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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2008
I can't. In fact, I debated about whether to give it three. In the end, I like more about it than I don't, so the three stars.

1) the cleaning features are nice - especially the new "Go" setting for a quicker (i.e. after meal) brush. They work as well as I would expect - which is to say my teeth feel "dentist clean" afterwards.
2) I love the UV cleaning feature.
3) I really like the new smaller head that comes with this model - great for getting the back teeth.
4) The way the heads attach to the handle is much improved over the old model.
5) It comes with a much smaller travel charger - finally!

Sadly there is a HUGE design flaw that is tough to forgive. The button you use to change from one cleaning speed to another is exactly where you grasp the handle of the toothbrush, and unlike the power button, is very easy to depress. This means you are brushing along in "clean" when all of a sudden you are in "gum massage" mode. Not sure how this got past the design team as it is not at all a subtle flaw - and I should mention that both my husband and I have this issue, so it is not a hand size or problem unique to my grip.

So, as long as you are willing to completely relearn how you hold your toothbrush this is a great brush....otherwise, stick with the classic Sonicare.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2011
Product Packaging: Standard Packaging
I purchased a set of the Sonicare Flexcare HX6930 toothbrush(s) about a year ago from Costco. I paid around $150, which included the UV Sanitizer, a few extra brush heads, and the travel charger. There's a lot to like about this unit's ergonomics, but two glaring fault's make all the good things about it unimportant. The unit does not allow battery replacement, and the high breakage rate (motor to brush head coupling) indicate a very problematic design. Both of these problems happened several months ago, and so neither of my brushes now work. I have spent some time on the net researching these issues, only to find out that my problems are certainly not unique, and that subsequent models (I was hoping for a fix) still have the same issues. It is obvious that Sonic did not place the same emphasis on reliability that they placed on such an elegant design. I cannot recommend this unit; The cost, lack of manufacturers commitment to addressing the design flaws, and continuing to produce newer models with the same flaws only indicate a profit over all else approach.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2010
Product Packaging: Standard PackagingVerified Purchase
I LOVE the Flexcare's brushes but the toothbrush itself only lasts a few months. I've gone thru 2 of these in the past 9 months. There's no indication of why they just stop working, I'll be brushing my teeth and the toothbrush makes a weird clanking noise and then it just stops working. I've tried to reset them but to no avail. Oral B's products are much more reliable, but their brushes are way too hard compared to the Sonicare. But I can't afford to throw this much money away every few months for this toothbrush. I'll have to go back to my old reliable Oral B toothbrush, but I'm gonna really miss the softness of the Flexcare brushes.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 23, 2009
I've been using an older Sonicare model, the "Essence 5300" on which the switch was beginning to go out. I decided to upgrade to a Flexcare model and am very glad I did. The Flexcare has been a great improvement all around.

Pros:

-New Lighter, Slimmer Handle
This is probably the first thing you'll notice if you're coming from an older Sonicare handle, and it is a very welcome improvement. The FlexCare handle is small and feels much better in the hand than my old bulky 5300 handle. The unit is actually longer than my old brush, but that's not a big deal at all.

-New ProResults Brush Head system
The new heads are great. Sonicare moved the tuning fork from the head to the handle, which means smaller brush heads than on the old models. A 3 pack of the new heads is the same price as a 2 pack of the old heads, making them actually a better deal for a superior product.

-No More Crud in the Handle!
The biggest problem with my old brush was that old toothpaste/drool/water tended to collected in the space where the handle connects to the brush head. It would get all moldy and gross if you didn't clean it out regularly. Thankfully, this problem is completely gone with the Flexcare handles.

-Lithium Ion Batteries
I've waited a long time for Sonicare to upgrade from inferior NiCd batteries, and they finally have. With Lithium Ion, you don't have to worry about battery capacity decreasing over time, or a memory effect. The new batteries charge faster, too.

-UV Sanitizer Included
UV Sanitizers for toothbrushes are relatively new to the market, and a great idea. I always felt a little gross letting my brush sit out on the counter, even with the cover that comes with sonicare heads, and then putting it in my mouth. Scientists actually recommend that a toothbrush be kept 3 feet from the toilet due to "airborne particles" from the flush - yuck! A UV sanitizer will kill anything that might land on your brush, as well as things such as cold germs that might have come from your own mouth. Using the sanitizer is easy, just pop the brush head(s) in, press the green button, and wait for the UV light to kill the germs. I store my brush head inside the sanitizer until I need it next. The Charger is integrated with the sanitizer, although a separate travel charger is included.

-Quadpacer
This is basically a beep that goes off every 30 seconds while brushing, reminding you to switch to a new area of your mouth. It has appeared in previous models (not my 5300 though), and is nice if you'll use it, but I tend to go at my own pace as I focus more on problem areas in my mouth and less on others.

