Let’s be honest: unless you’re a dentist, you probably find it fairly boring to talk about dental hygiene. Having said that, a healthy clean mouth and pearly white teeth is something everyone aspires to have, and the best electric toothbrushes are the best way to achieve that.
Before 2023, I was a manual toothbrush user. Electric vs manual brushing is long debated but having tried both, I can safely say that the former takes the gold. In my experience, manual toothbrushes are far more hassle than they're worth and the only positive you get from them is the price. This, coupled with the fact that my mouth never felt 100% clean, resulted in me looking towards electric toothbrushes – a switch I wish I’d made earlier.
While there are plenty of electric toothbrush manufacturers on the market, there are two brands that consistently pop up and battle it out for the top spot: Oral-B and Philips. I’ve tried both the Oral-B iO7 and the Philips Sonicare Diamondclean 9900 Prestige, and having used both, I’ve come to the conclusion that Philips is far superior in the electric toothbrush game… here’s why.
Oral-B vs Philips: What’s the difference?
The most obvious difference between the two is that they’re two completely different brands… duh. Oral-B is focused on dental care and hygiene, so on the website, you’ll only find toothbrushes, replacement heads, flossers and other teeth cleaning products. With Philips, the company sells a wide range of products alongside its electric toothbrushes, including smart lighting, TVs, hair tools, and much more.
One major difference between the two are the brush heads. Oral-B prides itself on its round brush head (you hear it in all the adverts!), and the shape is designed to meet specific oral care needs like gently covering each individual tooth. In comparison, Philips brush heads are longer and have more of an oval shape.
Overall, both brands offer similar models of electric toothbrushes. Oral-B and Philips both use built-in AI brushing recognition technology, have an interactive display on the body of the brush, pressure sensors, and they connect to an app. They also have multiple cleaning modes, simple charging and pretty similar looks, too. So, which one should you choose?
Why I’m swapping from Oral-B to Philips
After trying both the Oral-B iO7 and the Philips Sonicare Diamondclean 9900 Prestige, I’m permanently switching over to the latter. Let’s see how they compare.
Putting both toothbrushes together is straightforward: you attach the brush head to the body with a click… that’s it! To get tailored advice and get started using the brushes, you need to download the Oral-B app or the Sonicare app. All you need to do is sign up with your email address and connect your brush via Bluetooth. I can’t fault either brand for setting up but I’m going to give it to Oral-B as it was quick, seamless and user friendly.
Clean and performance is the most important aspect of electric toothbrushes, and both Oral-B and Philips do a stellar job. Both provide a powerful professional clean, and the multiple cleaning modes means you can focus on different goals, like whitening or deep cleaning. I will say after using the Oral-B iO7, my teeth looked noticeably whiter. But the main reason I'm giving Philips the win is because of its brush head. The Philips brush head is far superior in my experience as it covers more teeth and areas at a time and the pressure is spot on. Its whitening performance might not be as good as Oral-B but my mouth felt significantly cleaner, fresher and more hygienic with the Philips brush.
App & Feedback
The Oral-B app is super interactive and you get to earn colourful awards and badges for your performance which is always encouraging. The main reason people gravitate towards the Oral-B iO models is the smiley face that displays on the body of the brush, and that’s definitely a fun addition to brushing your teeth.
However, the Philips app and brush seems more technical to me. I don’t always look at my brush screen so the Oral-B smiley face is probably lost on me. The Philips app tells you exactly what you need to be doing and even if you don’t use the app, the brush guides you and tells you if you're doing something wrong.
Where the Oral-B flashes different colours if you’re doing something wrong, the Philips makes different noises. For example, it pauses when you should switch sections of the mouth and makes whirring sounds if you’re applying too much pressure. It’s a personal thing but as I tend to not look at my brush too much, the lights and countdown screen of the Oral-B didn’t make that much difference to me. On the other hand, the Philips’ noises were more helpful and I wasn’t constantly looking at a countdown for my brushing time to be done, but instead, focusing more on cleaning my teeth.
Of course, this is completely personal so if you want more fun and interaction while brushing, the Oral-B is the one for you. However, I found Philips to be more technical and provided better advice and guidance, even without using the app.
Both brushes have a long-lasting battery life and take hardly anytime to recharge. But Oral-B offers a two week runtime per charge whereas Philips has a three week runtime. I definitely had to charge the Oral-B iO7 more than the Philips Sonicare, so Philips wins this round too.
Where Oral-B takes the crown in this race is price. By no means are Oral-B toothbrushes something I’d describe as ‘cheap’, but they’re significantly more affordable than the Philips models. With replacement brush heads, Oral-B offers multi-packs that are relatively cheap whereas Philips has smaller packs that are more expensive. During big sales seasons, you can also find bigger price cuts on Oral-B toothbrushes – I found an iO brush that was almost 70% off last Black Friday!
Overall, the Philips Sonicare Diamondclean 9900 Prestige, and the Philips Sonicare brand in general, take the win for me. It offers a better clean thanks to its brush head, the app is incredibly informative and it lasts a long time. Oral-B still put up a valiant fight, though, so the brand and its models are nothing to be sneered at either.