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Best Electric Toothbrush? Phillips Sonicare Flexcare Plus Review

Updated on December 12, 2017
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Dan has been a homeowner for some 40 years and has nearly always done his own repair and improvement tasks. He is a licensed electrician.


Electric Toothbrushes

Electric toothbrushes have been popular for some time now, and near the top of the list is the Sonicare brand, made by Phillips.

It is much easier to do a good job of brushing with a vibrating toothbrush head rather than by passing a brush over each tooth multiple times. The vibration succeeds much better at getting brush bristles down into small cracks between teeth, at the gum line and in small depressions in individual teeth.

While operated toothbrushes with replaceable batteries are available, and work reasonably well, a rechargeable system is much preferable and usually offers much more in the way of options and effectiveness.

This article is a review of one particular toothbrush, the Phillips Sonicare Flexcare Plus, so lets start with a look at what features are available and useful on that model.

Features of the Phillips Sonicare Flexcare Plus

This model is the top of the line for Sonicare and has several useful features.

  • Five different brushing modes: clean, gum care, refresh, sensitive and massage
  • Smartimer and quadpacer, designed to indicate proper time period for brushing
  • UV brush head sanitizer, to kill bacteria on the brush head
  • Travel case and charger for use away from home.
  • Powerful, long lasting battery normally good for 3 weeks of brushing when fully charged.
  • Illuminated display of the chosen mode
  • Easy start feature makes learning to use the toothbrush easy

Review and Observations of Using the Sonicare Flexcare plus

I have been a long time user of the cheaper and simpler Sonicare Essence model and have liked it. The first thing noticed when switching to the Flexcare plus was that it was much more powerful, even with the easy start feature which limits the power for the first 14 uses. Presumably the battery in the Essence model had weakened over the years and was unable to provide full power.

The toothbrush head is curved to fit the curvature of the teeth and the effect was noticeable right from the start. In addition, a second smaller head was included giving the new user a chance to try both sizes before ordering replacement heads. Like any toothbrush, the heads to wear out with time and use.

My older brush always had a problem with grime buildup in the charger and at the end of the handle; this is gone as instead of a hole to set the handle into there is now a flat base with a small plastic pin. This change is much appreciated; a quick rinse followed by a wipe with a towel to dry the handle is all that is necessary to keep it clean. The base will be much easier to clean if it does get dirty as well; the hole the old handle set into was difficult to clean well.

I had viewed the quadpacer feature as a gimmick of little to no use. I've changed my mind since using it and appreciate it. The feature provides a very brief pause and beep every thirty seconds to notify the user it is time to change quadrants and brush another area. I never heard the beep, and the first couple of pauses I didn't realize what was going on, but it didn't take long to learn and I now find that it helps me give even brushing everywhere and complete the full two minute cycle.

The hard shell plastic travel case will be appreciated. I never liked throwing the toothbrush into the suitcase, even in a bag, as it always got dirty. The travel case holds the handle and two brush heads; perfect for my wife and I. There is also a small charger base (that doesn't fit inside the travel case) for those times we'll be away from home for more than a week or so.

Brush heads are small and easy to remove and reinstall, making the brush ideal for more than one person. The sanitizer holds two heads at once, again handy for multiple users. Each brush head can be identified with a colored ring (there were four) so that each person can quickly determine which head is theirs.

Cons are primarily price; both the Sonicare Flexcar plus and the replacement heads are fairly expensive. You do get what you pay for, though, and I can recommend this electric toothbrush from personal experience. I would buy again.

Travel case, with brush heads and handle loaded into it.
Travel case, with brush heads and handle loaded into it. | Source
UV sterilizer, with one brush head ready to be sterilized.
UV sterilizer, with one brush head ready to be sterilized. | Source

© 2012 Dan Harmon


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    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 8 months ago from Boise, Idaho

      I have had mine fail at times as well. The problem has always been either a loose bulb or the door isn't closing properly.

    • profile image

      Janet 8 months ago

      I like my Phillips electric toothbrush. I do have a problem with the sterilization part. It does not work. Is there something I can do to correct that. I purchased this brand because of that feature. Thanks

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 11 months ago from Lancashire. England.

      A great review. I am about to purchase a new brush and shall see if this model is available in the uk.. Tip Top


    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i had oral B elec toothbrush but it didn't last long, battery keeps fading out

    • jmoz profile image

      jmoz 5 years ago from San Diego

      I take my oral hygiene very seriously and...Wow, that helps...thanks for the great info.

    • KT Banks profile image

      KT Banks 5 years ago from Texas

      I LOVE my Sonicare toothbrush. Recently, on vacation in Seattle, I had to buy a regular old toothbrush. After just a couple of days, I felt as if I needed to go have a professional cleaning at the dentist. It was sad to end the vacation, but I was really happy to get home to my "real" toothbrush. : )

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I've really learned to love it, but you're certainly right in that it needs to be shut off before taking it out of your mouth. Just a little messy if you don't!

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      This is the only real toothbrush in my opinion! Once you have used one there is no going back. Great review. Just be careful to switch off before you remove it from your mouth.

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 5 years ago from Sydney

      Ah, I was confused. The review capsule is intended for you or your readers to rate the product, not rate your review of it - so I didn't realize that was it! I usually put mine in the top right hand corner, I think that's what HP recommended at one point

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      A Marisa - thanks for the heads up. That capsule is there, it just wasn't very visible and I've moved it, thanks to you.

      @ThePracticalMommy - Thank you. I would hate to be without mine as I've learned to love it, and would certainly recommend it to anyone.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      Very thorough review! I myself use an old-fashioned powerless toothbrush, but I may reconsider in the new future. Voted up and useful!

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 5 years ago from Sydney

      I just used this as an example of a good review - but then noticed you haven't used the review capsule. Worth adding! (you don't have to publish this comment!)