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Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 3000, 5000 & 7000 Review

Sonicare Power Flosser 5000 in use

Editor’s Note

The review includes the Power Flosser 3000, 5000, 7000 and 7000 toothbrush system.  

With only subtle differences between the 4 models, individual reviews were not necessary.

Our Verdict

5 Star Rating

The Sonicare power flosser 3000 is my top pick of the 4 different models on offer.

Considering this is Sonicare’s first attempt at a water flosser, all of the range is very impressive.

The cleaning results are as good as expected. The unique quad stream water jet gives a very different sensation in use.

I could happily use any of these, albeit it is disappointing that none of these countertop units have rotating nozzles, or come in a wider variety of colours. 
Although comparably priced to the market leader, Waterpik, Sonicare ultimately works out more expensive.

That said, the Philips power flossers are a credible alternative.

Pros

  • Excellent cleaning performance
  • Choose between 10 different pressure settings
  • Multiple cleaning modes
  • Built-in timer/pacer to encourage even flossing
  • Different tips included
  • Stylish design 
  • Quieter in use
  • American Dental Association (ADA) approved

Cons

  • The nozzle tip can’t be rotated
  • Requires mains power to function
  • Water flossing can be messy – need to be lent over a sink

Where to buy the Sonicare Power Flosser

You can purchase the Sonicare power flosser from Amazon and Philips amongst other retailers.

It’s always worth checking eBay too.

Consider these other flossers

The Waterpik Aquarius is the countertop water flosser that I would buy. It is the best countertop water flosser.

It is very similar to the power flosser, but slightly more cost effective. You gain a rotating nozzle and the benefits and experience of Waterpik.

But, that said, the power flosser 3000 is still a very good device, manufactured by a reputable brand, which I would happily use on a daily basis.

Our Choice
Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius Professional Water Flosser, White
Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 3000, Oral Irrigator, White HX3711/20
Flosser Name
Waterpik Aquarius
Sonicare Power Flosser 3000
Customer Rating
-
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
5/5
Price
CDN$ 109.07
CDN$ 125.00
Prime
-
Our Choice
Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius Professional Water Flosser, White
Flosser Name
Waterpik Aquarius
Customer Rating
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
Price
CDN$ 109.07
Prime
Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 3000, Oral Irrigator, White HX3711/20
Flosser Name
Sonicare Power Flosser 3000
Customer Rating
-
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
Price
CDN$ 125.00
Prime
-

Video Review

Philips Sonicare Power Flosser Review (3000, 5000 & 7000 Countertop)

Sonicare power flosser oral irrigator in-depth review

In late 2021/early 2022, Philips introduced the Power Flosser range of products to replace the AirFloss that it has sold for a number of years prior.

By offering a water flosser, Philips is getting into what is a growing market primarily dominated by one brand.

Of the 5 new power flossers introduced, 4 were countertop units.  Those are the 3000, 5000, 7000 and 7000 toothbrush system being reviewed here.

If you prefer cordless, we have reviewed the cordless 3000 power flosser too.

Variants of this water flosser

This review covers 4 different models of the power flosser range.

Each is available in 1 colour option.

  • Power flosser 3000
    • White – HX3711/20
  • Power flosser 5000
    • White – HX3811/20
  • Power flosser 7000
    • White – HX3911/30
  • Power flosser 7000 toothbrush system
    • White – HX3921/40

There are very subtle technical and box contents differences between each, but in reality, they are similar in more ways than they are different.

This review does speak about the key differences, but our 3000 vs 5000 vs 7000 Sonicare power flosser comparison makes it very easy to learn how each of these models differs.

What’s in the box?

  • 1 x Philips Sonicare power flosser 3000
  • 1 x F1 standard nozzle
  • 1 x F3 quad stream nozzle
  • 1 x 2 pin power adapter
  • Documentation

The 7000 variants come with 3 nozzles (1 x F1 standard, 1 x F2 comfort & 1 x F3 quad stream).  They also come with a nozzle travel case.

Sonicare Power Flosser 5000 box contents
Box contents of the 5000 power flosser

Key Features

  • 18.6oz/550ml water tank (3000 & 5000)
  • 20.3oz/600ml water tank (7000)
  • 10 pressure settings
  • 2 cleaning modes (3000 & 5000)
  • 4 cleaning modes (7000)
  • Built-in timer/pacer
  • Magnetic dock with auto shut-off (5000 & 7000)
  • ExpertClean electric toothbrush (7000 toothbrush system)

How the power flosser 3000, 5000 & 7000 looks, feels and works

All 4 versions of the countertop power flossers come in cardboard boxes that are no bigger than they need to be.

The packaging is distinctively Philips Sonicare, which means you get quite a lot of key information on the box, so you can really learn what you are buying before you do.  This is great if you are looking at it in a retail store.

The 3000 and 5000 come with little in the way of extras, you get everything you need. Both come with 2 nozzle styles, when you might only need 1, but more on that shortly.

The 7000 variants do come with extra.  You get 3 nozzles, each different and a hard plastic protective case for those nozzles.  These items might be useful for some but are not essential.

