55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2007
I've had my Sonicare Elite for years, and when it was starting to fritz out I saw the ads for this toothbrush, so I jumped right in. It takes some getting used to. The brush head is much larger than that of the Sonicare Elite. There is a rubber ultrasonic thing in the middle surrounded by bristles. The instructions say to keep the bristles on your teeth as much as possible. I found it kind of difficult to get used to where to 'aim' the bristles. It seemed like the rubber doohicky was the only thing touching my teeth. After a few weeks it became easier and now it's no big deal. It also recommends brushing your lower teeth first, as the technology apparently needs liquid to perform well, and brushing your lower teeth first helps create a little pool (ick) of liquid.
It has the quadrant reminder so you can brush for 30 seconds each part of your mouth. That's the fun part, the little buzzer is actually a cute little ditty! Silly but a fun feature.
My teeth feel really clean after using this brush, particularly when I pay close attention to spending a second or two on each tooth. If I am lazy and just brush without paying attention, I feel like my teeth are about the same as with my Sonicare.
Lastly, I have super sensitive gums due to a receding gumline...I've had gum surgery which helped but didn't completely correct it. As a result some toothbrushes actually hurt - the Oral B felt like it was taking a layer off both my teeth and gums and left them aching all day. No pain, no sensitivity with the Ultreo! Overall, it's a good electric toothbrush. I don't think it's all that groundbreaking, but I like it.
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
I agree with a previous poster that some of these reviews seem very suspect. Rest assured that this is a real review from a person who actually is using the Ultreo (you can check out my other reviews to see that I've been posting them for a while).
But, the topic at hand is the Ultreo. Is it worth the money? Is it better than the other electric toothbrushes?
I think so, but "better" is a very subjective term. I've been using an Oral B electric toothbrush for a few years. Started with the 7000 series and recently upgraded to the 9900 Triumph (the one with the wireless monitor). Both do an excellent job, and get your teeth a lot cleaner than a manual toothbrush (at least for me). The only problem is that they can be a bit rough on the gums. Nothing major, but enough to feel some discomfort. I switched to the ultra soft head which helped a lot, but still there's some minor irritation.
The Ultreo solves this problem completely. It is as gentle as can be on the gums while still getting your teeth clean. Takes a couple of uses to get the hang of it, but once you get the technique down, the process is easy.
There's a lot to like about the Ultreo. Love the design - best way to describe it is that if Apple were to make a toothbrush, this would be it. Nice build quality, feels good in the hand, takes up very little counter space. The designers should take a bow.
Other strong positives (in addition to the gentle approach to the gums) is that it really does help whiten your teeth. No, it's not like getting a whitening treatment, but I've noticed a clear difference that I did not get with the Oral B (even when using their polishing head). Battery life is good, and it's easy to clean (and keep clean).
Some negatives as well. First is the price - kind of steep. The replacement heads aren't cheap either. Also, the brush head is a bit on the large side, which makes it tough to get into the nooks and crannies as well as a smaller head as found on the Oral B. Getting behind the front teeth is especially challenging - it can be done, but you have to contort a bit, and there's usually some drooling involved. Not something you'd want others to see!
I find that the best combo is to use the Ultreo as my "main" toothbrush, but every so often use the Oral-B to make sure that all areas are getting clean. The smaller head is a lot more maneuverable for me. Plus, I use a WaterPik once a day as well. Yes, I'm a real stickler when it comes to teeth, but ever since I've started paying more attention to my teeth cleaning routine, I've been spending a whole lot less time and money at the dentist! For me, it's well worth the time and money.
Bottom line - any electric toothbrush will usually be a better choice than a manual one. If you can swing the cost, the Ultreo is a fine choice. Despite the few negatives, I'd give it 4.75 stars. It's the best choice if you have sensitive gums. Otherwise, you'll also see good results with an Oral B or a Sonic Care. Best way to find out what works best for you is to try them all out - I know the Ultreo and the Oral-B models have a money back guarantee from the manufacturer, so you're not going to be out of pocket if the one you pick doesn't work well for you.
47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
I had bought a Phillips Sonicare on the recommendation of my dental hygienist a month before Ultreo, so I was able to compare these toothbrushes for several days.
Phillips Sonicare cleans teeth by using a "sonic energy" created by 30K+ bristle sweeps a minute. The bristle sweeps do a great job of getting my teeth super clean that they don't feel "furry" even after the whole day. If you've been using a manual brush before Sonicare then you'll notice that your teeth will soon be noticeably whiter and will feel cleaner.
Ultreo by comparison uses ultrasound energy. The ultrasound energy must travel through a medium and therefore you are required to keep the brush wet and have enough liquid in your mouth. The ultrasound energy then transforms the liquid into "micro-bubbles" which "scrub" your teeth clean. The fewer bristles on an ultreo make it a gentler way to clean your teeth as it uses liquid as the scrubbing medium.
