As we brush our teeth, the bacteria on the tooth and gum surfaces are broken up and removed by the bristles of the toothbrush.
Whilst a rinse under the tap after brushing will wash away some of the bacteria, some remains.
Whilst this does not pose a massive threat to our oral health, there are good reasons for wanting to limit the growth.
The Philips Sonicare UV sanitizer is designed specifically to help with this task.
In fact, the HX6907/01 (buy at Philips.com) actually serves 2 purposes.
It is a charger for the vast majority of Sonicare electric toothbrushes as well as a UV sanitizer.
On the left side of the unit is a compartment, with a door.
Hinged on the left side, it opens up to reveal a compartment into which 2 Sonicare toothbrush heads can be placed.
It is not designed to accept brush heads from other brands like Oral-B for example. This is not all that surprising, but a bit of a shame.
Each head sits securely on top of a small protuberance from the unit. The bristles of the brush head are then aligned with the UV bulb inside.
When activated the bulb emits ultraviolet (UV) light. This can destroy the bonds of the nucleic acids (small biomolecules essential to all forms of life) that make up DNA.
This disruption or damage to the DNA affects the cell division. This in turn means they cannot reproduce and perform the functions they need to, therefore stopping the growth of bacteria.
There are three different bands of UV light. Each have a different wavelength. It is the shortwave UV-C radiation that is effective at killing germs. It is too invisible to the human eye.
To function, it does require power. It does not have a battery built-in.
Hardwired into the unit is a 2 pin US power adapter. The cable is 100cm (3.2 foot). Connect this to the wall for it to be able to run through the 10 minute sanitizing cycle.
The cycle begins when you press the mint gree button on the top of the unit.
You get a satisfying click from the button too.
It will not function if the door to the sanitizer is not closed. The door is magnetized shut so it is easy to flick close and it won’t just open up. There is no awkward fastening to close it.
The cycle will also stop if the door is opened mid-cycle. There is a recess on the top of the unit to easily open the door if you wish.
Once the 10 minutes have passed, the cycle will automatically end. It will not restart until such time as you press the button on the top again.
How often you run the cycle is entirely up to you.
You could run it just once a day, or you could run it multiple times if you prefer.
At 10 minutes it is longer than some other UV sanitizers. However, our best toothbrush sanitizer article shows that cycles really need to be 20 minutes or more to be effective.
Given that this is likely to remain plugged in, it would be nice if perhaps the unit sanitized the heads automatically every few hours. Or, it would be handy if there was perhaps the option to have the UV cycle last longer.
At present 1 press turns the UV light on or off.
Perhaps a 2nd press could set it to run through 2 cycles or 3 presses could trigger 3 cycles for example.
By all means, the 1 cycle is better than nothing, but you will have to remember to activate it multiple times if you really want to get the maximum benefit.
A vertical window does run down the middle of the door. Whilst you can’t see a lot through it, you can see if the UV bulb is on and a cycle active or not.
At first, the whole unit can appear quite bulky. But, in fairness to Philips, they couldn’t have made it much smaller given what it offers.
It measures in at approximately 12.7 cm wide x 5.7cm deep x 13cm tall (5 inches wide x 2.24 inches deep x 5.12 inches tall).
It is comparably sized to other sanitizers.
The following video shows it in action.
In addition to the UV element, the sanitizer does also have a place for you to charge your electric toothbrush handle too.
On the right side is a prong that extends from the unit. You sit your Sonicare handle on this to recharge.
The one power cable will power the sanitizer and the toothbrush charger.
You do need a compatible handle to make use of it.
Sonicare toothbrushes with a flat base, like the DiamondClean, DiamondClean Smart and DiamondClean 9000 are not compatible.
For those who already own a Sonicare handle, you can potentially replace your regular charging stand for this and get the benefits of the UV compartment too.
It does not charge the handle any quicker or offer any other special benefits.
The whole unit is white in color. Made from plastic, the outer shell is easy to keep clean and it looks and feels well built.
It has 3 rubber feet on the base to prevent it from slipping around on a worktop.
It supports 110-220V and comes with a 2 year warranty.
You will not normally find this included with the most common Sonicare toothbrushes. But, there are select models that do come with it included. Naturally, the price of these models tends to be more expensive.
Generally, it is sold as a separate accessory and has a retail price of around $50. You can buy it here at Philips.com.
You may be able to save a few dollars but there isn’t typically a great saving to be had.
Whether it is worth this price is going to be personal opinion.
You can buy UV sanitizers from other companies for around $25-35. These typically accept the brush heads only and do not offer an option to recharge the toothbrush too.
They do too tend to work with multiple brands, rather than just Sonicare. This can certainly make alternative options more attractive if you have different brands of toothbrushes in your home.
There is some extra value in that it doubles up as an extra or replacement charging stand for your toothbrush. Plus, you get the peace of mind that this is made by a reputable, well known brand.
Noteworthy is the fact that the UV bulb is replaceable. Although the typical life of a bulb is around some 6,000+ hours, should it wear out, you know it can be replaced.
By no means a must have accessory, this UV sanitizer does do exactly what is designed to do and I can’t fault it for that.
It should be noted that there is an older version of this with part codes HX6160/D which is basically identical to this newer version HX6907/01. You may find the HX6160 version easier to source and possibly subject to better prices.
Do you own or have you used the Philips UV Sanitizer?
Are there certain features that you really like or dislike?
Let us know what you think about this and let others who may well be considering purchasing one know your opinions before they do.