Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900: "Like Having a Dental Hygienist Brush For You"

We tested the electric toothbrush to find out if it's really worth the price tag

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4.5

Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900

Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige

Very Well Health / Tamara Staples

What We Like
  • Instant feedback on technique as you brush

  • App-based data collection about brushing habits

  • Looks sleek and modern

  • Long battery life and clear battery percentage

What We Don't Like
  • Vibration style is jarring at first

  • Requires app for feedback

  • Brush head sprays toothpaste with open mouth

  • One of the most expensive models around

The Bottom Line

The Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900 isn’t 100 percent perfect—and yes, it’s pricey—but it has far more pros than cons, making it an easy way to improve your brushing technique and get a deep, satisfying clean if you can afford the steep price tag..

4.5

Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900

Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige

Very Well Health / Tamara Staples

Why spend money on a luxury, app-based toothbrush like the Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900 when you could stock up on cheap plastic toothbrushes at your local dollar store? Well, for one, not all toothbrushes are created equal—and not all toothbrushes are as effective as the Prestige 9900, with its real-time adaptations to your brushing style and personalized feedback on how well you’re doing. 

While the Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900 may not be smarter than you, it’s definitely better at keeping your teeth and gums healthy by removing plaque compared to a manual toothbrush. Is it worth its sky-high price tag when there are other, more affordable electric toothbrushes on the market? That depends on how much help you need with your brushing skills and how comfortable you are utilizing app-based technology to improve.

I used the Prestige 9900 twice a day for two weeks to see how easy it was to use, how effectively it cleaned my teeth and gums, and whether all its smart technology actually improved my brushing technique. Here’s how it performed.

Who It’s For

Most people would benefit from the smart technology of the Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900, but I recommend it specifically for anyone struggling with their brushing routine. Maybe you’re not brushing long enough or thoroughly enough, you’re unsure of proper brushing techniques, or you just need an extra boost when it comes to plaque removal and overall oral care—whatever the reason, this toothbrush can help you create healthier brushing habits while giving your teeth and gums a consistently deep cleaning.

If you’re particularly sensitive to vibration, you might not love how this toothbrush feels in your mouth, but I got used to the Prestige 9900’s unique vibration after a day or two (plus, you can adjust the intensity down a bit if you’re uncomfortable).

Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900 Test photo 1

Verywell Health / Vicky Wasik

Setup: Done in seconds

The physical setup of the Prestige 9900 is clear and simple; I attached the brush head to the handle, plugged in the magnetic charging plate, and set the toothbrush to charge. The manual says a full charge may take up to 16 hours; when I plugged everything in one afternoon, it was ready to go the next morning. 

Because this toothbrush relies on app connectivity for maximum results, I needed to perform the extra step of downloading the Philips Sonicare app, registering my email, and syncing my toothbrush to the app. That process was also easy and only took a couple of minutes. In the two weeks I tested the Prestige 9900, I didn’t have any trouble using the app, getting it to sync to my toothbrush, or viewing my dashboard. It was easy for me to give the Prestige 9900 a 5 out of 5 rating for setup and ease of use. 

Accessories: Just the right amount

I’ll be honest: I hate unboxing new products. I’m always overwhelmed by the accessories, and I don’t like reading through the instructions to see how to assemble, set up, or get started with a new product. I was happy to see there were only a few accessories included in the Prestige 9900 box, and they were pretty self-explanatory: a brush head and handle, a charging plate, a USB cable, and a travel case. I didn’t even need the instructions to put everything together.

Speaking of the travel case, it’s a nice luxury addition—rather than pack a separate case and charger, you can place your toothbrush into the case, grab the smaller USB cable included, and simply charge the toothbrush right from the case itself. It’s not a necessary accessory but definitely a convenient one. Overall, I gave the Prestige 9900 a 5 out of 5 rating for portability.

Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900 Test photo 2

Verywell Health / Vicky Wasik

Battery: Lasted way longer than expected

The manual doesn’t indicate how long the toothbrush’s battery will last on a single charge, but I had low expectations—my previous electric toothbrush needed to be charged every couple of days and gave zero warning when it was about to lose power, so I figured something as high-tech as the Prestige 9900 would need to be powered up frequently.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I made it through the entire two-week testing period without needing to put the toothbrush back on the charging plate! In fact, it had about 10%left at the end of the two weeks. I didn’t notice any change at all as the battery drained down—in other words, it didn’t seem to become less powerful or effective over time—and I love that there are two ways to be notified of remaining battery life: through an LED icon on the toothbrush and the main dashboard on the app. I rated the battery life a 5 out of 5.

