Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Black Edition – Something to smile about

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Cast your mind back to when you were a kid, sitting in the dentist’s office and checking out all the scenery. (If you’re scared of the dentist — hey, it happens — then don’t do this.) Depending on your memory, you might recall highly polished models of teeth, either mounted on the wall or as a display on a shelf or desk. That shiny, clean enamel benchmark forever etched into your childhood mind? Yeah, that’s how the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Black Edition toothbrush will make your teeth feel. But it’s not gonna be cheap, getting that feeling for yourself.

Photo-worthy teeth tech

Let’s get this out of the way early — yes, you’re going to wind up paying around R3,300 for the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Black Edition. For your cash, you’ll find the main toothbrush body in the box, along with two DiamondClean heads and two chargers. The first (above left) is a charging pad that sits underneath a glass (also supplied). When it’s plugged into the wall, you just drop the Sonicare in and it’ll charge. We reckon you could leave that in your bathroom and just have a permanently charged toothbrush but we don’t see many SA bathrooms with wall sockets freely available. Still, it’ll look pretty on social media, yeah?

The other item is a case (above right) capable of carting the main body and up to two replacement heads. This is the travel kit and it’s capable of more than just keeping your expensive molar maintenance device safe in your luggage. The toothbrush can also be charged in the case, provided you connect the included mini-USB cable (the same connector used to charge PS3 controllers) to a wall socket or powered USB port.

Full-bodied

One thing immediately apparent about the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean is its build quality. Our experience with electric toothbrushes isn’t hugely extensive but our experience with tech is. If Apple made a toothbrush, it’d feature similar build quality. Only it’d be available in Space Grey and a couple of other shades besides black. The body is surprisingly heavy, slimming down at the top. That’s because the interior is mostly battery and motor, and battery life is very, very long. That fancy induction charger isn’t going to see much use if you insist on letting your battery run all the way down — Philips makes sure that you could go weeks in between charges. Almost an added bonus at this point, the included DiamondClean heads are far more sturdy than you’d expect from something as skinny as they manage to be.

Assembly and initial usage is easy enough. Press head onto toothbrush body until it looks complete. Press button. Press it a couple more times to select your chosen mode. Insert head into mouth and move it around. We’re not about to teach you how to clean your teeth, you should know how that works by now. Philips’ talented toothbrush will attempt to make you more efficient, though.

Go with the flow

Imagine you popped a bumblebee in the fridge, long enough to stun it into motionless. If you take that bee out and stick it in your mouth, it’ll warm up to the point where you’ve got a (by now, annoyed) bee roaming your mouth. Now, also imagine that this bee isn’t going to sting you and also that it’s been taking dentistry classes. It’s forgiven you for the whole fridge thing and instead, it’s gonna check out how the plaque is on your back teeth. That’s… pretty much what it feels like to use the Sonicare DiamondClean.

Mostly you’ll be using the default setting for brushing, which gives a small vibration every 30 seconds so you know to move to another quadrant in your mouth. You know, upper left, lower right, and so on. The toothbrush automatically turns off when you’ve reached your bee dentist-recommended two minutes. There’s also a Gum Care option (for brushing your gums), Polish, Sensitive (for those folks with lower pain thresholds) and then a Whitening option which’ll augment the brush’s tendency to brighten your smile even further. The only complaint? You can’t pre-select which mode you’d like before turning the toothbrush on. Nope, you’ll click through each option every time you want to get those gums spruced up. Ah well, just goes to show you can’t have everything.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Black Edition Verdict

Some of you might be questioning the need for a R3,300 toothbrush. Especially when you factor in the replacement heads, which’ll cost up to R250 for two. The folks wondering whether this admittedly pricey toothbrush setup is essential. The answer to that is, obviously, no. It’s a R3,300 toothbrush. You can do quite well at a third of the price. But before you spit that particular mouthful of smugness into the basin, you’ve got to look at what you’re getting here.

If you just wanted a regular old toothbrush, you wouldn’t be reading this. What you want to know is what the battery is like (insane), how effective it is at doing its job ( extremely) and whether you’re going to feel like you got ripped off (probably not)? Sure it’s expensive but it’s a fraction of the cost of, say, a root canal and a whole lot less painful to experience. Philips’ Sonicare DiamondClean also does what it says on the box: It’ll make your teeth noticeably whiter after just a few days use and that’s before you start to fiddle with the dedicated whitening mode. If you’re not going to try this one out for yourself, do it for your dentist. Maybe he’ll stop giving you so much grief about not flossing. Once he’s done with his daily pollination, of course.

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Depending on your memory, you might recall highly polished models of teeth, either mounted on the wall or as a display on a shelf of desk. That shiny, clean enamel benchmark forever etched into your childhood mind? Yeah, that's how the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Black Edition toothbrush will make your teeth feel. 

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