were designed to provide specific oral health features. Wisely, in my opinion, Phillips has abandoned the multitude of brush heads in this device for one brush head option which it claims will remove plaque, whiten and remove stains, and take better care of your gums. Unwisely perhaps, the brush top is a sickly putrid orange tone that makes it look like shower mould has accumulated on the brush.
These brush heads have tiny chips embedded in them which work with Phillips Brush Sync technology.
This technology is designed to monitor how long you brush for and how often, and recommend a new brush head at the appropriate time. You should see a notification in the app, is my guess, but I’m not due yet, so I’m not entirely sure. An indicator light on the brush will also pop up. I do also get a report inside the app that tells me how many “sessions” I have left.
Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige has three intensity settings: high medium, and low. You can manually select your intensity on the brush using the button, or adjust it in the app.
Another setting on the brush gives you a gentle nudge when you’ve brushed too long in one area. The quad pacer timer will help you time your brushing by quadrant of your mouth; start in one corner of your mouth at a time, then wait for the short vibration signal before moving onto another quadrant of your mouth. This is supposed to ensure that you get good coverage and don’t spend too long on any one section of your mouth resulting in wearing of your teeth.
Sense IQ is Phillips catchall term for the array of technology in this brush. IQ features include adaptive intensity, pressure sensor, and scrubbing feedback. Let’s take a look at each one in detail:
Scrubbing Feedback/Pressure Sensor
The Phillips Sonicare 9900 can intelligently measure the motion of your hand while you are brushing and identify “scrubbing behavior” for example, if you scrub back and forth, result in wearing of the teeth along the gum-line, so the brushing feedback light at the bottom of the handle Will light up in yellow and change it to vibration as a reminder to stop scrubbing back-and-forth. The light will turn off. The app also give you a report.
If you are one of those folks who is a “aggressive brusher” like I am, you might be interested in Phillips adaptive intensity technology. This brush is designed so that if you use too much pressure for too long a period of time, the toothbrush will automatically lower its intensity setting by one level. Intensity activated on the brush by default.
Ideal Pressure/Pressure Sensor
The toothbrush also has a pressure sensor where if you push too hard to handle will change its vibration and the light on the handle will/purple until you reduce the pressure.
The app will also record Brushing Frequency, and Average Brush Time.
Using Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige
Using this toothbrush isn’t that different from your average toothbrush in that the brush head size and shape is familiar and easy to use. It’s the technology where things gear up. You can of course just brush without the app, but that’s probably not the point of this brush, is it?
It pays to at least check in on your brushing stats, or to use the real time brushing monitor that will guide you through which teeth to brush and for how long. This is a bit nannyish in my opinion, but it’s what you’re paying for.
Charging and battery
The brush can be stored sitting on it’s charging pad on your bathroom counter and the charging stand is two pieces, a lovely gold pad, and then a plastic stand, and it appears both pieces are required for optimal charging.
I’m still working my way through more battery life testing on this, but this Philips Sonicare tPrestige 9900 lasted me about 3 months on a single change with minimum twice daily use.
Overall Review: Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige
Overall this is a good toothbrush with lots of features, and many of them don’t need the app to perform. The brush is easy to use and get set up, it stores data so you don’t need to sync every day, it’s comfortable and the brush head is soft and suave. The battery seems to last months too.
Downsides? The weird orange colour of the brush head is a bit of a turn off. Aside from that I’d say the biggest downside to this brush appears to be the price. Rather shockingly, Phillips has the list price for this toothbrush at $499CAD ($349USD) or $399CAD on sale. That’s some chunk of change.
So if you’ve got the funds and plan to use or at least experiment with all the technology, this is a great brush, if you’re looking to save some dough, there’s other sonic toothbrushes out there that can give you a similar but less techy experience for a lot less cost.
UPDATE: August 2023
I want to update this review with some important information. I received this brush in the Spring of 2021. After two years of reliable use, the metal post that holds the toothbrush head in place has loosened substantially. The brush still functions but it makes a terrible rattling sound and the brush head is quite loose. It’s my sense this component will likely come apart in the next few weeks or months, so I have decided to retire the brush from use. That means this toothbrush which calls itself “exceptional” has had just a two-year lifespan. I think that’s extremely disappointing and for that reason I am revising my recommendation to not purchase this product due to its limited lifespan and ultra high cost.