It used to be your toothbrush came from your dentist. Maybe some of you also found one in your Christmas stocking each year. Nowadays purchasing a toothbrush is a lot more purposeful. And a lot more technological. There’s a host of smart, connected, electric, ultrasonic, and otherwise “new and improved“ toothbrushes on the market today. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to test out a lot of them so I have some thoughts about what goes into making a good toothbrush.
Review: Philips Sonicare 7300 expert clean sonic toothbrush
I recently had the opportunity to review the Philips Sonicare 7300 Expert Clean toothbrush. I’ll tell you about my experience, what I liked and what I didn’t, and whether I think it might make a good choice if you were looking to upgrade from a basic toothbrush.
Why get an electric or sonic toothbrush?
The sales pitch from Phillips here is that a sonic powered toothbrush provides superior plaque removal, whiter teeth, and healthier gums. Using a toothbrush like this one with its combination of sonic technology, gentle cleaning, and other features you’re supposed to get a better clean with less damage to your teeth.
For me personally, I spent many years developing an aggressive toothbrushing habit. That meant I pushed harder than I needed to, and fell into a habit of going back and forth in a sawing motion. This caused a good amount of wear on the edges of my gums where they meet my teeth. That’s why my dentist a few years ago recommended an electric, ultrasonic, or otherwise non-manual toothbrush for me. I trust others out there who are reading this might have some of the same concerns.
Philips Sonicare 7300 : What’s in the box?
Inside the Philips Sonicare 7300 expert clean toothbrush package I received is the Phillips toothbrush handle, two brush heads, a travel case (this one does not also charge it), and a charging base. Separately I also received the Phillips UV sanitizing box meant to clean and sanitize your brush heads.
The Phillips sonicare 7300 has a companion app called Philips Sonicare up that pairs with your toothbrush to give you access to more interactive features like being able to review a weekly progress report for ways to improve your brushing routine, getting tips and recommendations for oral health. More on how truly interactive this is (or not) later.
Philips Sonicare 7300: what’s the promise?
One of the first items of note with this toothbrush is that it has different options for brush heads and that the brush heads will ‘talk’ to the brush handle. The brush heads available are called “premium plaque control“, “premium white“, “premium gum care“. The labels are pretty self-explanatory in terms of the overall benefit to your teeth.
The toothbrushes included in my Package were the premium plaque control brush and the premium gum care brush.
To my eyes, there’s not a whole lot of difference between these two brushes. There are definitely some subtle changes to the bristle arrangements on each brush, but beyond that they don’t look all that dissimilar. I opted to try out the gum care brush head first.
Brush Sync technology
Phillips shares that there is some smart technology built into this brush, for one, what it calls brush sync technology.
Brush sync technology enables your brush heads to communicate with your brush handle using a microchip. The symbol at the bottom of the brush head indicates it is equipped with this technology this enables you to use brush head mode pairing, and get brush head replacement reminders.
This brush model has different brushing modes: there is clean, deep clean plus, white plus and gum health. Based on the smart brush head you choose, the mode will be selected automatically.
Your choice of brush head dictates brushing time automatically
The other choice that will be made automatically for you is the total brushing time. For example, if you’re using the premium plaque control brush head, it recommends a two minute brushing time or three minutes for a deeper clean. Using the white plus premium white brush head, the brush will run for about two minutes and 40 seconds. With the premium gum care toothbrush head, you will be brushing for about three minutes and 20 seconds.
The Phillips Sonicare 7300 expert clean has three different intensity settings. This is fewer than many other toothbrushes I’ve reviewed recently, however those toothbrushes with different speed and intensity settings don’t also have the smart sync technology with micro chips. So you win some, you lose some.
As noted, the different intensity settings will be chosen for you based on the type of brush head you’re using. So maybe there’s asctually more, you just can’t access them unless you have the right brush head. You can also change the intensity manually by turning on the handle and pressing the mode/intensity button which looks like three varying heights of bars.
The Philips Sonicare 7300 has a feature called easy start. This option gently increases the power of the handle over the first 14 brushings to help you get used to the brushing power of Philips Sonicare. This feature applies to all modes.
