The Philips Sonicare 5100 Converted Me to an Electric Toothbrush Lover

I hope this doesn’t make me sound disgusting, but I don’t enjoy brushing my teeth. I tend to brush too hard, which results in sore gums. Toothpaste burns my mouth. Obviously, it’s still essential for oral health and to manage my addiction to matcha Kit Kats, but I wish it wasn’t such a hassle.

“Hmm, you have receding gums,” my dentist told me recently. As if that news wasn’t bad enough, I was also told my wisdom teeth were erupting. Surprise! (And cue the nervous breakdown.) I knew I had to throw my manual toothbrush straight in the trash and switch over to an electric option. The vibrations are supposed to do all the work, which means I wouldn’t have to go ham on scrubbing the plaque off myself. And, I knew a good electric toothbrush would also clean the back of my teeth better, too. I’ve used drugstore options in the past, but the batteries for those died within a couple of months. I knew it was time to invest in a rechargeable option to save my loot (and my roots) in the long run. I finally found the one: After using my boyfriend’s Philips Sonicare 5100 Electric Toothbrush (with a different toothbrush head—I’m not gross), I was sold.

Philips makes a truckload of home tech, such as appliances, health tools, mood lighting, and automotive accessories. Sonicare is its in-house brand responsible for its now-iconic, luxe electric toothbrushes. Options range from budget picks to higher-end models, such as the Sonicare DiamondClean 9900, which goes for almost 400 bucks. Given it was my first time dabbling with a rechargeable electric toothbrush, I figured the former was the way to go.

How does it work?

The Sonicare 5100 Electric Toothbrush breaks down plaque build-up from one-too-many Jolly Ranchers while being sensitive enough for gums and sensitive enamels. Three intensity modes are available (clean, white, and gum care), with different purposes for each. Clean mode is your old standard,  white mode removes surface stains, and gum care adds an extra minute of reduced-power brushing for a gentle gum massage. (Gingivitis? I don’t know her.) It’s purportedly gentle enough to use on braces, fillings, crowns, veneers, and other orthodontic work—though I can’t vouch for that.

First impressions

Given Philips’ superstar status in the home goods realm, I already figured I’d be impressed.  Plus, my boyfriend has been using it for years and has a pearly white smile that practically blinds me. I was really sold on its three cleaning intensities and pressure sensor; I have trouble using whitening strips due to weak enamel, so its whitening mode really made me excited as a potential workaround. My daily latte intake has unfortunately caused my teeth to turn yellow. (Sigh. Why do life’s simplest pleasures cause destruction???) As for the pressure sensor, the toothbrush vibrates when you’re brushing too hard. Guilty as charged.

My experience

The Sonicare 5100 Electric Toothbrush is a true game-changer if you’ve been using a manual toothbrush. I’ve noticed my teeth have gotten significantly whiter after just a month of use.

It’s tough for me to find toothbrush bristles that don’t feel like sandpaper, but I deem these soft and fabulous. The 5100 never leaves my teeth and gums feeling irritated and stops automatically after two minutes with a built-in timer. This may be a strange comparison, but it’s basically a masseuse for your mouth. The vibrations are gentle enough that they leave me relaxed instead of spent. I never thought I’d say this, but now I actually look forward to brushing my teeth.

I find that each charge lasts about two weeks, which is great in my book. When it's running low on juice, there’s a battery light to show its power status. There’s also an interesting BrushSync feature, which lets you know it’s time to change the toothbrush head.

TL;DR: Manual toothbrushes are a thing of the past for me. I will never go back. My teeth have never looked better and the Philips has even made me feel better about how large my two front teeth are, given the color change. I may have dental dysmorphia, but at least now I have this toothbrush. My dentist had better give me a lollipop during my next visit.

You can buy the Sonicare 5100 Electric Toothbrush at Philips and Amazon.

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