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Philips Sonicare BrushSync Explained

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Gemma Wheeler

(GDC Number: 259369)

Sonicare BrushSync Compatible Heads

Editor’s Note

If you have landed on this page and are shopping for Sonicare replacement brush heads, you may like to check out our article on Sonicare Brush Heads.

What is BrushSync that Philips Sonicare offer?

BrushSync is an innovative piece of technology made up of 2 different features. They aim to bring added convenience to electric toothbrush users.

First introduced in 2017 by Philips Sonicare on their premium model, the DiamondClean Smart, the technology is slowly being added to new brush handles as their range develops.

Philips Sonicare BrushSync Explained

To make use of BrushSync, you need smart brush heads

Before I explain the 2 features that make up BrushSync, it is important that to understand that for the technology to function you need to have both a BrushSync enabled toothbrush handle and use ‘smart’ BrushSync compatible brush heads.

These brush heads are very similar to any other style of head available from Sonicare, but there is 1 major difference.

Built into the head is an RFID microchip.

It is this chip that is the link between head and handle.  A unique identifier if you like and is key to the technology functioning.

Philips Sonicare BrushSync Explained 1

Sonicare does offer an extensive range of these smart brush heads which have been designed differently to help achieve different oral healthcare goals and requirements you may have.

The current range of heads are as follows:

  • C2 Optimal Plaque Control
  • C3 Premium Plaque Control
  • G2 Optimal Gum Care
  • G3 Premium Gum Care
  • I InterCare
  • W DiamondClean
  • W3 Premium White
  • T1 TongueCare+

On the neck of smart/BrushSync compatible heads is an icon that won’t be present on regular (non-smart) heads.  That icon is shown in the image below, it looks similar to a WiFi signal icon if you are familiar with that.

Philips Sonicare BrushSync Explained 2

A point to also note is that it is perfectly possible to use a non-smart brush head on a BrushSync enabled handle as it is to use a smart brush head on a handle that does not offer BrushSync technology.  In these instances, none of the BrushSync technology features will function.

Philips Sonicare BrushSync Explained 3

BrushSync brush head replacement reminder

As the name of this feature implies, it reminds you when it is time to replace the brush head you are using on your brush handle.

An icon or LED on the front of the handle will light up an amber/orange color when appropriate, to alert you to this fact.

When you see that light, you should remove the existing brush head and replace it with a new one.

Philips Sonicare BrushSync Explained 4

Statistics show that 4 in 10 people don’t change their brush head every 3 months as is suggested.  As a result, the head is used for too long and the bristles become worn and damaged. They can do harm to your teeth and mouth, so periodic replacement is important.  Although most brush heads have fading reminder bristles built-in, this replacement reminder system goes one step further.

BrushSync technology is very clever and will determine the optimal time to change your brush head.

The handle pairs with and tracks the brush head.

Based on the amount of time you spend brushing with that head, how much pressure you apply and your brushing style will all affect exactly when the brush handle alerts you to replace it.

Most dentists recommend changing a brush head on average every 3 months and the BrushSync equipped toothbrush will use this as a basis for the reminder system.

If however, you brushed 3 times a day, rather than the regular 2 times, the alert will appear sooner, because the head will be worn out quicker.

It would also delay the reminder if you were only using that brush head once a day.

Philips Sonicare BrushSync Explained 5

Once you have replaced the brush head, the amber light will turn off, until it detects that the replacement head needs to be exchanged for a new one.

If you intentionally or by accident placed a used brush head onto the brush handle it would alert you by lighting up the brush head reminder icon.  (This only works if the head fitted has previously been paired and tracked by that brush handle).

The handle can also track multiple brush heads which is important if you use different styles of brush heads to achieve optimum cleaning results.

As each brush head has a unique identifier the brush handle registers the brush head when first fitted.  As you fit it for the first time, the replacement reminder icon will flash 3 times to acknowledge the connection and pairing of the head.

BrushSync mode pairing

Mode pairing is the second feature of BrushSync technology.

As brush heads are fitted to the brush handle, the cleaning mode is automatically changed to the most appropriate mode for that brush head, to help you achieve optimum cleaning results.

Philips Sonicare BrushSync Explained 6

This will include changing the brushing intensity if the brush handle has different cleaning intensities available.

The RFID chip inside the head communicates with the Sonicare toothbrush handle to complete this.

So, if you click on a gum care brush head, for example, your toothbrush knows to select the optimal mode and intensity for your gums. All you need to do is to press the power button.

You can manually change these settings at any point and the toothbrush will remember the settings for the next time.

Different BrushSync features on different toothbrushes

Although BrushSync is the overarching name for this technology, not all brushes have both features.

This means that although a brush handle may be equipped with BrushSync, it may not have both the brush head replacement reminder system and the mode pairing.

Sonicare are generally quite specific as to whether it has 1 or 2 BrushSync features.

Philips Sonicare BrushSync Explained 7

To date, the implementation has been such, that if the toothbrush has 1 x BrushSync feature, then it is the brush head replacement reminder system only.

If it has 2 x BrushSync features than both are present.

If you desire both modes, it is important to check the model you are considering is equipped with such.

Our list of BrushSync enabled handles below, should help with that.

Which brushes offer BrushSync?

Brush head replacement reminder only:

Brush head replacement reminder and mode pairing

Philips Sonicare BrushSync Explained 8

Your comments

If you have any questions you need answering about this topic, then leave them below and I will reply as soon as possible with an answer.

If you have used a BrushSync enabled brush and want to leave your thoughts and comments for me and others to benefit from, please do.

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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8 thoughts on “Philips Sonicare BrushSync Explained”

  1. I happened to see these at my local Sams Club yesterday, and wondered what the chip heads were about. Now I know. Lets be honest here. This is nothing more that a ploy to get Sonicare users to purchase Sonicare brush heads. There are other brush heads that will fit, but by eliminating the ability of the user to choose which mode they wish to use on the handle, they’re forced into buying the Sonicare heads. My AquaSonic bruse does the same job as the Sonicare, costs a mere fraction of what a Sonicare does, has the modes built in to the handle, and the brush heads are musc less expensive also.

    • Hey, just to be clear. The user can still change the mode. Using these BrushSync enabled heads means the mode is automatically chosen at the time the head is fitted. Users can override this choice.

  2. The inside lower right portion of teeth have always been reluctant to register on my Sonicare. Now that area does not affirm brushing at all. Dows the toothbrush require a reset, or other?

    • What do you mean exactly? Did the handle not detect it when the head was first attached? Have you had it on the handle for a long time and the light has not come on to say it needs replacing?

    • Hi Lynn.

      That is a bit odd. Do you have any other replacement heads you can fit to see if that resolves it, not that logically it should.

      You may want to have a word with Sonicare about it.

      I suspect they might ask you to disable and enable the BrushSync technology which can be done as follows:

      1. Put the handle on the plugged-in charger.
      2. Press and hold the power on/off button while the handle remains on the charger.
      3. Keep the power on/off button pressed until you hear a series of two short beeps (after 4-5 seconds).
      4. Release the power on/off button.
      – Triple tone of low-med-high means the Brush head replacement reminder feature has been activated. The brush head replacement light and battery light will also blink green 3 times in unison to
      confirm activation.
      – Triple tone of high-med-low means the Brush head replacement reminder feature has been deactivated. The brush head replacement light and battery light will also blink amber 3 times in unison to
      confirm deactivation.

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