Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush Reviews

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Review : Best of Breed Electric Toothbrush

Let’s begin with the most critical question any Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 review must address:

Why should you buy this electric toothbrush?

Well, by the time you’ve finished reading the entire Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 review the answer will be obvious!

It has several delightful features that make Sonicare a popular household brand. There are 3 brushing modes, a pressure sensor to guard against accidental gum injury, and excellent battery life that helps you go for weeks without a recharge.

And there’s more. Like BrushSync to promptly replace worn out brush heads. And EasyStart to ease new users into adapting to an electric toothbrush.

This means you can be sure that you’ll get excellent results from brushing with a Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 electric toothbrush.

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Are there any serious disadvantages or problems with this model?

No, absolutely none that might be described as a ‘deal breaker’. In other words, if you buy the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100, you will not regret your decision later on.

In the remainder of this Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 review we will examine each facet of this electric toothbrush in greater detail. But the quick answer is that there are no major problems with it.

Brushing with Electric Toothbrush

Where to buy the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 electric toothbrush?

You can pick it up at a retail outlet like Walmart, Safeway or Target. But a more convenient way is to order online from an ecommerce portal like and enjoy free delivery to your doorstep. You’ll also save money from frequent deals and coupon discounts.

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Are there better choices than the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 toothbrush?

There are indeed a few other models which deliver as much value as the ProtectiveClean 5100, but none that match it in price for value. It has many features that only premium (and costly) models from other brands match.

The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 electric toothbrush and the Oral-B Pro 1000 models are viable alternatives in case the 5100 is out of your price range.

And for the absolutely top line models, the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart range of electric toothbrushes can’t be beaten.

Explore some of the best Sonicare toothbrush models here.

And see our Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 review to help decide.

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Review : A Detailed Examination

In the range of models clubbed under the Sonicare ProtectiveClean label, the ProtectiveClean 5100 lies somewhere in the middle. It’s richer in features than the popular workhorse Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100.

And the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 at the top end of this range has even more advantages, even if it comes with a higher price tag. The entire ProtectiveClean range derives inspiration from the jewel in the crown – the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart line of electric toothbrushes.

The ProtectiveClean 5100 features many of the top benefits of the product line and is quite affordable. One of the best examples is powerful and advanced BrushSync technology that helps keep your teeth clean and healthy.

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 electric toothbrushes come in two kinds:

  • An Optimal Gum Care brush head, which is Light Blue or White
  • A 2 brush head pack (Optimal Gum Health, and Optimal White heads) that’s in Black Grey, Pastel Pink or Turquoise


  • cleans by sonic effect at 31,000 movements per minute
  • offers 3 brushing modes – Clean, White and Gum Care
  • inbuilt timer with quad pacer to ensure adequate cleaning
  • automatic power off functionality
  • BrushSync reminder to replace brush heads on time
  • beautiful design and aesthetic appeal
  • comfortable to use
  • comes in a range of color options
  • excellent battery life


  • slightly more expensive (though great value for money)
  • pressure sensor lacks visual cues

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Review

What’s In The Box?

Inside the package you’ll get:


Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Review : A Cut Above The Rest

There are a few elements of the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 that set it apart from any other competing model or brand.

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Most manufacturers pay little notice to the importance of replacing worn out brush heads. Yet this can have a significant impact upon cleaning. Using frayed and damaged bristles carries the risk of gum injury as well.

The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 electric toothbrush has BrushSync technology to help remind you when it’s time to replace an old brush head. Many Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 reviews consider this a serious advantage over other toothbrushes, and a reason to pick this over other choices.

Another useful features is the pressure sensor that reduces the risk of gum and teeth damage from pressing too hard. In those with gum disease (gingivitis) and previous dental procedures (root canal, dentures, bridges and braces), this becomes important.

The pressure sensor in a Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 electric toothbrush gives audible and tactile indications when you’re pressing too hard. The motor automatically slows down and only resumes when you ease off.