Settings: Okay, but could be better

There are basically two ways to adjust the way your Prestige 9900 works: you can modify the intensity (choosing between low, medium, and high) and select from five different modes: 

  • Clean, a basic two-minute plaque-removing regimen
  • White+, which is clean, plus an extra 40 seconds of stain scrubbing
  • Gum health, which includes an extra minute and 20 seconds of reduced power massage for gum circulation
  • Deep clean, an extended clean mode for people who have trouble areas
  • Sensitive, a lower-powered mode that’s gentle on teeth and gums

The modes themselves are great for focusing on different goals. Personally, I have more than the average amount of plaque, so I appreciate the deep clean mode, which not only lets me take my time brushing but gives me a chance to go back over spots I missed. 

I was less impressed by the intensity modes, though—you’re supposed to be able to change them manually on the toothbrush handle or through the app, but I could never get the manual adjustment to work for me. I also didn’t notice a huge difference between the manual low/medium/high settings, so there could be more variability there. Due to this, I rated the settings category a 4 out of 5.

SenseIQ: Hard to assess

The SenseIQ feature of the Prestige 9900 is basically what allows the toothbrush to detect and adapt to your brushing style, then gives you customized recommendations for settings and brushing strategies. You can turn some of these sensors off, like the one for adaptive intensity, but as far as I can tell, you can’t totally disconnect the SenseIQ.

My only issue with this feature is that since it’s always actively working, there’s no way to know how the Prestige 9900 would function without it; in other words, there’s no way to really assess how valuable it is or whether the inclusion of this feature is worth the Prestige’s higher cost (similar-but-cheaper Philips toothbrushes don’t have SenseIQ, specifically, but seem to perform the same service when it comes to sensing your brushing needs). 

Is the Prestige truly detecting my brushing habits and adjusting itself to work with me as I clean my teeth? I guess so…but I honestly can’t tell. Because of this, I gave it a rating of 3 out of 5 for functionality.

Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900

Verywell Health / Vicky Wasik

App Feedback: Easy, informative, and fun to use

If you don’t like using your phone or tablet for every little household task, you might hate one of the Prestige 9900’s best features: the real-time coaching and brushing feedback you can tap into if you sync your smart device to your toothbrush and brush along with the app. 

For me, though, this is the toothbrush’s biggest selling point. It’s like having a dental hygienist brush for you, adjusting and perfecting your technique while making sure you get a thorough, satisfying clean. The app told me when I was brushing too hard or moving the toothbrush too fast, when I was doing a good job with coverage and when I had missed a spot, and when I might want to turn the brush back on after the standard two minutes to go back over neglected areas. 

That said, even though I love the personalized coaching that comes with the app, I only use it about half the time when I brush. With three kids at home, I don’t always have the time (or access to our one shared bathroom sink!) to grab my tablet, sync my toothbrush to the app, and put my device in front of me while I brush. The good news is that I can still access my brushing data even when I don’t actively use the real-time coaching to see how I’ve been performing, so even when I’m not using the app for real-time feedback, I can check the dashboard for my recent data and note where I need to improve.

The app also lets me customize my brushing experience in other ways, too. In addition to adjusting the intensity and cleaning modes, I can set “focus areas” where I want to brush more thoroughly (hello, back side of the lower front teeth) and check in on the status of my brush head to see how much longer I can use it before it becomes ineffective. Overall, I gave it a 5 out of 5 rating for the quality and functionality of the app feedback.

Comfort: Takes getting used to, but not painful

When I first used the Prestige 9900, I was expecting the traditional electric toothbrush sensation and got caught totally off-guard by the unique sensation of the micro-vibrations. I did not like it at first! While the vibrations were clearly smoother and more efficient, they also felt sharper and more intense compared to my old electric toothbrush. It was never painful, just jarring. After a day or two, I did get used to the sensation, and now, I don’t know if I could go back to the sluggish, clumsier vibrations of my previous model. 

The only remaining complaint I have about the micro-vibrations is that they tend to spray my toothpaste all over. Maybe it’s just me since I have a smaller mouth and can’t always keep it closed while I brush, but if my mouth is open and I have to maneuver the brush head around to hit hard-to-reach areas, it splatters my toothpaste on my clothes and the sink. I tried two different toothpastes and had this problem both times, so it does seem to be a side effect of the micro-vibration feature. Overall, I gave it a 4 out of 5 rating for this category.

Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900 Test 4

Verywell Health / Vicky Wasik

Effectiveness: Provides a fresher, cleaner feeling

After my first time using the Prestige 9900, I didn’t notice much difference in how clean my teeth and gums felt. Considering how vigorously the toothbrush moved, I was disappointed, actually, that my teeth weren’t obscenely smooth.