Lots of unnecessary extras can be a waste of resources and finances, but I presume only those desiring an electric toothbrush too will be looking to buy the 7000 toothbrush system.

Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 3000, 5000 & 7000 Review 1

Who is the power flosser for?

Anyone can benefit from what the power flosser offers.  It is a useful additional tool to help you clean more effectively between the teeth.

However, it is particularly useful for those that have no interdental cleaning habit, or a very poor one.  

The convenience and ease of use can help you establish a more regular cleaning routine.

Even I, as a regular flosser appreciate the convenience this brings.  It is easier to get right each time and know it is doing a good job, even if it is still technique sensitive.

It is also very useful if you have periodontal conditions. The water helps disrupt and flush out debris from periodontal pockets, along the gumline and between teeth. 

It is too useful for those who struggle with manual floss or interdental brushes due to dexterity. The design of the nozzles allows you to reach areas of the mouth that would otherwise be more challenging, particularly the teeth at the back of the mouth. 

Brace wearers will benefit too as will those with crowns and implants and other dental restorations. The powerful water jets reach into, disrupt and blast away debris and bacteria you might otherwise be struggling to clean away.

Water flossing can be messy 

There has and will always be debate about what is the best method for cleaning between the teeth.  But, whatever your stance, most existing water flosser users will agree that it can be a bit messy.

This is because the flosser is pushing water into the mouth and against the teeth and the waste water has to go somewhere.  You can retain some in the mouth, but most has to be dribbled out as you floss.

With practice, it gets less messy, learning to wrap the lips around the nozzle and closing the mouth a bit can help. But even with the most practice you still need to be lent over a sink.

Water flossing can be messy

There is a correct technique when using a water flosser.

You want to position the nozzle tip just above the gum line at a 90° angle.

Starting from your back teeth in your upper or lower jaw, slide the nozzle tip along the gum line and pause briefly between each tooth. 

Continue to clean both the inside and outside surfaces of your teeth, 15 seconds for each surface, for a total of 30 seconds, for that one arch of teeth. 

Repeat in the other arch of your mouth for another 15 seconds on the inside surfaces and 15 seconds on the outside. Cleaning all the spaces around and between your teeth in both arches will take at least one minute.  You can potentially do it in less time, but your cleaning will unlikely be as thorough.

If using the Quad Stream nozzle press this gently so that the nozzle tip is in contact with the gum line and the teeth. 

And for those with orthodontic brackets, Philips advises using the Quad Stream nozzles and then placing the tip over each bracket, gently rotating the nozzle tip around the bracket, in a small circle before moving to the bracket on the next tooth.

A clean look, but perhaps a bit clinical looking

The power flosser is made up of 3 key parts.

You have the main flosser/base unit.  You then have the water tank or reservoir that sits on top of the base unit.  And then you have the handle and hose that is positioned to the mouth for directing the water flow between the teeth.

The power flosser has a rounded rectangle kind of shape to it.  Wider at the front and back and thinner on the right and left side.

It measures approximately 5.3 inches (13.5cm)  wide and 5.1 inches (13cm) deep, accounting for the flosser handle.

3 rubber feet on the base raise it up a couple of millimeters from the countertop and help prevent it from slipping. Although, I have to be honest and say that when attempting to press the buttons on the unit, I still found it would slip on the countertop, even with the weight of the water.

Rubber feet on base of power flosser

Everything is of plastic construction, which helps keep things safe and easy to keep clean.

The sides and back are free of any ports and controls.

The front is home to the power button, cleaning mode button, pressure control dial and the handle.

The 2 buttons are placed on the left side of the base unit.  In between them are the names of the cleaning modes available, each with a single LED above that mode name.

Each button has a concave design, with a thicker ridge on the bottom edge.  The power button has a power icon embossed into it.

These are actual buttons rather than a switch.  The design makes them look like they act more like switches.  Press either and you get a satisfying click and feedback.

A single press of the power button turns the unit on or off.  

A single press of the mode button will change the cleaning cycle and illuminate the appropriate LED with a white light.  Keep pressing the button to select the mode you desire.

The power flosser 3 and 5000 have 2 modes listed between the buttons whilst the 7000 has 4.

Beneath this is the pressure control dial.  It is a rotating knob, with markers for each of the different intensity settings.

The dial on the 3 and 5000 models has a gray line on it that aligns with the markers for each of the pressure settings as it is rotated, so you can see what you have selected.

Controls on Sonicare Power Flosser

This line isn’t present on the 7000’s dial, because instead there is an LED for each of the 10 settings that is lit when the knob is rotated to that setting.

The right side is dominated by the handle and hose.

The handle sits proud of the unit, whilst the hose tucks into a recess within the unit for neat storage.

The hose is colour matched to the unit and although coils away is about 4 feet long when extended.

Sort of hidden by the hose and handle are 2 silver screws. Given the fit and finish these screws seem to break with the clean design trend here.  But they do give the impression that the hose could easily be replaced at home if you so desired. Then again the manual suggests no user serviceable parts. 

