Philips Sonicare FlexCare Plus HX6972 Review

By | March 15, 2011

I decided to write an article about the Philips Sonicare Flexcare Plus toothbrush (model number HX6972) because in my opinion it is one of these higher end toothbrushes that people often are interested.

I learned that people are somehow afraid to purchase this product because there is not enough information about them except manufacturer’s advertising and reviews  some sellers promoting this product.

So I read all information about Sonicare FlexCare+ I could get my hands on, including user manual and dozens of users reviews (click here to go directly to the pricing and specification information!). Please keep reading to discover my findings.

Sonicare FlexCare Plus toothbrushSo here are some of the things you should know about this toothbrush which is #6 most sold power toothbrush on Amazon.com at the moment of writing this review. Click here to jump straight to the availability and pricing information!

Disclaimer – I have not used this product myself and I do not own it (but I still use similar HealthyWhite toothbrush), so I will not pretend that it is my personal experience. Still my review is based on product owners feedback, and I will present you both pros and cons of this product.

Technology

Almost all manufacturers of rechargeable toothbrushes that are being sold today say that it can give its customers an amazing overall mouth cleaning experience.

However, not all such products live up to its promises. In fact, I can say that people often are disappointed with toothbrushes that they have bought because of advertised performance but in fact they did not clean teeth the way people expect them to.

Sweeping Motions 1The Philips Sonicare FlexCare Plus HX6972 is not one of such toothbrushes. Thanks to its Patented Sonic Technology, you can be sure that your mouth will be cleaned thoroughly – as if you had just been to the dentist.

The technology has been specifically designed to provide users with the best possible teeth and gum cleaning experience as it is able to reach places which a manual toothbrush cannot access.

FlexCare Plus is able to give users a clean feeling in their mouth as it remove up to 83% of plaque including those in hard to reach areas. It will also make your teeth whiter with continuous use because of its dynamic cleaning action that can get rid of teeth stains that are caused by coffee or tea.

The FlexCare+ is safe to use on all kinds of dental restorations (veneers, crowns, and others) and braces.

Timer features – Smartimer and Quadpacer

Sonicare Flexcare Plus toothbrush features two timer technologies – Smartimer and Quadpacer.

Smartimer

Mouth Quadrants 1As our dentists are telling us from the early days, we should brush twice a day for at least full 2 minutes.

The Smartimer tracks your brushing time and makes sure that you clean your teeth and gums for at least 2 minutes. When you have reached 2 minutes, the toothbrush will automatically turn off.

If you want to brush some more time, you have to switch the brush on again. Smartimer feature can not be switched off.

Quadpacer

The Quadpacer is 30 second timer that ensures that you spend equal time on brushing all parts of your mouth.

First you have to divide your mouth in 4 sections or quadrants. Then turn on your brush and start brushing one particular quadrant until you hear the Quadpacer beeping. After the beep move to the next quadrant. This way you will spend 30 seconds (if you are using Clean mode) on every quadrant.

When you buy the Flexcare+ brush, the Quadpacer is turned on. You can turn this feature off if you wish.

Sonicare Flexcare Plus brushing modes

This toothbrush features 5 brushing modes.

  • Clean Mode for complete outstanding brushing for 2 minutes
  • Sensitive Mode, as its name suggests, is designed for people with sensitive teeth and gums. It offers thourough but gentle cleaning for 2 minutes
  • Refresh Mode is a short 1 minute mode for a quick touch up cleaning after a quick snack or cup of coffee. In older Sonicare models it is called Go Care mode
  • Massage Mode provides gum stimulation for 2 minutes
  • Gum Care Mode is a combined mode for teeth and gum cleaning. First brush your teeth for 2 minutes and then take care of your gums for an additional 1 minute.  The Gum Care mode is further discussed below

Gum Care mode improves your gum health

Philips Sonicare FlexCare Plus Brushing ModesOne of the reasons why people choose to switch to a rechargeable toothbrush is because they want to treat gum related diseases. While it is true that the toothpaste you use is also a factor, many dentists have said that poor condition of the gums can be attributed to improper brushing habits.

Couple of years ago my dentist warned me against using a power toothbrush. She said that toothbrushes with rotating brush heads that were sold back then were just pushing plaque and food particles under the gum line. This sooner or later led to gum inflammation and gum diseases.