-5 Total Brushing Modes/Routines
There are 3 selectable "modes": clean mode: (2 minutes broken into 30 second segments), sensitive (a "gentler" clean mode) and massage (the brush pulsates for gum stimulation). Go Care Routine shortines the standard 2 minute clean mode to 1 minute, while Max Care is a longer, 3 minute cycle that includes both clean and massage mode. I set the brush on clean mode and tend not to use the other options, but some may find them useful.

-More Environmentally Friendly
Although buying a new product of any sort will always have a negative environmental footprint, these new brushes are better than the old models due to their Li-Ion batteries, reduced bulk, and lower waste in the smaller replacement brush heads.

Cons:

-Price
Let's be clear on this: a Sonicare toothbrush is a luxury product. You're paying a lot more up front, and you get to keep paying more every time you buy replacement heads. Surprisingly, heads for Flexcare units are actually a cheaper than the older models; you get 3 Flexcare heads for the same price as 2 of the old heads. The per head price is still several times what it would cost to buy a new manual brush; but for me the superior cleaning is worth it.

Noise
-Flexcare models are louder than older models. I'm not sure why this is, and supposedly vibration has been reduced in exchange, but the noise can be too much for some. The UV sanitizer also makes a quiet electric "hum" when plugged in with the door closed, even if the UV bulb isn't run.

-Buttons can be depressed while brushing
A couple of people have complained about accidentally hitting 1 of the 2 buttons on the handle while brushing. It hasn't happened to me, but for completeness I'll include this as a possible con.

Overall:

This brush is a vast improvement over my previous brush, and has fixed most of the problems I had without introducing any significant new ones. The fact that replacement brush heads are actually cheaper than on my old brush is a big plus. I highly recommend the Flexcare brushes as a great upgrade to any toothbrush, electric or manual, that you're currently using.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2007
Product Packaging: Standard Packaging
I have been using philips sonic toothbrushes many many years, during that entire time I never needed any dental work or fillings, infact I did not even need to visit the dentist. People would always comment on how beautifully white my teeth were. When I did visit my dentist he said my teeth were in far better condition then he had ever seen, my brush needed replacing so I asked his advice, he did not like the philips sonic toothbrushes claiming oral B was the best and the only one they sold and told me to switch to oral B. Believing him to be an expert, I did switch to oral b, and oh what a mistake, because I paid alot of money for it I kept using it. It will be of no suprise to hear that for the first time in that period of use I needed a filling for the first time in 17 years, and another filling came out all together, my gums became very sore from the oral b and I developed gingivitis, and my teeth were not as white as they were.

I was so pleased when the oral B broke (after less than 2 years of use). I was back on the internet searching for my beloved Philips Sonic toothbrush, and found the best ever yet, yes the Sonic flexcare with UV sanitizer, I agree it is noisier, and for me I have to use the compact head, however the different modes for cleaning is really great for those with sensitive gums, and find the oral b too abrasive, I cannot stand the heads on the oral b either. The Philips sonicare flexcare heads are better shaped and I find I can reach all my teeth, and there is no toothbrush on this planet that will leave your teeth and mouth as clean as this brush will. Yes it is pricey, but dental hygiene is extremely important and for me I did not hesitate to pay the price as it is something I use everyday twice a day and know it actually works and does what it says it does. I think they will bring out another model with 2 brushes inside and additional extra's. I think it is worth getting the sonicare flexcare without the UV sanitizer and buying the philips UV standalone sanitizer separately as the standlone UV sanitizer will take other brush heads as well.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 27, 2007
Product Packaging: Standard PackagingVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The only other electric toothbrush experiences I had before this were the $5 Colgate battery operated from Walmart and the Braun 3D Excel (a Consumer Report favorite a few years back).

The default setting of "Clean" was too intense the first time around. It tickled my gums and I could almost not bear it. The second time around I use the "Sesitive" setting which was more tolerable. Try number 3 back on "Clean" and all was good, though it will still take a bit getting use to. The "Massage" mode is supposed to be the easiest on the gums but not as good with the cleaning so I didn't even bother with that setting.

Everything is real easy to maintain and clean or replace parts from the diagrams provided. LED for power is clear and bright.

The toothbrush pauses during brushing four times. Each time is a sign that you should be done with that quadrant so you can move to the next. No biggie, actually a nice feature. My wife's complaint is that it just shuts off after all four quadrants are "done". She prefers the Braun 3D Excel that sends you a beeping noise signalling the end but lets you keep brushing if you want. For me, I don't care. I could always turn it back on if I really wanted to and do another cycle.