The hose feeds into the flosser handle, which is approximately 5 inches tall and about 1 inch deep.  It is a comfortable size to hold and gives enough surface area to assist with maneuverability.  Disappointingly it isn’t that grippy, it is smooth to the touch.  To be fair this is common with such models.  The thumb does naturally fall to the slider switch on the front that controls the water flow from the nozzle.

The slider switch doesn’t glide quite as smoothly as I would have anticipated, but there is a very clear click when engaged to the on or off position.

The handle docks to the unit via a magnet on the 5000 and 7000 models.  It is only the 3000 power flosser that has a plastic cradle into which the handle gets docked. 

The reservoir is a clear plastic container. On all variants, there is a lid. This is white and fully removable on the 3 and 5000. On the 7000 variants, the lid is clear, like the rest of the reservoir, but hinges 180 degrees from the back, of the tank. It can be removed for cleaning, but it is designed to remain attached.

Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 3000, 5000 & 7000 Review 2

Unlike many models where the power cable extends from the back of the flosser, with the Sonicare, the cable feeds into the base of the power flosser.  This is a really nice touch.  It allows it to be pushed up to walls and other surfaces with more ease.  Comparable products require about an inch or so for the protruding cable.

Even on the base, there is an intentionally designed cable feed system to pass it out to the right or left side of the unit.  Such a small thing, but so well executed.

The power cable is approx 120cm/4 feet long and the 2 pin power adapter supports 100-240v.

All the countertop power flosser units share the same overall design.

They do look quite clean, modern and stylish, which is a good thing.  I like them and I see no reason why they won’t suit the homes of the vast majority of users.

I think for the most part the material quality is good.  The flossers look and feel premium.  

The handle is perhaps where they feel most ‘cheap’ if I can say this.  It is in part due to the lightweight and hollow nature of the handle.

Power flosser handle

But, the clean and minimal look can in some respects work against the power flosser.

All the variants are available in white colour only.

Most dental products are available in white, it is a classic colour option.  But, Waterpik offers some of its models in more interesting colours such as gray, blue and purple. 

Different colour choices don’t improve the device, but they can improve a person’s association with a product.  If they prefer a more fun or vibrant colour then this may encourage them to use it more than the basic white version.

The pressure control knob is smooth to the touch.  It would detract from the aesthetics a bit, but ridges or textured surfaces to this dial would aid with gripping it a little, particularly when the hands are wet.

Longer flossing times

One of the biggest benefits of the countertop units, compared to the cordless options, is the larger water tanks.

The larger the tank, the longer you can floss without having to refill.  And in fact, you can even get multiple flossing sessions from a single fill of the tank, subject to the mode and pressure setting.

The 3000 and 5000 models have 18.6oz/550ml tanks.

With the 7000 and toothbrush system 7000 that capacity increases to 20.3oz/600ml.  Not a significant increase, but extra capacity all the same.

The tank can be lifted off the flosser unit and taken to the tap filling.

The white lid on the 3000 and 5000 needs to be removed to fill it.  The 7000 has a hinged lid that allows the tank to be filled without total removal.

It is advisable to use lukewarm water when you floss. Using cold water can feel quite harsh on the teeth and gums and induce more sensitivity.

You could add a dash of mouthwash to the water if you wish, but Sonicare doesn’t recommend it

The exact running time depends on the cleaning mode and intensity selected. I achieved the following results when using the power flosser 3000 and 5000.

  • Clean mode (3000 & 5000)
    • Pressure setting 10 – 1 minute and 15 seconds (75 seconds) to drain the tank
    • Pressure setting 1 – 5 minutes (300 seconds) to drain the tank
  • Deep clean mode  (3000 & 5000)
    • Pressure setting 10 – 1 minute and 30 seconds (90 seconds) to drain the tank
    • Pressure setting 1 – 3 minutes and 15 seconds (195 seconds) to drain the tank

Due to the larger capacity of the 7000, the usage times are extended slightly.

  • Clean mode (7000)
    • Pressure setting 10 – 1 minute and 30 seconds (90 seconds) to drain the tank
    • Pressure setting 1 – 5 minutes and 10 seconds (310 seconds) to drain the tank
  • Deep clean mode (7000)
    • Pressure setting 10 – 1 minute and 35 seconds (95 seconds) to drain the tank
    • Pressure setting 1 – 3 minutes and 30 seconds (210 seconds) to drain the tank
Water tank Sonicare Power Flosser

The magnetic handle with auto shut off

Having a magnetic flosser handle on the 5000 and 7000 is a nice touch.  It does make docking the handle marginally easier as the magnets align it in the ideal position.

Just roughly align it and click it docks into place.

Although do be wary of the hose, it doesn’t always coil back into place as you would hope for and can prevent the handle from docking correctly. It helps to guide the hose into place with one hand as you use the other to position the handle on the dock.

The magnet strength is about right. not too strong that you have to use lots of force to pull it off.

With the 3000 you need to lift the handle into the plastic framed cradle and then lift it out.  This is hardly a big issue, it just isn’t as seamless in daily operation.  You need to pay a fraction more attention. It is easy for it not to sit quite right and takes a second or two extra to have it properly seated.

Sonicare promotes the auto shut-off feature of the magnetic handle. In principle, it is a good idea, but there seems to be a bit of a quirk to how it works.

