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on September 2, 2008
The batteries on my old Sonicare Elite (E-series) died on me, so I decided to get a new one. The R710 has several incremental upgrades which are worth the difference in price.

First and foremost, like the FlexCare line, it uses the ProResults head. This alone is worth the price difference. They snap in easily, they cost less, and the handle traps much less gunk than before. Sold. I'm still waiting to see how long they last; my guess is about the same.

In addition to the regular cleaning mode, the R710 has a second mode designed to scrub away stains. It's selected by pushing the power button twice. In this mode, the 5th (last) interval of the normal cycle is pulsed in a way that's supposed to break up stains on your visible teeth. Note that after this interval, the brush stops. If you still want to brush your tongue or concentrate on hard-to-reach areas, you'll have to push the power button again.

The R710 now also comes with a Li-ion battery, which noticeably decreases the weight and increases the battery life. The charger is about half the size of the Elite's, but it doesn't have anywhere to wrap the cord like the deluxe charger on the Flexcare. It comes with an (optional) snap-on plate that holds two extra heads. The charge indicator is a simple LED. If it's blinking, it's below 50%; if it's solid, then it's above. Maybe not as informative or fun to watch as the Elite or FlexCare, but it does the job.

In short, if you want a good basic Sonicare, this is the one to get. It has all the great redesigned features of the FlexCare but less of the (IMO gimmicky) extra routines and modes. If you have sensitive teeth, check out the R732. For an extra $20, it also comes with a few extra accessories like a case and deluxe charger.

UPDATE (1/5/2011): My Sonicare failed a few days before the 2-year warranty expired. It powered on, but the action gradually weakened over a week, until the brush head no longer moved at all.

Following a short call, Philips promptly sent out a new HX6730 handle along with a return mailer for the defective unit. Great support, as long as you're within the warranty period.
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on July 16, 2009
My husband & I have been using the HealthyWhite for a little over a week now and we both agree that it gives our teeth the best brushing we've ever had at home.

Our new dentist and the dental hygienist recommended Sonicare to us both as we both have some gum recession and sensitivity. Rather than just go right out and purchase the first Sonicare we saw on the shelf, we decided to look at the available options.

The other big player in the power toothbrush game is Oral B. There are several others as well, but reviews were difficult to find so the choice eventually came down to Sonicare or Oral B. Also considering that power toothbrushes run on the pricey side (for us anyway), I insisted on doing research.

My research included: Visiting both the Sonicare and Oral B websites and reading about all the different models; reading online reviews, including Amazon reviews, for each of the different models; and a lengthy discussion with our dental hygienist.

The companies' websites were useful for general information. For me, though, the Amazon and other online reviews, were much more helpful in pointing out problems/successes with both Sonicare and Oral B power toothbrushes.

I actually looked at reviews for each Sonicare and Oral B models. After reading the reviews for the lower priced (and apparently older? Sonicare models), like the Essence, I determined that I did NOT want to purchase any of those models. The primary reason: The design of these brushes apparently allows water/toothpaste to seep into part of the brush handle in such a way that mold forms.

With the HealthyWhite and the Flexcare, Sonicare solved this problem, but I was very skeptical about spending nearly $100 (or more!) for a toothbrush.

The Oral B apparently does not suffer from the design flaw of the lower priced Sonicare models and I was actually all set to go ahead with one of the lower priced Oral B models, until I spoke with the dental hygienist.

Following that conversation, I concluded that even if I purchased an Oral B for my own dental needs, we would still need to purchase a Sonicare for my husband, whose needs exceed mine a bit.

For us then it made sense to buy one brush handle and just purchase another brush head.

Although I had read about the difference between sonic dental technology (which Sonicare uses) and oscillating/rotating technology (that Oral B uses), it didn't really make sense to me until my conversation with the hygienist.

The way it was basically explained to me as follows (Sorry if this is a bit graphic):

Sonic technology mixes the toothpaste with your own saliva. The "sonic" part of the technology not only reaches the surface of the teeth but into spaces that no traditional brushing mechanism can reach, even getting in and around the gums.

The Oral B apparently uses the more "traditional" brushing technology and only cleans the area that the bristles of the brush themselves can reach.

This changed my mind, especially in light of my husband's dental needs. At that point, it made more sense to buy one of the newer Sonicare models.

When I first used the Sonicare I expected it to be very loud based on reviews I had read. In my opinion it is quieter than my hairdryer, the noise of which does not bother me. It did take both of us a few days to get used to the feeling of the brush on our teeth.

The Quadpacer technology is helpful, as is the timing mechanism that all Sonicare brushes have, but not really essential in my case: I prefer the longer "Clean and white" cycle and sometimes find that that is not long enough for me.

Some criticize the auto shutoff, but the easy solution to that is just to turn the brush back on. I can always turn it off if I don't want to go through another 2 minutes.