The verdict? - My gums being sensitive, prefer the Ultreo which massages them with the microbubbles. However, my teeth feel cleaner and more plaque free with the Sonicare. With the Ultreo I don't get the super-smooth feeling on my teeth like I do with the Sonicare.
Design and Ergonomics:
Sonicare wins this one as it is lighter, has a thin tapered flex design which feels more natural. Its brush head is also smaller than the Ultreo. That makes it easy to maneuver in your mouth and get into those hard to reach places. The bristle design makes it ideal to get in between teeth and do a good scrubbing job. You can also change the speed from Max to Gentle, a feature not found on the Ultreo because it never gets as intense as the Sonicare.
The Ultreo has a rubber band like center called the "waveguide" and a circle of bristles around it. Somehow I find it hard to keep the bristles of the Ultreo positioned comfortably on my teeth. Since the bristles are higher than the waveguide in the middle, there is a tendency to apply too much pressure on the brush which reduces its effectiveness. It is also less "bendy" than the Sonicare which slightly limits its maneuverability. Both Ultreo and Sonicare shut off after 2 mins and play a tune after each 30 sec so you can switch quadrants. The Ultreo arcade style tune is more fun while the Sonicare just gives a beep.
Verdict: Both have good design elements but Sonicare has a slight edge over Ultreo.
Sonicare is cheaper than Ultreo and you can get 2 brush handles and 2 heads pack (e9650) of Sonicare for a lower price than Ultreo 1 handle brush pack. But it's the replacement costs that matter more. Sonicare brush heads are available for less than half the cost of Ultreo brush heads. That might be a deal breaker for some as the brush heads are to be replaced every 2-3 months.
Verdict: Sonicare scores a big one over Ultreo on the price dimension. Ultreo really needs to bring down the cost of the replacement brush heads.
In the last 15 days of usage, (mornings with Sonicare, evenings with Ultreo first week and flip order next week) I prefer Sonicare. However, Ultreo is still a good brush for those with more sensitive gums and I'm giving it 3.5 points.
Final Verdict: This seems like a good brush for those who don't like the intensity of a Sonicare but still want clean teeth. If the manufacturer can also give more information on how ultrasound technology is better in comparison with other technologies it would help convince users to pay more for the Ultreo.
81 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2007
I suffer from gum disease and am therefore hypervigilant about keeping my teeth scrupulously clean. I floss, waterpik, (in my case I use a hydro floss irrigator) and I brush with both a regular toothbrush and with my sonicare elite every night. Yes it takes a long time but if that what it takes to keep my teeth, it is a price I am happy to pay. I get my teeth professionally cleaned 4 x a year.
I offer this background as proof that I am more than a little interested in any new innovations that might help me do the teeth-cleaning job a little better and with less abrasion to my tooth enamel and (exposed!) root surfaces. When I heard about the ultreo ultrasound toothbrush, I was anxious to try it. Honestly, I just couldn't see the improvement over using my sonicare. In fact, I was nervous that it wasn't cleaning my teeth very well at all. There seem to be very few actual bristles -- the center of the toothbrush is largely taken up with a large orange rubber thing which I guess is the transducer (I am not an engineer, sorry) for the ultrasound waves. Call me old-fashioned, but I feel as though actual bristles need to move over my teeth in order for them to get clean.
I used some red disclosing dye to try and figure out if perhaps the ultreo was doing a better job than I gave it credit for. Ummm ... no. With relief I packaged it back up and returned to my tried and true sonicare. In my many years as an Amazon customer, this is the first item I have ever returned -- I am not one of those super-critical types. But honestly, I just didn't feel this was working very well for me.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I went from a manual brush to the Ultreo, although I did own a Sonicare a few years ago. Without the Sonicare here to compare it to, this review will be limited to my comparisons with manual brushing.
Cleanliness: I have to give it 5 stars in this regard. It actually surprised me how clean my teeth feel when I'm done brushing. I tended to be a bit hard on my teeth and gums when brushing manually, so at first I had to think about it to keep from mashing it into my teeth because it doesn't feel the same. Even later in the day, my teeth still feel clean. It comes packaged with a little brush cap to keep germs off.
Ease of use: Pop in the brush head, charge it up and you're off. It doesn't have a slanted head like my old manual, so it takes some adjusting before you feel like its actually getting your teeth. I like the narrow stem; I think it results in less toothpaste drooling. I'm not sure how long it takes to charge completely, but it takes about a half hour to charge up enough to use. It tells you every 30 seconds that its time to change zones.