It works in 2 ways, the first seems a touch pointless as I can’t see anyone doing this.

The magnets cause the slider switch upon the flosser handle from the on to the off position as soon as it is docked.

White Philips water flosser 5000

If left in the on position, water will continue to be pushed out the nozzle.

I think most people would naturally slide the switch to the off position, before removing the nozzle from the mouth and docking back on the magnetic mount.  But, if you are that way inclined, then it will stop the water flow.

The second part is the automatic power off of the base unit/pump.

Once the slider switch on the handle is in the off position, the pump stops, but is primed ready to go.

However, if docked, it will after about 2-3 minutes turn the unit off, saving you a button press of the power button on the base unit.

To use it again you would need to press the power button on the base unit first.

Unless I am missing something, there seems to be a bit of a quirk.

This automatic shut-off works fine if there is some residual water in the tank. But, if empty, it doesn’t work.  The pump keeps running when the handle is docked and it doesn’t turn itself off at all.

You can switch between 10 pressure settings and up to 4 modes

All 4 of the power flossers offer 10 different pressure settings. 

These pressure or intensity settings if you like increase the force with which the water is pushed out from the nozzle.

1 is the lowest pressure and least powerful with 10 being the most intense.

I personally like the pressure around level 7.  For me, this is a nice balance of flossing power and comfort.  10 is quite intense.

The lower levels are really great for those new to any kind of flossing.  They do also work well for those who may have sensitivity or are recovering from surgery or other dental procedures.

Having the choice is great and it is easy to switch between them with the dial. Just rotate right for more power and left for less.

As I mentioned earlier, the 7000 and 7000 toothbrush system have LEDs that illuminate as each intensity is selected.  The 3 and 5000 have a grey line that aligns with the relevant label on the unit.

Sonicare does not specifically disclose what the difference between each pressure setting is.

Competing brand Waterpik typically states that their 10 pressure settings range from 10 to 100 PSI.

I believe the power flossers are comparable based on my usage, but I can’t categorically say level 5 is identical to level 5 on a Waterpik unit.

The pressure certainly has some part to play in the cleaning process, but technique and regularity are more important.  The exact pressure is irrelevant if you can see and feel it does a good job.

Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 3000, 5000 & 7000 Review 3

The different power flossers within the range offer a differing amount of cleaning modes.

The more affordable 3000 and 5000 have 2 modes, whilst the 7000 and 7000 toothbrush system have 4.

With the 3 and 5000 you get:

  • Clean
  • Deep clean

With the 7000 you get:

  • Clean
  • Deep clean
  • Sensitive
  • Massage

The cleaning modes work slightly differently to deliver a different flossing experience.

  • Clean 
    • This offers a constant water pressure for a great clean. 
    • The pacer will function on this mode.
  • Deep clean 
    • The flow of water increases and decreases in intensity for a thorough clean.  
    • The rhythm of the water pulses is controlled by Pulse Wave technology. This encourages even cleaning between teeth.
  • Sensitive 
    • The flow of water increases and decreases in intensity but remains low for a gentle cleaning. 
    • Ideal for those with sensitive gums. 
    • The rhythm of the water pulses is controlled by Pulse Wave technology. This encourages even cleaning between teeth.
  • Massage 
    • Water is pulsated out from the nozzle to massage and stimulate the gum tissues for improved gum health.  
    • The pacer will function in this mode.

There are notable differences between all the cleaning modes.

The pulses you get with deep clean mode for example give a different cleaning experience and I am sure help improve gum health.

I can see the arguable potential benefits of them all, but I have to say I am not sure how valuable having 4 modes really is.

I am not aware of any data that says one mode is better than the other.  And to be honest the description of the modes doesn’t tell the whole story. 

What intensity level is the water at in deep clean mode vs massage for example?  

I think some of the benefits of sensitive or massage mode can be achieved by just turning the intensity down whilst using the clean or deep clean mode.

From my use, I can’t say I necessarily prefer one over the other, they are just different.  But, I don’t have any complex oral care needs and my teeth and gums are generally in good health.  

Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 3000, 5000 & 7000 Review 4

The Pulse Wave cleaning action is useful.

It is hard to explain, but essentially the rhythm of the pulses along with the variable sound the flosser makes, you know when to move from one tooth to another.

So although there is the pacer to encourage even flossing across a whole arch of teeth (more on that in a moment),  the Pulse Wave helps you time the move from one interdental space to another better than you might without it.

It works out as roughly 1 second per tooth, or thereabouts.  So, you floss 1 interdental space for a second.  During this time you get pulses. As the cycle ends you move along the gumline to the next interdental space and hold it there for a second or so until the pulsing water cycle has run, before moving over to the next tooth.

Let me be clear that there isn’t a specific pause in the water flow that is your obvious cue to move from one interdental space to another.  There is still a consistent stream of water being pushed through the whole time.

The cleaning mode and pressure can be changed at any time before or during use. The base unit must be powered on to change the cleaning mode.
For new users of a water flosser, it is recommended to start using this power flosser on the lowest intensity and increase the intensity over the course of a few weeks.

