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Hands-on Gear Review
Philips Sonicare HealthyWhite+ Review
Price: $120 List | $99.95 at Amazon
Pros: Adjustable brushing, did well at cleaning
Cons: Hard to clean the handle
Bottom line: Comfortable, Cleaned the best out of the side to side brushes, and offers plenty of adjustability
The Sonicare HealthyWhite+ is marketed directly as improving the whiteness of your teeth. While it would be necessary for clinical trials conducted by dental professionals to verify or refute the authenticity of these claims, we did find that this model performed extremely well throughout our testing process, and was the second highest scoring brush that we looked at. This model did an exceptional job in our stain removal test, using coffee-stained eggs as a proxy for stained teeth. In addition, this model was comfortable and offered plenty of adjustability for those with more sensitive gums.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The HealthyWhite+ did very well in our cleaning test process, earning a score of 7 out of 10. While not the top scoring model overall, this model was the highest scoring out of the side to side style brush heads. Our testing method was bifurcated into two sections: plaque removal and stain removal. For the plaque removal component, evaluation of the brushes was based on before and after brushing photos, when the user had used a plaque disclosing tablet to identify where there were significant accumulations of plaque. These tablets would stain plaque a vivid red color, allowing us to clearly see which portions of the mouth had been cleaned effectively, and which portions had been missed.
As you can see, the HealthyWhite+ did a great job, missing very few spots. This performance tied with the DiamondClean (making sense, as both brushes use the same brush head), only lagging behind the rotation-oscillation style models.
When it came to the second aspect — stain removal — was tested using coffee stained eggshells as representative of teeth. We ran the HealthyWhite+ in its whitening mode over a tooth-sized area for a complete cycle, then compared the results.
The HealthyWhite+ was the third highest scorer in our stain removal test, once again beat out by the rotation-oscillation models.
This model of brush scored well in our comfort rating metric, tying for second place overall with a score of 6 out of 10. The handle on this product is very similar to the Sonicare DiamondClean, a favorite of the testers, when it came to holding comfort, and was also received very favorably.
Receiving a similar reaction when actually being used to brush, the HealthyWhite+ was well liked among our panel. They particularly liked the ability to adjust the intensity between one of three settings to find their perfect level. They also like that the brush head was quite maneuverable, making it comfortable to reach even the hardest to clean spots in your mouth.
This brush was also one of the quietest that we measured. Our sound meter recorded this at 58 dBa about 2" away from the mouth when the user was brushing.
Ease of Use
This model did above average when we evaluated it, earning a respectable 6 out of 10. The first thing that we looked at was how the toothbrush, well, looked. The visual appeal of the HealthyWhite+ doesn't quite stack up to its older sibling, the DiamondClean, with the latter coming in a wider variety of colors and having a much sleeker, more polished overall appearance.
Using the same snap on/snap off attachment style as the majority of the brushes that we reviewed, it was easy to change out brush heads. While this model only has 2 different cleaning modes (clean, and whitening), you are able to adjust the intensity between 3 different levels, giving you 6 possible unique combinations to find the perfect feel for you. The interface is split between 2 buttons: power/ mode select, and a plus/minus rocker button to select the intensity. This was intuitive from the start, and gives you the option to adjust the intensity while brushing.
Unfortunately, this additional button and the presence of a large number of cracks and crevices around the handle do a fantastic job of trapping toothpaste grime, making this product much more difficult to clean. The charging base for this model is on the small side, making it somewhat prone to being accidentally knocked over.
This model also comes with a travel case (non-charging).
The HealthyWhite+ had the second longest battery life out of all the models that we reviewed, earning it a solid score of 7 out of 10. This brush lasted for 144 minutes of constant use before dying. The battery indicator LED transitions from green to orange when the battery is low, with no reserve once it totally dies.
This model performed well in our testing, and was the second place finisher in overall score, it isn't necessarily a great value. It has an MSRP that is about $50 higher than the top scorer.
While this brush seems to be primarily marketed at whitening your teeth, we would suggest consulting with your dentist before purchasing this model solely for that reason. Upon consulting with our dental experts, they stated that toothbrushes only will really remove surface stains, but to look at a dedicated whitening product when it comes to actually whitening your teeth.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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