Economic benefits: You use a tiny bit of toothpaste (also contributes to reduced drooling) and yet your teeth still feel amazing. It is programmed to remind you when to change your brush head, and is programmable for 2 people, so you'll each get a separate reminder. Unfortunately, the initial purchase does not include an extra brush head. The brush heads are a bit spendy, but I suspect they would actually last longer than the recommended 3 months since you are not really smashing the bristles into your teeth and gums.
Out of the box: You get the base, the charger, one brush head, a travel pack, and a little plastic brush head cover.
The charger base is tiny, and doesn't take much of a footprint on your bathroom counter. They make up for it with a gigantic travel container. Seems a bit odd but it all works.
Cleanliness part 2: My teeth are really white already, so I can't vouch for improved whiteness. They do feel amazingly clean after using it, and pretty much all the time for the last 3 weeks since I started using it. The only caveat I'll throw in here is that while my hygienist has been recommending an ultrasonic toothbrush for a long time, she hasn't seen my teeth since I started using this one. Before I go all out and say this is the best toothbrush on earth I'd like to have her endorsement. My instincts tell me my teeth and gums will be improved at my next visit however, because they look and feel fantastic.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
I've been using a Sonicare toothbrush for some time and my hygienist and I have always been satisfied with its performance, so I didn't expect this Ultreo toothbrush to make such a difference. But I noticed what a good job it did the first time I used it, and every time I've used it since I have been similarly impressed.
There are a few things about this that are less than ideal, which is why I only gave it four stars. For one thing, I would have liked it if the Ultreo had come with two toothbrush heads (as the Sonicare does) instead of just one, so my wife wouldn't presumably need to purchase a whole second unit so she could use this too. The place where the head attaches to the unit body vibrates, and thus makes more noise, than seems necessary. And since I have a smaller mouth, the option of a smaller toothbrush head would have been nice too.
But these last two objections, especially, are fairly minor. On the whole, I'm quite happy with this device. I can't wait to hear what my hygienist says now.
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2007
N.B. The Amazon Product Page today [04/05/09] confirms what you may have read elsewhere: "Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes" Tough world. See my comment (the 4th) for more.
I developed a moderate dry mouth condition 4 months ago that puts me at risk now for at least cavities at the gum line but also possibly gum disease.
It has been about 5 years since my last cavity and 2 years since minor preventative surgery at 2 sites between molars where it seems flossing no longer could reach due to receding of the gums. I'd been manually brushing carefully (as well as using either floss or a tooth pick) since the dry mouth developed.
Facing possible drilling, oral surgery for my gums, and even toothaches are great incentives to want to find an effective toothbrush. My dentist does not think a manual tooth brush will be sufficient [I strongly suggest checking with your dentist or dental hygienist before selecting this or any other toothbrush: teeth and gums seem too important not to get professional advice about.]
I've been using the Ultreo for 27 days now, so just one day short of 4 weeks which is hopefully long enough to get over any "new toy" enthusiasm. I use the Ultreo twice a day, morning and evening, and manually brush at lunch. The results have been quite positive:
1) less discoloration. My teeth have become more evenly white and one area on a front tooth that stood out blended in within a few days of using the Ultreo despite having stood out for several years (my hygienist had not been concerned about it but I'm pleased not to have it noticeable).
2) almost no bleeding of my gums now when I floss or use a tooth pick. Before it seems I'd always have bleeding when I flossed or used the tooth pick no matter how often or carefully I manually brushed. My gums look much better.
3) after brushing with the Ultreo, my mouth feels significantly clean and , if I don't eat, can remain that way for several hours. I wouldn't say it feels just like after a dental cleaning but close. The teeth and gums do look almost as good as after a dental cleaning but there is something my hygienist uses that leaves my mouth tasting good. I'm getting similar but not quite as good a result by using a mouthwash after brushing.
4) minor pain due to sensitivity is now gone almost completely since I began using the Ultreo: so long as I don't skip a brushing it is gone. Before and while using the Ultreo I've done once a day fluoride treatment so the reduced sensitivity may be due to ongoing use of the fluoride but the sensitivity began being significantly reduced when I started using the Ultreo and now as long as I use the Ultreo twice a day it's gone.
I hadn't gotten any of these results from manual brushing. I'm still getting used to using the Ultreo but the long slim neck, the slim-waisted handle and the light weight do make it easy to maneuver in my mouth.
The Ultreo quick-tips sheet does address having a dry mouth, recommending taking a sip of water before brushing to keep the bristles wet. I can see the "microbubbles" (foam) if I look, although now I usually keep my mouth closed around the brush and guide it along or near the gum line by feel.