It would be better with a rotating nozzle

None of the countertop power flossers have rotating nozzles.  Once fitted they are in a fixed position.

You can rotate the handle/hose by using your hand and that should allow you to position the nozzle tip into almost all the positions you could need.  But, there is no option to rotate the nozzle 360 degrees like you do on most other water flossers be that corded or cordless.

The cordless power flosser 3000 from Sonicare does offer a rotating nozzle.

The hose that connects into the handle doesn’t rotate either.  So if you do twist or rotate the handle there is an inevitable bit of tension that builds up within the attached hose.

I wish not for this to be a comparison to Waterpik, but without exception (that I can think of) the nozzles rotate on the handle, or at the very least, the hose rotates within the base of the handle to allow the nozzle tip to be manipulated into the ideal position.

I suspect research has shown people don’t use the rotation feature all that frequently. Perhaps to have it was too much of a blatant copy of Waterpik.  But, it is a real shame not to have it.  

Flossing with it, to me at least feels a little easier, less finger and thumbs and less messy too.

Removable nozzle on Sonicare power flosser

Different nozzles types, but the Quad Stream tip is most impressive

Philips have designed 3 different nozzles or flosser tips for their range of water flossers.

Your options are:

  • F1 standard 
    • A standard nozzle with a single stream of water for removing debris and plaque.
  • F2 comfort 
    • A soft rubber nozzle for comfort and ease of positioning for those with sensitive gums.
  • F3 quad stream 
    • A soft rubber nozzle that directs water into a crossshaped (x) stream that gently removes plaque for an effortlessly thorough clean.

All of these nozzles are interchangeable.

Power Flosser Nozzles

So although the 3000 and 5000 come with 1 x F1 and 1 x F3, you can use the F2 with it.

The F1 is the classic nozzle tip that offers a single stream of pressurized water for effective spot cleaning.  This is really great for cleaning out the debris between the teeth.

It is, however, the F3 tip, also known as ‘Quad Stream’ that is most hyped and quite different from other water flossers.

What happens here is that the rubber tip of the nozzle causes the water to create an X shape as it comes out of the tip, essentially giving 4 jets with a much wider and larger coverage area than the jet created with the F1 standard.

This can achieve up to 9 times more plaque removal than a single jet.

To me, the X pattern felt a little less intense and powerful, but at the same time, also more intense subject to where the X hit my gums.  

Sonicare_Quad_Stream_Coverage_Area

The increased coverage gives a really different feel as you clean.

Post use the results to me felt comparable, but I do like knowing more surface area has been covered. 

I can’t say for sure, but I suspect the increased coverage of the water also helps make up for times when the flossing technique is less consistent.

You can only use one nozzle at a time, so I guess it will be a personal preference as to which you pick. The benefit of 2 or even 3 styles being included is that you can choose between them. 

But, if you know what you want that extra nozzle might seem a bit wasteful.

Each nozzle is expected to be replaced every 6 months on average.

Waterpik and other lesser known brands do have a broader range of nozzles to choose from.   

Sonicare is newer to the water flosser market and they are aiming to serve the majority of users.

The styles of tips Philips lack might be preferred by you or your dental professional, but I don’t think this will be a big issue for that many users.  I am also not aware of significant data that say one tip really is much better than another, even with individual circumstances taken into account.

It should be noted that Waterpik and Philips Sonicare flosser tips are not interchangeable.

Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 3000, 5000 & 7000 Review 5

The cleaning results are great & approved by the American Dental Association

I have been very pleased with the results I have achieved from the whole range of Sonicare power flossers.

The X shaped water stream that is generated from the F3 quad stream nozzle is definitely very different from the normal jet tip.

For me, the post use clean feels comparable with either the F1 or F3 nozzles.  

Perhaps long term there will be a greater benefit to be gained from the X shaped stream, as some clinical testing by Philips has highlighted. 

My hands-on testing is by no means scientific, but I can’t find a reason to complain about the results the power flosser has delivered.

Philips has undertaken a number of its own studies, that have proven the effectiveness of the power flosser.

The attention grabbing headlines that are widely used are ‘Up to 180% more effective than floss for healthier gums’ and ‘Removes up to 99% of plaque in treated areas’.

Impressive results.  I am not disputing the facts, but you do need to be aware that…

The up to 180% figure is based on using the quad stream nozzle on setting 8 with a manual toothbrush, in patients with moderate to severe gingivitis.  This is compared to using a manual toothbrush with string floss.

Therefore if you don’t have moderate to severe gingivitis, improvements in your oral health are unlikely to be as high.

Of course, those who do have less than optimal oral health will benefit and this is something that should be celebrated.

Further supporting the effectiveness of the power flosser range is the fact it has been awarded the Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association (ADA).  It hasn’t been given the seal by the Candian Dental Association (CDA).  I suspect that this is because Philips have not applied for it to be tested.

When it comes to dental advice and information on how to take care of your teeth, the ADA is one of the leading bodies within the USA.  Thy are equivilant to the CDA. It is then pretty reassuring to know that power flossers have met and surpassed certain standards and tests that the independent board put together.