Using Philips Sonicare app
If you pair your toothbrush with the Philips Sonicare app, your toothbrush can automatically track your brushing habits and send the data to your smart phone for later review. It will keep track of things like daily brushing sessions, time spent during each brushing session, and how much pressure you’re using. It will also track brush head use and give you a replacement reminder based on your actual usage and effectiveness, not just after a certain period of time, says Phillips.
Extremely annoyingly, you can’t complete set up without agreeing to Philips’ tracking, privacy and marketing options.
Once you do, the app will sync your brushing with the app to give you a progress report. It doesn’t say if you need the app to be running while you brush for the data to be collected, or if it does this in the background. After about a week of brushing I loaded up the app and connected to the brush and several days of data was displayed, so it looks like it updates this in thew background.
Sadly, the next times I went to connect the app to the brush, it would not connect. I got error messages like, ‘unable to connect’, ‘are the lights on your toothbrush on?’ (they are) and even after following the troubleshooting steps (reset Bluetooth; I did, and make sure handle is charged; it is) I was not able to connect again, so overall the connected experience seems disappointing.
Philips Sonicare 7300 features
Brush head replacement reminder
Depending on how hard you’re scrubbing, and how long you spend brushing your teeth, that will factor into how often you should replace your brush head. Fortunately, the app and the smarts inside the toothbrush will coordinate to give you a reminder next time you need a new brush. The brush head replacement reminder on the brush handle will also turn yellow and the device will beep. This feature comes already activated on your toothbrush but it can be turned off if you wish.
Another important feature of this brush, particularly for aggressive brushers like myself is the pressure sensor which is meant to protect my teeth and gums from damage. Applying too much pressure the handle will change it vibration pattern until you reduce the pressure. This is another feature that comes activated on the toothbrush but that you can turn off afterwards.
If you’re not the type to want to set a timer on your every toothbrush experience, you might enjoy the brush pacer feature. This not only tells you how long you should brush for, but it vibrates when it is time to move onto the next quadrant of your mouth.
Battery life: Philips Sonicare 7300
The battery life has been great so far. While the manual doesn’t detail what you should get from it, at the moment I’m up to about 4 weeks and still have 2 bars of battery left.
I have another Sonicare brush and I easily get 3-4 months of use, using the brush twice per day. In terms of charging time, the manual says it need 24 hours to fully recharge, which is a bit much, in my opinion.
Philips UV sanitizer for toothbrushes
In our new pandemic-era world, cleanliness is everything. That’s why there’s probably more than a few folks that would be interested in the UV sanitizer for brush heads. The small compartment lets you store to brush heads inside the unit and it uses UV light to sanitize brushes and kill germs. A full cleaning cycle takes 10 minutes.
Using this device is easy enough; drop your brush heads onto the small post close the door, and press the green power button. This is one of those features that works in visibly and since I don’t have my own microbiology lab in the house, I’m afraid I have no way to verify how much bacteria is getting zapped off my brushes each time I use this device. But again, in this new world, having that extra peace of mind might be worth it, so we will take Phillips his word for this one.
Cost of Philips brush heads
Where the rubber meets the road for stuff like toothbrushes and printers is in the accessories you need to constantly replace. In this case, the brush heads cost anywhere from $10 each up to $40 each depending on who you buy them from and what size package you get. That’s a significant expense when you compare the cost of just buying a simple toothbrush or getting those freebies from the dentist.
Overall review: Philips Sonicare 7300 expert clean sonic toothbrush
Overall this brush does a lot. From the brush head reminders, to the app monitoring, the UV sanitization option and the pressure sensor. I like the slim and comfortable shape of the brush heads; they’re much easier to use than the round ones in my opinion.
When it comes to things I didn’t love as much, I found it a bit harder to find a comfortable vibration setting that wasn’t too bone jarring; in the end I just went with the lowest setting on offer, but it was still a bit much for me. I had a hard time getting battery info, but it’s lasting fine for now.
In short, if you’re looking for an electric and sonic brush option, I can recommend this one, but I will say I prefer my Sonicare DiamondClean that I’ve been using for a few years; it’s a bit more attractive and has more intensity settings that work better for me.