I was a little surprised that the charger is so light and that the brush handle does not fit securely onto the charger: It just rests on the charger and could easily be knocked off. The charger does have room to hold 2 other brushheads.

I have not had any problems with the brushhead popping off the handle when I am brushing my teeth. I do have to be careful about keeping my mouth closed when I am brushing as well as remembering to not start the brush until it's in my mouth.

Overall, though we are very happy with our Sonicare and we really hope it results in better dental appointments. If it does, then it is well worth it despite the higher price tag. My issue with the auto shutoff and the charger do not outweigh the benefits of this brush.

I would recommend this toothbrush, but before doing so I would first recommend talking to your dentist/hygienist and doing your own research. Everyone's dental needs are unique and this brush (or any Sonicare) may not be the right fit for all.

Also, for those of you who do buy a Sonicare, if you register the brush with Sonicare (either online or with the card that comes in the package),the company will send coupons for additional products. I have not yet registered our brush so I don't know how well this works or what kind of coupons Sonicare sends.
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on March 3, 2011
When our old Sonicares stopped working after 4 years, I knew I wanted to get another Sonicare. Even though slightly more expensive, we decided to go with a newer model because the older versions get gunky at the base and under the toothbrush head. Plus, the replacement heads for the newer models are more inexpensive. Therefore, I was left to try to decide between the Flexcare and the HealthyWhite. I went with the 3-mode healthywhite and wished I'd picked the Flexcare. I wish I had known that HealthyWhite just adds 30 seconds to brush time, to let you focus on your front teeth. It doesn't change the way it brushes your teeth for that additional 30 seconds.

Pros: 1. Brush head snaps on and is much less gunky than older models
2. Lightweight handle
3. Sensitive mode is nice after dental work
4. Cleans teeth really well--all sonicare models are amazing at cleaning your teeth, even between teeth
5. The three mode HealthyWhite brush comes with a small head for focusing on one tooth at a time like at the dentist's
office, and a place on the base to hold it. It looks very compact and neat on the sink.
6. Quad-pacing makes sure you evenly time where you brush your teeth. I include the tops of my teeth with each section,
but I've always wished it including time for them in the quad-pacing. But I wouldn't want a Sonicare that didn't
offer any pacing. I've gotten used to the luxury.
7. Automatic shut off after 2minutes (and 30 seconds if using HealthyWhite mode). I do wish it were slightly longer.
Sometimes I do the 2-min 30second cycle twice, I think 3 minutes would be the perfect amount. Wouldn't buy it if it
didn't time you! I like to know I'm brushing long enough.
8. You can opt-out of the gradual increase in power which is nice if you've already been using a sonicare. But I like it
for convincing other family members they should be using one!
9. Rechargable and battery lasts for weekend trips without carting the charger with me! Even with me using it more than
2min 30 seconds every time.

Cons: 1."Healthywhite" option doesn't really do anything but give you 30 seconds longer to brush your teeth
2. You have to press the button 3 times to get to the healthywhite options every time you turn on the toothbrush. It
starts in regular clean mode, press again for sensitive and a third time for healthywhite. It would be nice if it
could start in the longer mode automatically/remember your preference.

If I had it to do over again, I'd buy the Flexcare. I feel like the "healthywhite" is just a gimmick. The Flexcare is more attractive/modern looking, has all of the "pros" of the Healthywhite, offers longer timing, and a sanitizer for not much more money.
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on October 12, 2008
I've owned two generations of Sonicares previous to this one - a first generation basic model way back, and an elite 5500 (?) that got the more natural slanted shaft and got rid of awkward plastic tab behind the brush of the 1st gen. Neither one died on me, both lasted years.

From the E-series to the R-series (710), the major upgrades seem to be:

-Cheaper, better, simpler and smaller replacement brushes. No longer complicated screw-on affairs, the brushes just get pushed on a vibrating bolt, for lack of a better term. There are a lot less places for disgusting gunk to build up and easier clean up. Take much less time to switch heads, if you have to share them (or if the kids have to). They are slightly cheaper to replace, natural as it seems a lot less complicated design.

-Charger base is smaller, same bolt on design as brush head.

-Setting for tooth whitening. Wilder pulsing basically.

-Sleeker, smaller, more comfortable body.

I only moved from the E-series because I orignally bought it as a 2-for-1 special with a family member who eventually moved out and it only came with one base charger. An extra (replacement) one would have cost nearly $45 with shipping + replacement brush head for at least $13, might as well buy a new set at that point.