The pacer helps you floss for the right amount of time

As soon as you power the flosser on the pacer built-in helps encourage you to clean the spaces between the teeth evenly.

Using the ‘clean’ mode as an example, the idea is you spend 60 seconds cleaning between all the teeth.

That is 30 seconds per arch of teeth, with 15 seconds on the front surfaces and 15 seconds on the inside surfaces.

The pacer in the power flosser is configured to 30 second intervals.

When triggered there is a slight pause in the water flow, sensation, and change in sound.  This is your cue.

So you end up operating the unit like this:

  • Tun on the power flosser and clean between the front tooth surfaces in upper arch for 15 seconds
  • Floss the inside tooth surfaces in the upper arch for 15 seconds
    • Pacer alert
  • Floss the front tooth surfaces in the lower arch for 15 seconds
  • Floss the inside tooth surfaces in the lower arch for 15 seconds
    • Pacer alert
  • Turn the flosser off

Or alternatively, you can continue to floss for longer if you wish.

Sonicare Power Flosser Timer

It is worth noting that Sonicare’s cordless power flosser 3000 has a pacer too.  This is configured to 15 second intervals.  That helps know when to move between the front and back surfaces.

If using the deep clean mode, the pacer is deactivated and instead, you have the ‘pulse wave’ technology’ I referred to earlier in this review.

A bit quieter than the competition

I don’t think this is going to be the most important feature for most, but the power flossers are quieter than the competing products.

As a very rough guide when using the clean mode set to level 1 the unit is producing sound in the region of the low 52-54 decibel range.  

Increase the pressure setting to 10 and this increased to the low 70’s, approx 71-73dB.

Compare this to the Waterpik Aquarius which is in the low 70 decibel range irrespective of the pressure setting chosen.

So if you are really conscious about the noise, used on the lowest setting it is in the region of 20 decibels quieter which is quite significant.

Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 3000, 5000 & 7000 Review 6

Accessories and extras

What is included in the box depends on the exact model you pick.

The 3000 and 5000 come supplied with 2 nozzles whilst the 7000 come with 3.

Both the 7000 and 7000 toothbrush system come with a nozzle case.

This plastic case has a hinged lid and allows up to 3 nozzles to be positioned and secured in the case. When closed it protects them from damage and dirt.

Aside from this the only other accessories or extras come with the 7000 toothbrush system.  

An electric toothbrush is included too

As the name implies, the 7000 toothbrush system is a bit different from the other power flossers.

You essentially get a power flosser 7000, plus a Sonicare ExpertClean 7300 electric toothbrush.

Normally you would purchase a toothbrush separately, it is it included here.

The power flosser base unit is slightly different too.  Extending from the right side is a stand for the toothbrush too.  Therefore it is a bit wider and heavier than the 7000.

The power cable that connects into the power flosser not only powers the flosser but allows the toothbrush to be charged at the same time.  It means 1 power adapter when often you would require 2.

I have reviewed the Sonicare ExpertClean toothbrush.  It is a very good brush indeed, if perhaps a bit more than you and I really need.  It has extra features which impact the cost.

Because the brush is included, not only is the power flosser designed differently to include a toothbrush charger, but you do also get a travel case and separate charging stand for the toothbrush.

This allows you to travel with and charge your toothbrush from other locations whilst the power flosser is left back at home for example.

Summary of design, usability, clean & general use

  • A great option for those that struggle with floss or interdental brushes
  • Water flossing can be messy – need to be lent over a sink
  • 4 different models with very few differences
  • 18.6oz/550ml water tank (3000 & 5000)
  • 20.3oz/600ml water tank (7000)
  • Flossing times from 1+ minute to over 5 minutes subject to settings
  • 10 pressure settings
  • 2 cleaning modes (3000 & 5000)
  • 4 cleaning modes (7000)
  • Built-in timer/pacer to encourage even flossing
  • Magnetic dock with auto shut-off (5000 & 7000)
  • Different nozzles styles with multiple nozzles included
  • No ability to rotate the nozzles
  • Excellent cleaning results, backed by clinical evidence and approved by the ADA
  • X shaped water jet feels different in use
  • ExpertClean electric toothbrush included (7000 toothbrush system)

Price & where to buy

I have included links to buying options here at the start of the review.

In the section below, I discuss the price more generally and in relation to similar products.

With 4 different models within the power flosser range, each with different features, they do as a consequence have different retail prices.

They are:

  • 3000 – CDN $129.99
  • 5000 – CDN $139.99
  • 7000 – CDN $179.99
  • 7000 toothbrush system – CDN $319.99

You can buy direct from Philips, but you will generally be paying full price.  Although they do offer promotional pricing from time to time.

It is worth shopping around to get the best deal. Prices do vary between retailers, particularly on the 3000 and 5000 models that are desired most.

It is by no means a guarantee, but it isn’t uncommon to save a little on the retail price.

With sonic toothbrushes, you can almost guarantee a 20% discount.

It isn’t quite the same with water flossers, but still, it happens relatively often.

For example, at the time of review, I could purchase the power flosser 3000 for CDN $100.  A saving of $30 or to put it another way, a 23 percent discount.

