Get yourself connected

PWW_6683Seb Evans reviews the latest connected electric toothbrush from Philips.

Most dentists and dental professionals would probably agree that their job could be made a lot easier if more patients took control of their oral health and kept on top of their oral hygiene. Manufacturers are now joining the fight to help educate patients and keep them compliant.

Real-time connected devices are appearing in all walks of life and your electric toothbrush is the latest device to be added to that list. The hope is that it will encourage more patients to take control of their oral hygiene and improve their brushing technique.

Philips has launched its first ever adult connected electric toothbrush, called Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Connected. Despite the name being a bit of a mouthful, the brush is really straight forward to use. It can sync with your mobile phone via the Sonicare app and offers real-time feedback on your brushing technique.

‘Working closely with dental practitioners, we have developed the Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Connected and Philips Sonicare app, to provide patients with personalised guidance on their oral health routine to help them achieve and maintain a great clean in-between check-ups,’ Julia Roast, UK professional marketing manager for Philips, said. ‘This will provide better oral health outcomes in the long term and put dentist recommendations into practise for noticeable results.’

It all sounds very impressive, but this isn’t new, real-time feedback on your brushing technique has been around for a while and there are already other devices in the market that offer this, so what makes the Philips version unique?

What makes it unique?

PWW_0406Firstly, the technology measuring your brushing routine is all contained in the handle of the toothbrush. This means users won’t need their mobile phones with them when brushing. The handle can save up to six months’ brushing information. So users only have to sync their smartphone with their toothbrush just before their six-monthly checkup.

To help patients comply with guidance from their dental practitioner, Philips has designed the ‘Focus Areas’ feature, accessed via the Philips Sonicare app. Dental practitioners can help identify specific spots in the patient’s mouth that need more attention due to plaque build up, gum recession and other issues. This is highlighted in the patient’s personalised 3D mouth-map so they have a reminder to take extra care of these areas between check-ups.

The Sonicare Connected has ‘Smart Sensor’ technology, which offers instant feedback on brushing techniques and habits, including when a user hasn’t brushed for the recommended length of time. The sensor technology includes:

  • Location sensors – to show where users are brushing for too long/not long enough. They can also map the mouth without using a camera to ensure every tooth is brushed
  • Scrubbing sensors – to alert users when they are brushing too hard to reduce scrubbing
  • Pressure sensors – users can track their brushing pressure with alerts when too much pressure is applied
  • Smarttimer – will ensure users are brushing for the recommended amount of time in each segment of the mouth
  • Brushpacer – will prompt users to move to another section of the mouth.

The Philips Sonicare app also includes a smart brush head performance monitor to track brush head effectiveness, based on actual brushing time and pressure. Over time, the app notifies users when it is time to replace their brush head so they continue to get the best results. At which point the user has the option to order replacement brush heads directly from the Philips Sonicare app.

Overall verdict

PWW_0701Philips claims that in a study, 87% of patients felt they were a better brusher after using the new toothbrush and app. Also, 75% of users claimed they found it easier to follow their dentist’s instructions using the app. And 98% of dental professionals felt patients would be more compliant if they were to use the Sonicare Connected and app.

The Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Connected offers the same technology as most Sonicare brushes on the market, including sonic cleaning action, numerous modes for cleaning your teeth, all Philips Sonicare brush heads will fit the handle and the battery just seems to keep on going.

The new toothbrush is certainly an impressive introduction to the connected range of toothbrushes currently on the market. Some users of connected toothbrushes may grow tired of needing their smartphones or devices with them every time they brush their teeth, but the fact that six months’ brushing data can be saved in this handle certainly makes the Philips brush more user friendly.

Philips also has an impressive line-up of products coming out that it is looking to connect to the app too. The hope is that the app can become a lifestyle monitor, giving users constant feedback on their habits and activities, highlighting and linking the importance of good oral health with improved wellbeing.

The Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Connected is out now for dental professionals and has an RRP of £250. If you’re interested in offering a connected toothbrush in your practice, with an app that can help show dental professionals how compliant a patient might be, the Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Connected toothbrush is certainly one of the best devices on the market.

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