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My 10 year old Oral B Braun was on its last legs when I was just coming out of University. So I bought a cheap Philips electric toothbrush about three years ago. I had been warned from my dentist to try a cordless electric brush as my teeth and gums weren't always the best, due to high coffee drinking and lots of crunching hard boiled sweets which often ground down my back molars (as well as Polo mints!). Although manual brushing is fine, I've often missed bits because of the larger manual toothbrushes I have always preferred. In this instance any cordless electric toothbrush does a better job because most on the market have a smaller head and therefore extend reach to all of the teeth in your mouth.
So whilst my old Philips was going well, I inadvertently dropped it one day a month ago - slipping from my hand and down to the bathroom floor, smashing into many pieces. What to do but to either return to my old manual toothbrush or splash out and buy something new?
And this brings us up to date with the HX1513. There are a couple of new features on this brush compared to my old electric cordless brush. But there is also a lot of hype connected to this product as well. At the time I was impressed by the colour and the fact that lower handle is entirely submerged in blue rubber.
For a start, the design is actually very pleasing, in blue and white with the main body in blue rubber so that its easier to grip and in no way will it ever fall from my hands. When I brush my fangs I really go to town making sure that each tooth is brushed clean and massaging my gums - a recommendation from my dentist. It was whilst in use that I found using the HX1513 really easy; the brush is smaller than what I am used to and getting around the whole area of my mouth is really easy and quick.
Regardless of the fact that Philips quotes a 15000 "gentle cleaning movements," or for the normal consumer the amount of times the brush goes around/oscillates, I found the cleaning action of the Sensiflex HX1513 shockingly bad. Here's why:
For a start my partner has an Ultrasonex toothbrush and whilst I may well be getting a Sonic brush for my birthday or Christmas from her, I couldn't believe that the Sensiflex couldn't shift the hard to reach tartar between my front bottom set of teeth. After putting the toothbrush on and accompanied by a loud noisy motor of the brush moving around, I followed the instructions of a 2 minute brush time and horizontally placed the brush on my teeth. Now whilst the brush may well look like other average cordless toothbrushes on the market, the Philips Sensiflex is slightly different. Like OralB flex toothbrushes and oodles of other copies, the Sensiflex has something called "Active Part," which is a different coloured part of the bristles (blue as to opposed the outer white bristles). Whilst generally the bristles are softer, the top/middle sections are slightly firmer as they are supposed to replace the job of interdental brush movements and their work. So this in effect translates to the removal of hard to reach tartar. Does it work? No!
It took me three attempts to thoroughly brush my teeth with the Philips before the tough tartar moved. Regardless of the fact that it may well shift plaque it really has to do a bit more than shift plaque. All toothbrushes remove plaque anyway.
What's more is because no matter how many times I tried to get a clean mouth with no bits in between my teeth the additional Active Tip is supposed to shift hard to reach dirt between teeth but it feels rough and hard on my gums. The heavily worded user manual also goes onto suggest that if the brush is always used horizontally the brush will not hurt gums. Well they bloody hurt regardless of this brush being used!!
It doesn't get any better with its supposed flex neck design. The brush has a normal angle of around 20º which is supposed to bend to your need, flipping backwards to a straight upright line; all this flexing is supposed to allow for greater reach but in use, it flexes at the slightest pressure on the handle and if it hits any teeth or gum. I find it downright annoying and usually a lot of toothpaste foam escapes from my mouth making a very messy after-performance.
The user manual mirrors my old Philips cordless toothbrush; tons of different manuals in other languages and a UK manual which tells you all you need to know but with poorly drawn diagrams.
And like so many comparison tests, I gave my teeth a final fourth attempt with my partner's Ultrasonex brush (she has a few spare bristle heads) and well, I was shocked at what her Sonic brush removed after my gums and teeth had been cleaned by the Philips the first time around.
The price of the HX 1513 is generally around £12-99 to £16-99. I paid £16-99 at my local Superdrug and you get no travel box with it or a replacement brush; that really shocked me. The cost of replacement brushes however are shocking; for a pack of two I saw a replacement pack in Boots costing £19-99. Now my girlfriend pays a similar price for her Ultrasonex sonic toothbrush and although she may well have paid more for her Sonic brush, I'm beginning to wish we could perhaps live together!!
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