Based on my experience I think the typical selling prices of each model will be as follows:

  • 3000 – CDN $100-105
  • 5000 – CDN $110-115
  • 7000 – CDN $140
  • 7000 toothbrush system – CDN $260
Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 3000, 5000 & 7000 Review 7

How it compares to other water flossers

Waterpik is the leading brand within the water flosser market.

Philips has previously offered the Sonicare AirFloss, but this wasn’t a true water flosser.

This is essentially their first proper attempt with the Power Flosser range, but given their heritage within oral care appliances, their products still command a premium.

It is clear they have priced them to be competitive, but not specifically undercut the likes of Waterpik. 

Sonicare would appear to be differentiating in other ways than price alone.

It is the Aquarius that is the most comparable product to the power flosser range, if you exclude the 7000 toothbrush system.

In fact, the 3000 is almost like for like.

The Aquarius has a retail price of CDN $100 and sells on average for CDN $90.

Therefore you can see that the power flosser 3000 really is quite comparable.

Yes, you will pay a bit more for the 5000 and 7000 but these boast extra features the Waterpik doesn’t offer.

Nozzle pricing

On top of the initial purchase price of $100-105 for the power flosser 3000 you need to factor in replacement nozzles (jet tips).

There are 3 types.

The F1 tips have a lower retail price of $18 for a pack of 2 compared to the $20 for the F2 and F3 tips.

This, therefore, means the F1 tips cost $9 each or $10 each for the F2 and F3 nozzles.

A classic jet tip from Waterpik usually costs about $6 each.

At $9 the Sonicare F1 tip is $3 more expensive.

I am reviewing it soon after launch.  In the months and years that follow there might well be another dollar to be saved on these prices.  I think Sonicare will always be the more premium option.

The recommendation is to replace tips every 6 months. So as it is not the most frequent replacement cycle, the cost doesn’t have a significant impact on the total ownership costs.

But, the F3 quad stream tip is one of the desirable features of the Sonicare power flosser. At $4 more than the Waterpik equivalent, that is a considerable premium for what really is a bit of moulded plastic.

Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 3000, 5000 & 7000 Review 8

How the long term ownership costs work out

Based on 1 user, over 3 years, wishing to use the F1 tip, you will need to purchase a further 5 tips.

This adds CDN $45 on top of the purchase price.

Assuming you can buy the 3000 for $100, add $45 and the total cost is $145 over 3 years.

The Aquarius costs $108.

It isn’t a huge price difference, but there is a saving to be had by picking Waterpik.

Helping keep the cost down with the Waterpik is the fact that you get 3 jet tips (equivalent to the Sonicare F1) included in the box.

If you want the quad stream tips this is going to make the Philips even more expensive.

Compare either of these to traditional string floss that works out at about 2-3 cents per day and it’s quite a bit more expensive.

There is a price to be paid for the convenience and effectiveness though.

Price will inevitably have a part to play, but try to pick the device you think suits you and your needs best.

Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and will vary based on location, supplier and time of purchase.  These figures were correct at the time of writing and should not be relied upon as hard fact, but used as a guide during your decision process.

Summary of price & where to buy

  • List of buying options included here
  • Recommended retail price
    • 3000 – CDN $129.99
    • 5000 – CDN $139.99
    • 7000 – CDN $179.99
    • 7000 toothbrush system – CDN $319.99
  • Discounts may be available, expect to pay
    • 3000 – CDN $100-105
    • 5000 – CDN $110-115
    • 7000 – CDN $140
    • 7000 toothbrush system – CDN $260
  • Replacement nozzles retail for $18-20 for a pack of 2
  • Costs CDN $145 to own the 3000 over 3 years
  • More expensive than the Waterpik alternative

My thoughts on reliability and repairability

The power flosser devices are a new product type for Philips, so they don’t have a history of devices and learnings to work from.

That said, they have for many years produced electric toothbrushes and the AirFloss product (now discontinued) so they will have learned many lessons that will have been brought to the design of the power flosser.

I have no reason to be concerned about the ongoing reliability of these flossers.

During my testing, all have performed well.  

The handle, reservoir and other parts feel solid and like they should last a good amount of time.

Unfortunately, according to the manual, no parts on the flosser are designed to be user serviceable. This isn’t uncommon for a product of this type, but when there is a need to move to more sustainable approaches this is disappointing.

It would, for example, be good to see the option of replacing the hose and handle if ever it was required.

Inevitably some units will fail, by the very nature of the product.  Should yours, you can take advantage of the 2 year warranty supplied.

Sustainability

There is limited data to really determine the environmental impact of a water flosser, but it is likely similar to an electric toothbrush. Unfortunately, they don’t fare well.

But, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use one. You need to balance effective cleaning and disease prevention against the environmental impact.

Water flossers can assist with keeping your mouth healthy and reducing the need for dental treatment. And avoid the need for planetary impacts that come from procedures such as fillings.

There is a lack of detailed evidence to confirm that a filling is worse than the use of a water flosser. But using data for an electric toothbrush, dentist Gemma Wheeler believes that a single filling is worse than an electric brush with a usable life of 5 years.  Thus it is likely a similar story for the flosser.

