Why Are People Obsessed With This $220 Toothbrush?

Photo: Courtesy of Philips.
This is a story about a $220 toothbrush. I'm just going to be up-front about that. If you hate-clicked on this and are skimming it with both eyebrows raised — I get it. You should be annoyed. Frankly, I'm a little annoyed. With $220, you could buy a coat, or a plane ticket, or most of a top-notch jar of eye cream. But, mostly, I'm annoyed because now I have to grit my gorgeous teeth and say that this ridiculous luxury toothbrush is absolutely worth the price. Here's why.
I first heard rumblings about the Philips DiamondClean — this purported magic wand of oral care — a few months back, when it was reported that Kim and Kanye used it. The general consensus was, OBVIOUSLY they use $220 toothbrushes. But, when I checked out the amenities and reviews for this sucker, I admit, I was intrigued. I've been using my old-school Sonicare since senior year of college, and the thing is so outdated that I have to ask store attendants to dig around in the back room whenever I need a new brush head. But, it still works and was good enough for me. Then, I saw the Philips DiamondClean and suddenly, I absolutely needed to trade it in for a newer model.
The DiamondClean offers five brushing modes: Clean, White, Polish, Gum Care, and Sensitive. Clean and Sensitive are the most basic functions, designed for everyday use. Polish is to make your teeth bright and shiny, White is for surface stains, and Gum Care is exactly what it sounds like. I tried all of 'em, but let's be real: Gum Care is cool, but I'm in it for the bright, white smile.
After a few minutes of fiddling around, I hit the White setting and let the DiamondClean go to town. That's exactly what it feels like, too. Once you hit that button, you are no longer in charge. The powerful vibration takes over, the brush beeps to let you know when to reposition, and the frantically whirring bristles work each tooth like nothing you've felt outside a dentist's office. This brush lets you know who's in charge. Two minutes and 30 seconds later, I rinsed and replaced the DiamondClean in its elegant charging cup. I spent the next five minutes staring in the mirror and ogling the inside of my mouth like a creep.
My teeth looked good. My teeth felt good. In terms of whiteness, the difference was subtle. Had I not had red wine with dinner, I may not have noticed anything at all. But, the truly dramatic, almost obscene, Kardashian-style difference in the feeling. It was as if I really had been to the dentist — but without the pain, anxiety, or co-pay.
I'll spare you the dramatic details of every brushing for the next 30 days — though, believe me, I could talk about it incessantly. Call me. But, after a month, I knew this was the real deal. Kim Kardashian may use it, but the toothbrush itself is Meryl Streep. It gives a knockout performance every damn time. It's so consistently The Best that I keep thinking I'll get tired of it, but no. Every night, I leave the bathroom, running my tongue over my squeaky-clean teeth and gums, thinking, "How does she do it?"
I think she does it like this:
Photo: Courtesy of Philips.
First, the DiamondClean has a far more powerful vibration than any other electric toothbrush I've used. But, it's not rough on your teeth. I've always been prone to sensitivity (and sometimes, eek, bloody gums) after brushing too hard, but I've never experienced it with this one. Second, the bristles move in a billion different directions. There's nothing about this in the manual, but when you look at the brush head, it's like a whirling dervish. While using it, you feel how it gets into every nook and cranny, brushing away all the hidden food and plaque.
The last — and not-so-exciting — trick is the timer. Each setting goes for at least two minutes, beeping in intervals so can you give equal attention to each quadrant of your mouth. That may not seem like very long, but try timing yourself once and you'll probably hit closer to 30 seconds. This feature is not unique to the DiamondClean (I've ignored my share of electric-toothbrush timers), but ever since that first brushing, I've never been tempted to quit early. The results are simply too good — just ask my dentist.
That's the real reason I'm sold on this high-end gadget. I'm not truly phobic, but I have about as much anxiety as the average American dentist-avoider. But, this baby got rid of as much fear as it did plaque. When you truly know and feel how much cleaner your teeth are, it makes scheduling that biannual checkup a lot less scary. I almost look forward to it now, if only so I can show off my kick-ass molars and gumline. (I came around on the Gum Care setting. Gum Care is bomb.) Trust me, there is no greater pride than impressing your dental hygienist.
Sure, there's still the co-pay to worry about, but I'm fairly certain this brush is helping me avoid more costly (and painful) dental procedures down the line. When I think about it that way, $220 doesn't actually seem that bad (and, I found it cheaper on Amazon).
Plus, oral care isn't just vital for your teeth. Your mouth is the processing center for almost everything that enters your body, and studies show that oral infection and inflammation can directly correlate to things like premature births, heart disease, and diabetes. Simple things like regular flossing and quality brushing may truly change the length and quality of your life.
But, seriously. My teeth are so white, you guys.

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