Braun Oral-B Professional Care 1000 vs. Phillips Sonicare Essence 5600

Did you ever have those dreams where your teeth for one reason or another would fall out of your mouth? I did. And while I haven’t been perfect about my dental hygiene, I do try to brush twice a day. Flossing is a bit harder for some reason, but I do it when I can. Several checkups ago, my dentist recommended an electric toothbrush. So I performed my usual due diligence and did some comparisons mostly by way of Amazon and Consumer Reports. Maybe not solely because of using the brush, but certainly to some degree, my dentist has recently told me that I have the best teeth of any patient in the office.

My first choice was Braun. They are fairly well known in the personal care industry. I chose the Professional Care 1000, following my never-buy-top-of-the-line philosophy. I paid $35.00 for it at Amazon in 2011. The handle was comfortable in my hand and the brushes easy to replace. A great feature is the 2 minute timer with 30 second intervals, so you can spend an equal amount of time on each quadrant of your mouth. The brush tips are circular and it was pretty easy getting it around all areas of my mouth.

But I have to tell you, it was a mess. For some reason, perhaps the brush head width or some other factor, contributed to the inability of my mouth to seal around the brush, causing water and toothpaste residue to coat the outside of the base unit. With it’s rubber coating, it was no mere matter of rinsing it off to clean it – not to mention the recharging base, which also got quite messy.

Apart from that, and the fact that the batteries were not replaceable (unless you’re willing to try this), the toothbrush worked fine. My dentist was happy with the results, which of course made me happy. I should mention that the brush heads were a tad expensive ($14.00 or more each), until I found third party replacements, but I did like the OEM ones better.

But there finally came a time when the toothbrush was no longer holding a charge and I thought it might be time to try another brand. I had noticed that Phillips products were prevalent in the doctor’s office, so I looked at those. And I must say, either in the intervening years or maybe something I missed in my research, that brand seems to be highly favored by users.

So I decided on the Sonicare Essence 5610, purchased for $46.00 from Amazon. It’s claim to fame is that it vibrates in such a manner as to drive fluid between the teeth and along the gum line. It also has a two-minute timer, but sadly this model doesn’t have the 30 second notification. I would have had to move up to the next model for that. Errr. My hands are fairly big, I take a large to extra-large glove, but I still have trouble holding the brush in my hand without it cramping – I wouldn’t recommend this to people with small hands.

On the up side, I have been using this for about 3 weeks now and it looks like it just came out of the package. All I do is rinse the brush head, the rest of the unit, including the base, is pretty much pristine. Why? Maybe because the brush head is about half the width of the Oral-B? The brush head is a more conventional, elongated head but the bristles vary in height from the front to the back. In the end, the results are as good, perhaps better than the Braun. I’ve got that run-your-tongue-over-your-smooth-teeth feeling you get when you go for a cleaning at the dentist. I like it.

Lastly, even though my wife says it sounds like a spaceship landing, I think overall it’s quieter than the Oral-B. Maybe because it’s sonic or maybe because I can keep my mouth shut, either way, it works for me. Take that, Dr. Who!

The results? If you can live with a little hand discomfort, the Sonicare Esssence not only gives you great results, but it makes cleanup a breeze. What are your experiences with electric toothbrushes?

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