BOTTOM LINE:
My teeth feel the cleanest with this new toothbrush and it better for the price! But if it can help save me from dental work, which could easily run into the hundreds or thousands even with insurance, then so be it. Worth the purchase/gift and I'm sure the dentist will say brushing twice a day would make life even better.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2008
Product Packaging: Standard Packaging
Was so wanting this brush.
The Flexcare looked so great,
all was fine during the slower break in time,
but as soon as it was over, and it began going faster,
Now each time I use it, while brushing the brushhead keeps falling off , over and over again.
I put it back on and continue to brush and it falls off again, I have not heard of others with this problem ?? But not fun. Thank you
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2009
Product Packaging: Standard Packaging
Caution if you plan to buy this model. I went through THREE of these over a 14-month period before downsizing to a hopefully sturdier Essence. I will credit the company for customer service (they provided me with free replacements when the first and second models broke down during the year-long warranty) but I knock the FlexCare's design for lack of durability. You will know the end is near when you start hearing a loud rattling noise during brushing. A week or so later, the brush no longer works.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2009
Product Packaging: Standard Packaging
Like others, I have been a Sonicare user for years and years. After owning the FlexCare for about a year, the vibration and noise got increasingly worse, and then the metal post encased in a rubber sleeve finally broke, rendering the brush head inoperable. Philips sent another. Approximately 8 months later, same thing. They shipped another. I am now about to experience the exact same thing -- the head is vibrating wildly and making horrible noise. I can tell the metal post is about to give way again. I guess I will make another support plea and see if they keep sending a new unit. My husband and I use the unit twice a day, meaning at least 4 brush head changes per day. Apparently the toothbrush cannot handle this. It's a shame, because it really is a great toothbrush when new. When I needed a new toothbrush for our cabin, I decided against the FlexCare and just purchased an Elite. Much cheaper and none of the headaches.

UPDATE: July 2, 2010 -- yes, Phillips/Sonicare did, yet again, replace the failing FlexCare that I spoke of in my initial review. Now, the 3rd (or is the 4th) unit is experiencing the exact same problem yet again -- the metal shaft seeming to come apart inside the rubber sleeve. When you go to remove the brush head, the rubber sleeve turns into Gumby and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s out until the head finally comes loose.

So, I go to the Phillips/Sonicare website and log in and report another failed unit; however, now there is no email support; you must call in. No problem. So today I call, and they tell me that the problem is MY fault -- that this toothbrush is not built to withstand frequent head changing. HUH? He said it's my fault, because my husband and I change out the heads each twice a day so that we can both use the toothbrush. Why, then, do they provide different colored rings for the brush heads? I thought this was so that Mom, Dad, SuzieQ and Little Johnny could all use it? Nope. He said he could send me a $15 rebate coupon if I could send him the original purchase receipt. Wow. His solution was that we each need our own FlexCare toothbrushes and not remove the heads so frequently. Great. Not a viable option when they are so expensive to begin with.

Bottom line: great toothbrush; nothing beats it, but be prepared to replace it frequently, as its lifespan is less than one year, if you intend to use it between/among more than one family member.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2007
Product Packaging: Standard Packaging
ok, so i lucked out and got to try this out free as a bzzz reviewer. but that doesn't change the fact that this is an amazing gadget. here's why:
1. it looks pretty. this does not rank high on my list of necessary attributes of my toothbrush, but i just had to say it. and now the fact that it is, makes me happy.
2. it's easy to use, despite being packed with features. won't bore you with the details (which you can read above in the item description), but really, you have just enough options not to overwhelm you, but to suit your every dental hygienic need (short of a root canal or cavity filling, but you shouldn't need them if you keep using this thing). the 2 week "ramp-up" program that gradually increases the power for the 1st 2 weeks you use it is pretty cool.
3. it sterilizes your toothbrush heads. i keep reading those gross articles that talk about the bacteria growing on toothbrushes and flying through the air from flushing toilets and i had to just not think about it. now i can think about it and say, 'ha ha--i gotcha! die a terrible uv death, you bastards!' to those nasty, nasty microbes.
4. it's fun to use. which means i'm now a thorough brusher. ok, so i NEVER in a million years thought i'd use an electric toothbrush b/c i thought it was a stupid idea. but this thing makes me actually want to brush, and even gets me to brush for an entire 2 minutes each time! my dentist would approve. now if they could only do something like this for flossing...

the only drawbacks i see are:
1. i totally agree with the whole messiness issue. toothpaste spit goes flying everywhere unless i keep my mouth closed and even then, i drool. guess it gives philips another reason to invent something i didn't think i needed--a toothbrushing shield/guard to protect my mirror from all those annoying toothpaste spit spray dots. i just make sure to change into my day clothes AFTER brushing. hint: ALWAYS always *ALWAYS* turn off the toothbrush BEFORE removing it from your mouth, unless you want the 'snow-covered' look on every surface in your bathroom.
2. it's slightly more cumbersome to travel with. but i don't do much traveling anymore w/2 small kids. and even if i did, i could just bring a regular toothbrush and leave my new treasured toothbrush safely at home.
3. i guess i'll have to buy refills. which i'm sure will cost more than the 2 buck ones at the drugstore. but did i mention my toothbrush is now pretty?
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