If you have a Sonicare already, it's probably most economical to stay with yours till it dies as none of the features are revolutionary. Still, I probably like the brush head redesign and resulting cleanliness/lack-of-gunk the best.
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on July 4, 2010
I just purchased my Sonicare 700 series toothbrush about a week ago at the recommendation of my hygenist. I was diagnosed with preidontal disease, and after the teeth scaling and deep cleaning, I was encouraged to change my toothbrush (I had the Oral B flossing action). One of the main reasons I was told to switch brushes is due to the oxygenation action of the Sonicare, which kills off the anaerobic bacteria that contribute to the peridontal disease.
After using the Sonicare for the first time, my Braun toothbrush felt like a toy... My teeth are CLEAN and feel terrific, and I am not noticing the tartar buildup on my lower front teeth as I normally would have had at this time already. I actually look forward to brushing my teeth!!!
WELL WORTH THE MONEY you will spend to preserve your dental health.
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on February 15, 2009
I bought my first Sonicare toothbrush back in 2002, an original E-series, and I used it until it wouldn't recharge any more, which was about Christmas 2008. After using a manual toothbrush a few weeks, I decided I simply had to get another Sonicare.

I upgraded to the R710, and I couldn't be happier. The lithium batteries make it smaller, lighter, easier to handle, and just more... toothbrush-like. The E-series always was a handful. Plus, Sonicare has apparently improved their ultrasonic technology over the last 6 years... the R710 is significantly more powerful than my old one was. The only downside I've found is that, since the R710 has 2 cleaning modes (whereas my old model had only one), turning the unit off in mid-cycle requires pressing the button twice instead of just once. The first press switches modes, and the second press finally turns it off.
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VINE VOICEon May 26, 2009
My dentist originally told me to steer clear of the rotating brushes to clean your teeth, not much more than taking sandpaper to your teeth. I have since switched dentists, and this gadget had come recommended by many friends, as well as my new dentist. It vibrates the head of the brush at a super high rate of speed. Gone are the days of moving the toothbrush back and forth over your teeth. Simply put on toothpaste, put in mouth, and turn on. Place the head on your teeth and work however you see fit. Every 30 seconds, the tone changes, and you change quadrants in your mouth. This is my one complaint, I'd like to see variable timed (longer) intervals. After two minutes, or 2:30 if you chose the whitening mode, the brush shuts off. Almost four months after having been to the dentist, my teeth still have that super slick clean feeling, I LOVE it!
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This was my first Sonicare Toothbrush that I bought after reading some of some of the positive reviews here. I was replacing an old Braun that I had for over 10 years. This one seems to have more and faster movements of the brush and it does a better job of cleaning my teeth. You know that feeling after you come out of the dentist's office for a cleaning where your teeth have that polished, smooth feeling when you run your tongue over them? Well, even after the first time using this toothbrush my teeth felt that way. My old toothbrush never did that. After using it for a few weeks my teeth looked whiter to me. Now I never did a real test, like brushing one half with this toothbrush and one half with the old, but when I look at myself in the mirror, I can see a difference.

I like the timer thingy on this toothbrush. I thought it would be like a bell or a beep, but it's more like a little pause after each of four 30 second segments. So you do each area of your mouth for 30 seconds and then if you want to do the "whitening" segment, you push the bottom button and it'll time those segments. This part is a different type of vibration or movement that is supposed to do an even better job of polishing your teeth. I don't know if it's this part or just spending enough time on each section, but it works. My teeth feel cleaner and look whiter.

Another thing that I noticed with this toothbrush is that my gums don't bleed when brushing my teeth anymore. I've had that problem for probably the last 30 years, whether I used my old Braun electric toothbrush or whether I brushed my teeth by hand. After the first couple days with this toothbrush it just stopped. I'm not sure if it's because of the texture of the brush or if it's just contributes to the health of my gums, but it's a nice bonus.

The toothbrush is very easy to clean and the brushes snap on and off very easily. It's lightweight which makes it easy to use and it's reasonably quiet for a power toothbrush. I'm completely sold on this brand. When I need to replace it at some point, it will be with another Philips Sonicare product. Two thumbs up!
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on February 9, 2012
My husband is a dentist so we take teeth cleaning very seriously. We have owned several electric toothbrushes (yes, they do clean much better than regular brushes) through the years and prefer the Sonicare brand. However, they do not last very long compared to the cost. We have to replaced our toothbrushes about every 18 months because they die. This time we chose the model with fewer whistles and bells, more of a basic model, and it seems to clean just as well as the more expensive models with "too many" options. So far we are very happy with this brush, but ask me again next year. :)
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on March 16, 2012
I've purchased 2 of these electric toothbrushes and 1 of another model. All three failed after a year of use. When my first one broke because it would no longer brush anymore, I thought it was the battery. I charged it for a day and it still did not function properly. I figured it was a fluke. Then I ordered another one and it happened again. I ordered a different model and the same thing happened. I finally realized that since I travel a lot, I have to remove the brush head from the unit. After repeated removal and installation, I damaged the unit head that attaches to the toothbrush. I figure this is a flaw in the design. The older models where you screw down the brush head was much better and sturdy.

On a side note... On one of my units, the brush would be on the charger and mysteriously turn on by itself. At one point I had to put the toothbrush downstairs because the vibration annoyed my wife. I will never spend money on this product again.
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