There is also the automatic power-off functionality that helps conserve battery power. At the end of a pre-programmed brushing session, the toothbrush switches off automatically. The result is a longer battery life which allows users to go without recharging for upto 3 weeks.

Finally, a nicely designed travel case protects the device within it while being handy to take it along on long trips.

All these thoughtful design elements make the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 a force to reckon with in the electric toothbrush market.

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Review : Ease of Use & Efficiency

Lady brushing with electric toothbrush

From the moment you hold the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 in your hand, you will be impressed at its quality and class. Not only does it have more features than earlier models, it also has a much more elegant and sleek design.

  • The edges are smooth and rounded for easy operation
  • There aren’t any ridges to mar the lovely look
  • It is designed to be held comfortably while cleaning
  • Colorful handles in matte finish look beautiful
  • Choice of light blue, black grey, white, turquoise and pastel pink

The only drawback from a design perspective is how none of the Sonicare replacement brush heads for the ProtectiveClean 5100 match the colored handles. They are all in basic white.

All Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 review reports are however uniform in agreeing that the pros outweigh the cons. And appearance has nothing to do with function, anyway.

Control Buttons

Along the brush handle, all the buttons that control various functions are conveniently located. There is a Power button to switch the electric toothbrush on and off.

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Review

Another helps move between different cleaning modes. Pressing repeatedly on it switches from one mode to the next one. As you move through modes, an LED indicator lights up to tell you whether you’re in Clean, White or Gum Care mode.

The device remembers the last mode you brushed in. So when you turn it back on next time, it will operate in that mode.

The handle is gently curved, making it easy to press these buttons to make changes. A plastic panel around the soft buttons enhances the appearance.

LED indicators also show the battery level and illuminate icons for BrushSync.

Brush Handle Design

The brush handle has a moulded base with a tiny projection to prevent the brush from rolling off a counter if placed on its side.

There’s a recess at the bottom into which the prong on a charging station fits. The brush can stand upright while charging.

There is a metal shaft at the top end of the brush handle connecting the motor to the brush head. The motor is powered by a Lithium-ion battery that’s encased within the handle.

All Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 reviews praise the excellent battery life of 2 weeks of typical use. This was the best among all electric toothbrushes when the model first launched. The technology has now made its way into all premium electric toothbrush models from Philips Sonicare.

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Review : Brush Heads

Sonicare toothbrush replacement heads

The ProtectiveClean 5100 brush heads are easy to remove and replace. You simply snap them onto the handle. To remove them again, just pull sharply in the other direction.

A new Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 comes with 2 brush heads. One of them is the Optimal Gum Health brush head designed to massage and clean gums without injury. The other is Optimal White for effective cleaning. (Two variants of the electric toothbrush ship with only one brush head.)

Good news for users. The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 electric toothbrush is compatible with all types of Sonicare replacement brush heads.

So if you prefer a different bristle arrangement or have unique needs that are best met by one of the other brush heads, you can use them with your Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 also.

Angled Brush Heads

When you snap on the replacement brush head to the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100, you’ll see that it is tilted a little. This is intentional, and meant to provide better access to crevices behind the last molar teeth.

It ensures more thorough cleaning and a better, fresher feeling in your mouth. This also removes dental plaque more effectively.

Don’t miss watching this Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 review video.

BrushSync Technology

Brush Sync - Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush Reviews

Every Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 review emphasizes this innovative technology that enhances cleaning efficiency while making life easier for users.

All electric toothbrush heads wear out with use. They need to be replaced. Typically, this is necessary once in 3 months. Keeping track of this can be cumbersome. But if you forget to change a worn out brush head, cleaning efficiency drops. There’s also the chance of gum injury.

BrushSync automatically keeps track. There’s a tiny RFID chip embedded in the brush head with synchronizes with the brush handle’s electronics.

If you brush twice every day for the dentist recommended 2 minutes, then you’ll likely replace your brush head once every 3 months. At the end of 90 x 4 minutes, the bristles fray and splay out. BrushSync alerts you by a flashing amber light.

