30 Thousand Cycles per Minute!

electric toothbrushSmile Sarasota posted a popular Blog a few years ago about ultrasonic toothbrushes and we are glad so many of you have taken advantage of learning from our blog posts. As mentioned in that post, there are many types and makes of ultrasonic toothbrushes. Our favorite is the Phillips Sonicare, so let’s learn more about why we, and our patients, love the Sonicare, along with some recommendations about how to use it and some of the features.

Sonicare was the first brand to develop a toothbrush using sonic wave technology, which vibrates as high as 30K cycles per minute. Wow. It is great at removing the thin layer of plaque and tartar that all of us have on our teeth which can ultimately lead to gum disease and cavity formation. We recommend any of their models—especially for people over the age of 40 with gum recession and spaces between their teeth. We love the pressure sensor, the timer and the comfortable design. Some of the models even have a Smart Phone App to help you use the proper technique.

Choosing the right Sonicare toothbrush is important, but it’s also important to know that no toothbrush is perfect—even the Sonicare. The good news is that the pros of Sonicare generally outweigh the cons.


  • Better for cleaning hard-to-reach spots. Sonic technology is the only electric toothbrush method that provides action beyond the bristles which means the sonic waves ensure that even hard-to-reach plaque (that the bristles can’t reach) are broken up.
  • Better for gums. For people with sensitive gums or gum recession, or for those who are hard brushers, the Sonicare is safer for your gums and teeth than other electric/manual toothbrushes. Just remember not to press too hard and that you should probably replace the head every few months.
  • Better cleaning between spaces. Sonicare is better for people with gum recession and deeper spaces between their teeth. As people age, the gums can pull away from the teeth, creating tiny spaces where food can hide. In fact, many of our elderly patients have issues with food impaction. Flossing after every meal is one option, but the Sonicare is great for blasting the food out and is why we love the Sonicare for people over age 40. (You still need to floss though!)


  • Not everyone likes the sensation of the sonic waves, and it can take some time to adjust to it. At first it may feel weird or even ‘tickle’…and it may sound weird too. Some of the less expensive models are noisier than others, but just know that it’s for a good reason.
  • Battery may not last as long as other electric toothbrushes. Usually the Sonicare rechargeable battery lasts for about 8-9 months, but there is a lot of variability. Some of our patients say the battery lasted 3 months, while others say theirs lasted 2 years.
  • More knockoffs. There are a lot of copy-cats of the Sonicare so be careful purchasing knockoff brand brushes and heads that may be poorly made and can damage your teeth and gums.

So, how do you use this bad boy? It’s pretty simple!

  • Wet the bristles of the brush head
  • Apply a small amount of toothpaste
  • Place the bristles against your teeth at a 45° angle, towards the gum line
  • Press the power button to start brushing
  • Apply light pressure and move the brush head slowly across the teeth in a small back and forth motion, allowing the brush to do the work. Continue this motion throughout your brushing cycle
  • Some Philips Sonicare Toothbrush models come with a Quadpacer feature which helps you time your tooth-brushing sessions. If you have this feature on your model, it divides your mouth into four sections and will vibrate intermittently to tell you to move on to the next section. (Note: Do not scrub. To maximize, only apply light pressure and let the toothbrush do the brushing for you)

Brushing Modes:

Philips Sonicare toothbrushes have different modes that clean your teeth in different ways. (Brushing modes vary across Philips Sonicare Toothbrushes. Please refer to the user manual for the specific modes that come with your toothbrush). If you only use the Clean mode, you’ll get a superb clean every time. And that’s fine. But if you want to customize your brushing sessions to best suit your needs, try using the different modes described below:

  • Clean – Clean is your toothbrushes’ main mode. At 31,000 brush strokes per minute, it removes plaque with extreme efficiency in a two-minute program. The Clean mode is the base setting on every Sonicare toothbrush. If you’re going to stick to one mode, make it this one.
  • White – In White mode, your toothbrush works a bit harder to remove surface stains caused by things like coffee and tea. After the standard two-minute program is completed, you’ll get an extra thirty seconds to focus on polishing your front teeth, so you get a healthy smile that really shines.
  • Gum Health – The Gum Health mode adds an extra minute of reduced power brushing to the end of the standard two-minute program. Use it to gently massage your gums for a better circulation and ultimately better gum health.
  • Sensitive – If you’ve got sensitive teeth or gums, or you just find the sonic vibrations a little overwhelming at first, switch to the Sensitive mode. In this mode, your toothbrush vibrates with lower intensity, going easier on your teeth and gums.
  • Tongue Care mode is a 20-second mode designed to clean your tongue, together with the Tongue Care brush head. Brushing time is 20 seconds

Click here to learn about ALL the different Sonicare models to see which one is right for you, or ask any team member at Smile Sarasota and we can help you decide! Sonicare brushes can be found at many retailers and online, so shop around for the best price. And be sure to ask about discount coupons when you are at our office – we often have them direct from our Sonicare vendor!


Here is our original Blog about ultrasonic toothbrushes:



Sources and Credits: usa.phillips.com, askthedentist.com