But within a couple of days, there was a definite change, and now my teeth are smoother and cleaner with regular use of the Prestige. It takes many more hours—and much more eating and drinking—for my teeth to get that filmy, grimy feel than with my previous toothbrush, and while I’m still flossing once per day, it seems like my flossing is picking up less plaque (because the Prestige is scrubbing more of it away). 

In other words, you may not notice a dramatically cleaner mouth right away when you brush with the Prestige 9900…but give it a few days of consistent use, and you’ll likely feel a difference in how clean your teeth are and how long they stay that way. I gave it a 4 out of 5 rating for overall effectiveness.

How We Tested

As soon as I got the Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900, I swapped it out for my previous electric toothbrush and got to work. My first test was just brushing without connecting it to the app; I  wanted to see how it performed and felt. 

After that, I downloaded the Philips Sonicare app, synced it to the toothbrush, and brushed my teeth: both with the app in front of me—following along with the guided brushing routine—and without—syncing it up after a brushing session and checking how I did. 

I brushed this way twice per day for two weeks, reviewing all my data and feedback every couple of days and adjusting my brushing habits to correct my weaknesses (like that one side of my teeth on the bottom left where I was chronically under-brushing). 

Price

I won’t pretend this toothbrush doesn’t sit at the luxury end of the spectrum; it retails for around $380, which is a definite investment. That price tag also makes it one of the most expensive toothbrushes on the market, with its closest competitors coming near $300. 

But for someone like me, the cost of the Prestige 9900 could be worth it: I have an atypical amount of plaque, and my bi-annual cleanings are always a (painful) production, plus I tend to get distracted while brushing my teeth and overlook my problem areas. The Prestige truly does keep me focused—and the app ensures I don’t phone it in, pointing out spots I skipped. 

Still, I don’t know if I would willingly make a nearly-$400 investment unless I was having chronic problems with my teeth or gums and this was the only toothbrush that worked for me. It’s possible that some of the Prestige’s competitors would also help me improve my oral health routine for significantly less money. Overall, I gave the Prestige 9900 3 out of 5 for overall value.

The Competition

There are dozens of electric toothbrushes on the market, but only a handful of them cross the $150 price point, offering adaptive technology and other smart features like the Prestige 9900.

Oral-B iO Series 9 Electric Toothbrush: With micro-vibrations, quick charging, and smart sensors, this electric toothbrush is nearly identical in its luxury features to the Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900, except for one major difference: there’s no app-based interface. The AI technology senses and adapts to your brushing technique but gives you feedback on an interactive display on the toothbrush itself (rather than requiring you to open up an app and view your info on a dashboard). This makes it a better choice for less tech-savvy users, and since it retails for around $330, it’s also an option for people with (slightly) smaller budgets.

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700: One step down from the Prestige 9900, the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9700 retails closer to $330 and includes several of the same features—five cleaning modes, pressure sensors, real-time brushing feedback, and an app-based interface. The reasons for the slightly lower cost are in the details: there’s no SenseIQ feature on the DiamondClean, the brush head is a little less sophisticated, and the charging mechanism is a stylish-looking glass (as opposed to the Prestige’s sleek magnetic plate). At this price point, however, it’s more a matter of personal preference regarding design function if you’re trying to choose between the Prestige and the DiamondClean.

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a deeper, more thorough cleaning and the chance to actively improve your brushing skills, the Prestige 9900 makes it impressively easy to advance your oral health. You’ll walk away from your 2-minute brushing sessions with a squeaky clean mouth and the knowledge that you really did scrub every single surface (because the app will tell you if you missed a spot!). 

That said, if you aren’t overly concerned about your oral health or brushing routine, investing in the Philips Sonicare Prestige 9900 may feel like a totally unnecessary splurge. You also won’t be able to take advantage of its biggest benefits—the real-time coaching and app-based feedback—if you’re tech-averse or unable to utilize the Philips Sonicare app.

Specs

  • Product Name Sonicare 9900 Prestige Power Toothbrush with SenseIQ
  • Product Brand Philips
  • UPC 075020096289
  • Price $380.00
  • Weight 14 oz.
  • Product Dimensions 2.91 x 9.53 x 6.61 in.
  • Color Champagne, midnight, pink
  • Battery Life 14 days
  • Inputs/Outputs USB
  • Warranty 2 years (not including brush head)
  • What’s Included Handle, USB charging travel case, USB cable, Brush head, Charging base
1 Source
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Ikawa, Takahiro et al. “Clinical comparison of an electric-powered ionic toothbrush and a manual toothbrush in plaque reduction: A randomized clinical trial.” International journal of dental hygiene vol. 19,1 (2021): 93-98. doi:10.1111/idh.12475