If you’re a less active user, then this wear and tear takes longer. BrushSync is smart enough to track it and will adjust its notification suitably.

Even without BrushSync, you’ll be able to tell the brush head is worn out by the blue bristles fading to near white and the direction of bristles being altered.

BrushSync only works with specific handles that are compatible with the technology. ProtectiveClean 5100 is among them. Other models that support BrushSync include:

  • ProtectiveClean 4300
  • Philips Sonicare 2 series
  • ProtectiveClean 6100
  • Sonicare FlexCare
  • Sonicare DiamondClean Smart

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Review : Quadra Pacer

While electric toothbrushes are better at removing dental plaque and whitening teeth than a manual toothbrush, you must use it correctly for the best results.

It is convenient to think about your mouth as having 4 quadrants, two upper and two lower, which makes it easier to ensure thorough brushing.

Ideally, dentists recommend that you spend 30 seconds each on the upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left quadrants.

To help you get this right, the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 pauses briefly every 30 seconds. This is to let you know that it’s time to move on to the next quadrant.

By keeping each brushing session at 2 minutes and breaking it up into 4 parts through the Quadra Pacer, the ProtectiveClean 5100 improves cleaning effectiveness and leaves your teeth sparkling clean and white.

In White or Gum Care modes, the quadra pacer operates for the first two minutes of a brushing cycle. After that, you must concentrate on the front teeth for White mode and on your gums for Gum Care mode.

One important difference between manual brushing and using the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 or any other electric toothbrush is that you don’t have to run the brush head back and forth.

Simply hold the brush head over the teeth so it skims the surface. The rapidly oscillating or rotating brush heads do the needful.

It is also important to angle the brush at 45 degrees within your mouth for the best cleaning effect. Resist the temptation to use pressure for a deeper cleanse. The inbuilt sensor will only slow down the motor until you ease off.

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Review : Efficiency & Results

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Review

Most reviewers who take a look at the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 electric toothbrush end up impressed by its efficiency at cleaning teeth. Not only is this device easy and comfortable to use, but the results delivered are exceptional.

Brushing Modes

There are 3 operating modes in the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 and all of them are effective at what they do.

The standard Clean mode lasts for 2 minutes per session. This is adequate to clean and brush your teeth nicely, just as long as you divide it equally among all four quadrants.

To switch between modes, all you have to do is press down the mode selector button repeatedly until the desired mode operates.

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Review : Brushing Modes

In White mode, there’s an extra 30 seconds during which you can focus on the front of your mouth to give your teeth a cleaner polish.

In Gum Care mode, which lasts for a full 3 minutes, the last minute is devoted to massaging and cleaning your gums. It also stimulates the gums to increase blood flow, relieving pain and improving healing in case of gingivitis. The force of cleaning is also lesser to avoid hurting sensitive gums and teeth.

While you can change modes with this model, if you need different intensity settings for each mode, then you should consider the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 6100 which includes this functionality.

Sonic Cleaning Action

In contrast to a manual toothbrush, the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 delivers its effect through sonic cleaning. The brush head moves rapidly at 31,000 motions per minute. This builds up a sonic wave that cleans teeth even at some distance from the brush head.

Plaque that has built up in between teeth and behind them is dislodged. The bristles only skim over the tooth’s surface to achieve this effect. Food debris and germs that accumulate in crevices between and behind teeth are removed completely.

Pressure Sensor

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Review - Pressure Sensor

Sonic cleaning is gentle and effective. Brushing hard or pressing down on the brush head might lead to gum injury and damage brittle teeth. Over time, it might even lead to gum recession and harm the hard enamel coating. Brush heads also wear out quickly when you press too hard.

A built in pressure sensor helps with this problem. If you unconsciously press down too hard, the motor power reduces and an audible beep lets you know to ease off. If you continue to keep pressing, the motor power stays low to minimize any damage.