There is no perfect solution as yet. We want to see manufacturers doing more to tackle this issue and achieve significant improvements.

Schemes to recycle used nozzles only scratch the surface of what needs to be done.

Related to the power flosser 3000, 5000 and 7000 specifically:

Pros

  • With the 3000 and 5000 there is a limited box contents – not lots of unnecessary extras. This reduces the weight of transportation.

Cons

  • The flosser is wrapped in LDPE 4 plastic – this probably isn’t required.
  • Multiple nozzles are supplied when maybe only 1 is required.
  • The nozzle storage case isn’t that necessary for many.
  • No user serviceable parts.
    • The manual specifically states that the unit isn’t designed to be serviceable.

Conclusion

Philips has a long standing history within the oral care market, but they have never previously made a water flosser.  

You would expect them to do a decent job and I can honestly say that what they have created is very good.

I would have no issues using any of these on a daily basis.

I do think that for most the power flosser 3000 is the best buy, there is little need to opt for the 5 or 7000.

Having the ability to rotate the nozzle would have been an added bonus and is probably the main feature these lack.

They all stack up well to the competition, but I do believe that in most instances, the Waterpik Aquarius might just be the better buy.

Waterpik delivers better in terms of value for money.

Our Choice
Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius Professional Water Flosser, White
Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 3000, Oral Irrigator, White HX3711/20
Flosser Name
Waterpik Aquarius
Sonicare Power Flosser 3000
Customer Rating
-
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
5/5
Price
CDN$ 109.07
CDN$ 125.00
Prime
-
Our Choice
Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius Professional Water Flosser, White
Flosser Name
Waterpik Aquarius
Customer Rating
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
Price
CDN$ 109.07
Prime
Philips Sonicare Power Flosser 3000, Oral Irrigator, White HX3711/20
Flosser Name
Sonicare Power Flosser 3000
Customer Rating
-
Electric Teeth Rating
5/5
Price
CDN$ 125.00
Prime
-

Size Guide

  • Height (with nozzle) – 29cm / 11.4 inches
  • Width – 13.5cm / 5.3 inches
  • Thickness/depth – 9~13cm / 3.5~5.1 inches (larger figure includes handle)
  • Weight (with nozzle) – 695g / 1.53Lbs

All are approximates

Noise

  • 50-74dB subject to cleaning mode and intensity

FAQ

  • How long does the battery last?
    • None of these models have a battery built-in.  They function only when connected to a wall outlet. 
  • Does it come with a charger?
    • Yes.  A 2 pin US power adapter is supplied with a cable hardwired into that adapter.  At the other end is a barrel pin connector that fits into the base of the flosser.
  • How often do the nozzles need replacing?
    • Nozzles should be replaced every 6 months.
  • Can I use mouthwash in the power flosser?
    • You could, but it would be expensive and wasteful and it is also not recommended.  You are best off adding a dash into the water used in the reservoir for a burst of freshness if you really want to. After using mouthwash, rinse the device to prevent clogging by partially filling the reservoir with warm water and running the product with tip pointed into the sink until the reservoir is empty. 
  • How much water or mouthwash does it hold?
    • The 3000 and 5000 models hold 18.6oz/550ml.
    • The 7000 holds 20.3oz/600ml.
  • Can I use the power flosser in the shower?
    • No. It is not designed to be used in the shower.
  • My gums bleed when I use the power flosser, is that normal?
    • Bleeding gums may be a sign of infection.
    • A little bleeding can be normal when starting a new oral care routine. This is because you may be cleaning in areas not previously reached.
    • However, if bleeding is excessive or does not stop within about a week of regular use, consult a dental professional.
  • How to activate or deactivate the pacer on the power flosser?
    • You can activate or deactivate the pacer feature by holding the on/off button and the mode button simultaneously for 5 seconds. 
    • When deactivated, all the lights will flash once. 
    • When activated, all the lights will flash twice.
  • Can the power flosser be used by multiple people/users?
    • I would have said yes, providing you use your own tips/nozzles. However, it is explicitly stated in the user manual that this is not designed for use by multiple persons for hygiene reasons.
    • Unless each user has different nozzle types, there is no way of identifying between nozzles.

Your Opinions

Do you own or have you used the Philips Sonicare power flosser?

Are there certain features that you really like or dislike?

Let us know what you think about this brush and let others who may well be considering purchasing one know your opinions before they do.

Disclaimer

The Sonicare Power Flosser 73000 spoken about in this review was provided by Philips PR department. Electric Teeth did not purchase this model. No financial reward was provided to conclude the review the way that we did and Philips had no editorial control over the content. The 3000 & 5000 were purchased by Electric Teeth.

About Jon Love

Jon is a leading voice on electric toothbrushes and has been quoted by mainstream media publications for his opinions and expertise.

Having handled & tested hundreds of products there really is very little he does not know about them.

Passionate about business and helping others, Jon has been involved in various online enterprises since the early 2000s.

After spending 12 years in consumer technology, it was in 2014 that he focused his attention on dental health, having experienced first-hand the challenge of choosing a new toothbrush.

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