That is not the case with the latest generation brushes, especially those using the Sonic Technology and special cleaning modes for improving gum health.

This toothbrush from Philips has been clinically proven to improve overall gum health already during the first two weeks of use. How is this possible? The HX6972 features the Gum Care mode that provides 2 minutes of thorough whole mouth cleaning with additional 1 minute of gentle cleaning for problem areas – particularly along the gum line.

Brushing using the Gum Care mode can significantly reduce gum related problems such as gum bleeding, gum recession and gum inflammation. If that is not enough, the rechargeable toothbrush also has a Contoured Brush Head which effectively gets rid of plaque along the gum line.

Selecting the brushing mode

When you switch on the FlexCare Plus brush for the first time, the active mode is the Clean Mode. The mode is indicated by the backlight.

If you want to switch to another mode you should first switch the brush off. That is because you can not toggle between the modes when the toothbrush is on. When the brush is off, press the Mode button to toggle between the modes. The selected mode briefly illuminates. When the desired mode is selected, turn on the brush and start brushing. The selected mode will remain active even after switching brush off until you select another mode.

Rechargeable Battery Features and Charger

The FlexCare Plus toothbrush has built-in rechargeable battery. When the battery is completely charged you can use it for around 42 brushing cycles. In other words one charge lasts around 3 weeks.

It takes 24 hours to fully charge empty battery. The toothbrush will warn you when the battery gets low. In  this case it will beep 3 times and the yellow recharge indicator will flash.

It is suggested that you keep the brush on the charger when you do not use it. Do not worry about your electricity bills because the charger draws minimal energy from the outlet when the battery is full.

Sonicare FlexCare+ chargers

Deluxe Charger 2There are 3 multi-voltage chargers bundled with this toothbrush.

  • charger integrated in the UV sanitizer base
  • Deluxe charger (marked  with K in picture) with brush head holder (L) and cord wrap (N)
  • travel charger (M)

As you can see the travel charger (M) is pre-installed in the Deluxe charger (K), so you should take the Deluxe charger apart if you want to use the travel charger alone.

Battery indicator

FlexCare+ brush has battery indicator that informs you about the battery status.

  • yellow flashing indicator together with beeps tells you that battery is low
  • green flashing indicator means that battery is charging
  • 3 green LEDs indicate that the toothbrush is fully charged
  • 2 green LEDs indicate that the toothbrush is 67-94% charged.
  • 1 green LED indicates that the toothbrush is 34-66% charged

Replacement brush reads for FlexCare Plus

Philips ProResults Brush Heads 1Philips Sonicare FlexCare Plus power toothbrush is compatible with:

The replacement heads come in 3 packs. The list price of 3-pack is $30.00 but you can find them online for $21-23 a piece.

The main difference between 2 types of ProResults heads is the size. The ProResults Compact Brush Heads are better for children and women who generally have smaller mouths. They also clean hard-to-reach areas of the mouth (like back teeth) better.

There are 2 replacement heads bundled with  FlexCare+ toothbrushes, so you do not have to worry about the replacement brushes for 6 months. You will get  one Standard size ProResults brush head and one Compact head. This way everybody will be able to test both brush sizes and chose the best fitting one.

Other Philips Sonicare+ other features

UV Sanitizer

Philips Sonicare Flexcare Plus UV Sanitizer Did you know that bacteria and virus can build up on your toothbrush if you are not able to dry it completely? When you flush the toilet, your toothbrush can also catch some of the bacteria particularly when it is exposed to air. These are the reasons why it would be great to have a feature on your toothbrush which can get rid of these.

Philips Sonicare Plus HX6972 is bundled with UV Sanitizer – device which uses an advanced UV technology to sanitize your brush head and eliminate up to 99% of bacteria and viruses including E coli, S. mutans and Herpes simplex.

With a simple push of a button, the toothbrush will go through a 10 minutes cycle to dry the brush head down to the bristles and make sure that it makes all bacteria ineffective.

According to Philips the UV bulb lasts about 1800 hours which means it should be changed once in 2-3 years. It is available for order on Philips website.

Easy-start program

Easy-start program is an additional cleaning mode for first-time electric toothbrush users. This reduced power mode helps to get used to the vibrations of power toothbrush. Initially the brush works with a fraction of full power and increases the power automatically each time you use the brush. The full power is achieved over 14 day period.

The FlexCare Plus brush comes with Easy-start program activated and you can turn it off if necessary. The procedure is described in the user manual.

