It’s not that I’m against the wonders of modern technology, but I’m a firm advocate in the idea of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Which is why I’d never used an electric toothbrush before testing the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500. The trusty manual brush I get every six months at the dentist office hasn’t failed my teeth or gums yet, which is probably why I’ve been so dedicated to using them after all these years. (Although, it should be noted that dentists recommend you replace your toothbrush every three to four months.)
The DiamondClean Smart 9500, however, has completely turned my dental-care routine upside down—in a good way. As soon as I started brushing with this device, I felt like I was taking my teeth cleaning to the next level. It’s designed with a built-in pressure feedback ring at its base that lights up purple when I’m pressing too hard, and has a rose gold, streamlined design that doesn’t look awkward on my bathroom sink. No offense to my dentist, but the DiamondClean is a lot more stylish and high-powered than my regular toothbrush.
It also comes with the Philips Sonicare app, which literally maps out when and where I should be brushing based on in-the-moment feedback from the device itself, to help improve my brushing habits over time. To connect the toothbrush to the app once it’s open, all I have to do is turn it on, and the brush syncs automatically. Once I’ve finished brushing, the app uses a 3D tooth map to indicate all the areas of my mouth that I’ve successfully cleaned, as well as a few that I may have missed or need to brush longer next time. The app also measures the amount of pressure and scrubbing applied mid-brush, as well as overall cleaning time. There’s even a section that keeps track of the use of your current brush heads, and a built-in ordering system that purchases more when it’s time to replace one. Basically, this is as high-tech as you can get when it comes to cleaning your teeth at home, and after weeks of testing, it’s officially made me an electric toothbrush convert.
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How I Tested the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush
I used the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 for over four weeks. While testing, I used criteria from our panel of dental experts on what to look for when shopping for an electric toothbrush, which you can read here. Below, how the DiamondClean Smart 9500 held up when I evaluated it based on our criteria.
According to our experts, an electric toothbrush should have a handle long enough to comfortably hold in your hand and a head smaller than 0.5 inch by 1 inch. The DiamondClean’s head measures in at about 1 inch by 1 inch, but it still feels comfortable and easy to move around my mouth with little to no effort. It feels lightweight and smooth in my hand and is no heavier than a small kitchen tool. Since the device has a slim, ergonomic design, it stores nicely on its side in my medicine cabinet, or upright in its accompanying stand on the corner of my sink.
“Harder bristles can damage and remove enamel and root surfaces,” Geoffrey Morris, DMD, a Boca Raton, Florida, cosmetic and restorative dentist, tells SELF, which is why the American Dental Association (ADA) and our experts recommend opting for a brush with soft bristles. The DiamondClean 9500 comes with three different brush heads, one of which is made to have soft-feel bristles (the G3 Premium), and two with a “medium soft” bristle feel (the W3 and C3 Premium brush heads). The device also comes with a tongue brush attachment, if that’s something you’re looking for.
Our experts recommend looking for electric toothbrushes that feature a wide range of settings to help users take out a lot of the guesswork in their teeth cleaning routines and feel more confident in their brushing habits overall, as well as a self-timer or pressure sensor to help you brush long enough and with the correct pressure. The DiamondClean Smart 9500 has a plethora of settings and intensity levels, as well as a self timer, so points on all fronts. On top of that, the toothbrush can also tell which brush head you’re using once it’s clicked in, sort of like pairing a phone with a Bluetooth-friendly speaker. While I can choose my setting of choice by pressing a single button, the toothbrush is smart enough to do the hard work for me, which makes seamlessly toggling between brush heads a breeze. The connectivity of the base and the brush head is illustrated with a glowing highlight on the front of the DiamondClean, as well as a change in brushing intensity based on its mode.
An electric toothbrush’s oscillating motion refers to how its bristles move back and forth a certain distance to disrupt plaque and debris on teeth. Our experts recommend choosing an electric toothbrush that uses oscillating motion, since some may merely vibrate in your hand, which is less effective for cleaning teeth. The DiamondCare uses sonic technology to produce up to 62,000 oscillating brush movements per minute.
Our experts said to be wary of any toothbrush whose price seems too good to be true—they recommend spending no less than $50, since the quality may be poorer or break down more quickly otherwise. But at $250, the DiamondClean is definitely on the pricier end of dental care, so that’s something to keep in mind. (You can find other electric toothbrush models with the features experts recommend for less.) Even so, if you’re up for paying for a suite of features, you’ll get a lot with the DiamondClean—a professional-grade clean at home, high-quality brush heads, plus the ability to really track how well you’re cleaning your teeth with the app. Using this toothbrush is definitely a high-end experience.
ADA Seal of Acceptance
Our experts recommend choosing an electric toothbrush that has the ADA seal, which means that the toothbrush has been proven to be safe and shown efficacy in “removing plaque and helping to prevent and reduce gingivitis, when used as directed.” The DiamondClean Smart 9500 has not officially been recognized by the ADA. However, previous Philips Sonicare models, including the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 and 4700, have the ADA seal. When we asked about the DiamondClean Smart 9500’s status, a spokesperson for Phillips told us, “We are continuing to evaluate pursuing the ADA seal for other power toothbrush models within the product portfolio.”
According to our experts, you should research a brand’s refund policy before you buy an electric toothbrush. After all, they’re a pricey investment, so you want to make sure you can return something if it doesn’t work for you. Luckily, Phillips has a good refund policy—if you’re not into the DiamondCare Smart 9500, you can return your order to Philips clean and in its entirety with original packaging for your money back.
While I’ll probably always keep a manual brush stashed in my medicine cabinet for emergencies, I’m officially all-in on the appeal of a great electric toothbrush. I love how the DiamondClean makes it easy to customize my teeth cleaning experience. From time to time, I even switch up my brushing starting point in the app just to keep things interesting. If there’s anything I’d change about the DiamondClean, it’d probably be its charging cup design which, though stylish and varied, seems a little over the top.
Now that I’m used to the feeling of this toothbrush against my gums, I can definitely say that the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 makes my teeth feel as smooth as they do post dental checkup, or the day I had my braces removed after wearing them for 18 months in the eighth grade. Just as in middle school, I can’t help but constantly run my tongue over the front of my top teeth after I’m done brushing with the DiamondClean to take in how smooth and sparkling clean they feel.