In less than 2 months, I'll have my next dental cleaning and my hygienist will be able to evaluate the condition of my gums. I'm expecting she will be impressed. I do feel an increased confidence about my smile and about knowing that finally my brushing has been showing some benefits (more even white, almost no sensitivity so long as I don't skip any brushing, almost no bleeding, persistent clean feeling after brushing until I eat next). Of course, I have to keep brushing and using floss or a tooth pick but I would in any event: no magic there.
It would be hard for me to love a toothbrush, I see it as just one tool along with floss, tooth picks, mouthwash and fluoride trays that I use for the chore of keeping my teeth and gums in good shape. But the Ultreo seems to be a worthwhile tool that will address the challenge posed by my dry mouth condition so I am expecting my dentist and hygienist will be pleased with the results ... as am I.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2008
I had been a sonicare user since it came on the market more than a decade ago. It was, and still is, an excellent product. However, as a dentist, I was intrigued by Ultreo's incorporation of an ultrasound element into a toothbrush, coupling "sonic" bristle action with ultrasound energy. Previous attempts to do this had failed because the ultrasound energy wasn't focused close enough to the teeth.
Ultreo has overcome this problem with the introduction of a "wave guide", an orange, dome-shaped polymeric element inserted into the center of the brush head. The wave guide transmits ultrasound waves to the bristletips from an ultrasound transducer element buried in the bristleplate of the brush head.
The down-side of this engineering breakthrough is that the wave guide, though relatively small, dictates that the width of the Ultreo brush head is wider than the current sonicare. The up-side however more than compensates for that because the Ultreo is dramatically more gentle than the sonicare, while still providing excellent plaque and stain removal. This is a big plus for people who are concerned about gum recession, or who were bothered by sonicare's "tickling" action.
I've always had excellent oral hygiene and I've found use of the Ultreo continues to keep my teeth free of plaque, stain and tartar. One of the electronic features is an audible beep that occurs every 30 seconds during its two-minute brushing cycle. While sonicare also has this feature, I find that the Ultreo is easier to hear and is a pleasant reminder to move on to the next area of my mouth.
I've used the Ultreo for over a year and am highly satisfied with its performance. It is a quality product with several technology features than enhance my "user satisfaction". The charger base is compact and the charger cord can be disconnected from the base, allowing you to use the base just as a stand when you aren't charging the handle. The charger is designed to allow use in Europe and other parts of the world that use a different line voltage than the US. There is an LED display ath the base of the handle that tells you when the batteries are running low (if you don't keep it charging constantly). This LED also indicates when the brush is charging and when the batteries are fully charged.
Another nice feature of the Ultreo is the brush head is easy to remove, and doesn't collect the messy gunk between/beneath the connection of the brush head to the handle that occured with my sonicare. Overall, this is a wonderful product. It doesn't eliminate the need to floss daily, but perhaps is a step in that direction.
38 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2008
I bought an Ultreo about a month ago at the Sharper Image. Unfortunately, I've been very disappointed with it.
I'm a longtime Sonicare user, and would honestly recommend Sonicare over Ultreo anytime. Despite having a nice grip, a nice travel case, and a handy adapter for overseas travel (no need for a transformer), the brush head is larger than sonicare and has an odd rubber piece in the middle. This rubs against your teeth and is a nuisance. The rubber means less bristles and less cleaning action on your teeth.
Overall, I find ultreo does a worse cleaning compared to Sonicare and is an overall bad value for the money. I have gingivitis and recession, and I found that sonicare kept my pockets a lot cleaner than ultreo.
I contacted ultreo to get a refund but I was told that my 30 day satisfaction guarantee was expired, so I was on my own. Oh well, I guess I won't be an ambassador for the product.
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
I am a Sonicare user for more than 10 years (yes, that is right). I got an Ultreo at the ADA conference at a discount price. Here are my opinions.
1. Brushhead is too wide for me. I have a relatively small mouth. I found that part of the brushhead is hanging outside of the teeth. The bristles are around the ultrasound generator in the middle. Now I have only half of the ring of bristles touching the teeth. The whole brushing experience becomes very awkward.
2. Ultrasound cleaning is questionable. I really don't feel my teeth is any cleaner than the cleaning with Sonicare. I cannot tell if it is worse, either. But with Sonicare, I feel the teeth is more clean with the touch of my tounge. Maybe you already know, P&G filed a lawsuit against the alleged bogus ultrasound cleaning claim by Ultreo. Ultreo then countersued P&G. It is interesting to see how it goes. Sonicare also has a comparison on their website between Sonicare Flexcare and Ultreo with and without the ultrasound turned on. On the Ultreo side, it performs the same with and without the ultrasound. It makes me think all the cleaning action is done by the good old bristles.
3. Expensive. For me, the price doesn't justify what I get.