While it would have been nice to have a visual indication, this isn’t absolutely necessary. As you get used to using an electric toothbrush, you’ll notice this pressure sensor getting activated less frequently. But for beginners, this function of the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 electric toothbrush is useful.

Easy Start

Another helpful function for new users of an electric toothbrush is Sonicare’s EasyStart program. It takes a while before new users get familiar and comfortable with the slightly different experience of cleaning teeth with an electric toothbrush.

During this period, for the first two weeks, the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 offers EasyStart programming. The brushing sessions start off with less powerful and gentler movements that help users get used to the strange buzzing and vibrating sensations.

Gradually, over the course of two weeks, the power is increased step by step until by the end of the Easy Start routine, you’re at the full 31,000 strokes per minute. This helps the vexing problem of new users giving up on a beneficial process because it is scary or unnerving.

Experienced users can bypass the EasyStart and jump right to full power brushing.

Travel Case

The Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 is a good device for road warriors who travel constantly. In addition to a robust battery which can last for 2 weeks of regular use, there’s an included travel case to make it easy to take your electric toothbrush along.

The travel case is strong, hard, and protects the contents well. You can store upto 2 additional replacement brush heads. It’s a nice additional feature that many Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 reviews have appreciated.

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Review : Battery

A lithium-ion battery powers the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 electric toothbrush. This is a good power source which can run the motor following a full recharge for two weeks.

Even in Gum Care mode, which consumes the most power, this battery was found in a few trials to last as long as 3 weeks. That means it has enough power to run for 75 brushing sessions.

Few but the most extensive trips require a device to store more charge. So you may not even have to carry along a recharging station on shorter trips. The LED battery indicator shows you battery levels, so you can decide when to recharge.

A solid green glow means the battery is fully charged. A flashing green light suggests it may be wise to recharge soon. An amber light indicates low battery level, and requires immediate recharging. When the battery has run out entirely, a steady red glow shows that you cannot proceed before charging again.

How To Recharge The Battery?

It is simple and convenient to simply pop the brush handle on the prong of a recharging stand and leave it overnight on charge.

As soon as the charging begins, you’ll hear two beeps and the LED will glow to indicate that the brush is recharging.

From the time the brush is fully drained, it takes 24 hours to recharge fully. After this, the LED shines green for 30 seconds before the device switches off automatically.

The charging station supports 120 to 240 volts which means you will not need a battery adapter for use around the world. A two pin adapter plugs into power outlets.

You may leave the brush handle on the charging station whenever it is not in use. You may of course recharge the battery even when it is half full, though it may be best to let it run down fully once in a while.

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 : In a Nutshell

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Review - Sonic Cleaning

The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 is a really nice electric toothbrush. It will keep your teeth clean, white and sparkling while improving dental health and hygiene.

The toothbrush is available in many appealing colors. The design is sleek and elegant. The brush is easy to handle and comfortable to use. There are 3 brushing modes – Clean, White and Gum Care. LED indicators are available to show mode and battery charge levels.

EasyStart gently initiates new users into the advantages of an electric toothbrush. A timer with quad pacer ensures adequate cleaning of all teeth. Pressure sensors help avoid too much pressure on teeth and gums, thereby preventing damage.

The excellent battery life of 2 weeks after a recharge and a water resistant handle round off the long list of benefits you’ll enjoy with the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100.

The instrument is compatible with the entire range of replacement brush heads, which is a nice advantage if many people share the same toothbrush handle.

Where To Buy The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 Electric Toothbrush?

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You may purchase the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 electric toothbrush in a retail outlet like Walmart, Safeway and Target or Boots and Walgreens. This is a popular model and is usually in stock.

A convenient and simple way is to place an order at an online e-commerce portal like For no extra charge, you can have your purchase delivered right to your doorstep. You’ll also be able to avail of periodic discounts, deals and coupon offers that will give you a better price.

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