Color code ring

There are 3 color rings included in each brush kit. They are handy for identifying the brush heads if multiple persons are sharing one brush handle. Just put the colored ring on the bottom of the brush head and your brush head will stand out from the others.

Philips Sonicare FlexCare+ HX6972 package contents

  • 1 toothbrush handle (model HX6950)
  • 2 ProResults brush heads
  • 3 brush head color code rings
  • 1 UV brush head sanitizer
  • 1 multi-voltage charger base with UV sanitizer
  • 1 multi-voltage Deluxe charger with built-in travel charger
  • 2 hygienic travel caps
  • 1 hard travel case

Dimensions

The box size is 3.7 x 6.7 x 9.2 inches and it weighs around 2 pounds with all bundled accessories.

Accessories

In fact there are no specific accessories for FlexCare+. The UV sanitizer I usually suggest to buy is already bundled with the brush, so buyers are getting all they need.

Design

Philips Sonicare Flexcare Plus 3FlexCare Plus HX6972 design is a combination of soft sky blue, white and sky blue. There is also a stylish chrome front panel.

The brush heads are easy to attach and remove for your convenience. It is also effortless to use thanks to its slim ergonomic design and rubber handle which makes it easy to grip.

The toothbrush features a LCD display so that you can see what brushing mode you are using. There is also a battery indicator mentioned above in the battery section.

Consumer reviews – what users are saying?

This Flex Care+ toothbrush has 4.3 stars out of 5  on Amazon.com. More than 450 users have rated this toothbrush, and 400+ of them have 4 or 5 stars to this product.

Customers also are voting for this product with their credit cards. Flexcare Plus is the second most bought rechargeable tooth brush on Amazon. The #1 is the cheap Philips Sonicare Essence. So people are choosing between the most affordable and the best.

Most of the reviews are very positive and here are some of their comments:

This is not the cheapest toothbrush you can find, but you will get what you pay for! (…click here to read more reviews)

My dentist recommended that I should try an electric toothbrush. This toothbrush removed all the dark stains on my teeth the very first time I used it. This brush is quiet, easy to use, and very effective even the first time you will use it. (…click here to read more reviews)

Pros

Philips Sonicare Flexcare Plus UV Sanitizer 3Here are the features and benefits that people like the most:

  • 5 cleaning modes to chose from
  • 3 week long battery life
  • easy to clean and sanitize the brush head using the UV sanitizer
  • suited for travelers with hard plactic travel case and travel charger

Cons

Some people are saying that the price is too steep and that the brush heads are more expensive compared to Oral B. Still the higher price can be justified by broad range of features this gadget has, so buyer gets what he is paying for.

Some people have managed to grow mold in the UV sanitizer but I believe it to be very unlikely if you shake off the excess water from the brush after using it.

I also came across the complaint the the UV sanitizer base takes too much space in the bathroom.

Alternatives

If you are looking for the latest technology from Philips you should check out this toothbrush – Philips Sonicare DiamondClean. I have researched this model and written the comparison article about Philips Sonicare DiamondClean vs FlexCare Plus. My conclusion is that DiamondClean brush looks fancier and features few innovative technologies, but FlexCare Plus will do better job taking care after your teeth and gums.

There are also several power toothbrushes from Oral B with comparable features. You can learn more if you will read my review about Oral B 4000 and 5000 brushes.

Price

You can buy the toothbrush from Amazon and several other online retailers like Walmart, BestBuy, Target, or Drugstore.

After checking offers in online stores that offers dental care products I discovered that Amazon has the best price on Philips Sonicare FlexCare Plus. Amazon currently has the product in stock and also offers a free shipping option for this item.

The FlexCare Plus toothbrush list price is in the region of $190. If you order it online e.g. from Amazon.com, usually you will be able to save up to 20-30%.

Products frequently bought together with FlexCare+

This power toothbrush often is bought together with its replacement brush heads Philips Sonicare ProResults HX6013 Brush Head Standard 3pk and Philips Sonicare HX6023 ProResults Compact Brush Heads 3pk.

When you decide to buy the FlexCare+ toothbrush, you might also be interested in Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser which is effective in cleaning in-between the teeth. You may also want to get the Sonic Seal for FlexCare to provide waterproof cover to your brush heads.

Features summary

Philips Sonicare FlexCare Plus Features 1