These 3 sided brush heads are a likeable idea. Soft and perfectly angled bristles help maximize the cleaning results with every pass over the tooth surface.
They fundamentally do exactly what they are designed for and you can brush your teeth in less time.
It is a nice option to have if you want to brush your teeth quickly, but are short of time.
I like them, but, I haven’t been won over by them enough to switch.
They don’t fit with the typical styling of a Sonicare electric toothbrush.
They are the same price as a regular Sonicare electric toothbrush head.
And when fitted to the head can create quite a loud and irritating sound as the parts vibrate against each other.
I also have potential concerns over their long term durability.
- Cleaning action is less technique sensitive
- Cleaning results are better than expected
- Soft bristles
- Fit & quality
|Triple Bristle Sonicare Compatible Heads||718 Reviews||$25.00||View on Amazon|
Let me start by making it clear that these brush heads are designed to be compatible with Philips Sonicare electric toothbrushes. The heads are not made by Philips and the company behind them, Triple Bristle is not affiliated with Philips either.
Triple Bristle is best known for its own electric toothbrush, which has a 3 sided head. The principle is that it cleans 3 surfaces of the teeth at the same time, instead of 1 surface at a time, like a regular toothbrush.
Brushing 3 surfaces rather than 1 can potentially cut the brushing time down from 2 minutes to just 40 seconds.
I have reviewed it here, and in truth, it isn’t a bad product. Whilst it is not perfect, there are many things to like about it.
The aim should be to brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time. And when you brush, use the correct technique.
However, statistics suggest that on average people are brushing for a lot less time. Just 45-70 seconds on average per day. This is not enough time to get a thorough clean of the teeth.
If you really won’t brush for 2 minutes twice a day but do want to do the best job you can when you brush, then Triple Bristle and these heads can help.
The 3 sided head is similar to the ones you get with a Triple Bristle toothbrush. But, the design is slightly different.
Please note, that the heads for Triple Bristles own toothbrush do not fit on a Sonicare brush handle. And these brush heads, designed for Sonicare brush handles do not fit onto the Triple Bristle toothbrush.
The unique feature here is the 3 sides to the head clean both the front, back and biting surfaces of the teeth at the same time.
Bristles aimed at the front and back of the teeth are angled at 45 degrees, the ideal angle to clean effectively along the gumline.
Within reason, you should get a perfect clean every time.
The heads ultimately take away the need for you to be holding the toothbrush at the perfect angle each time.
The heads have a push-on and pull-off design like the original Sonicare brush heads, which makes them nice and easy to install.
They should work with the vast majority of Sonicare toothbrushes, but there are some exceptions. Notable exceptions include the Sonicare Essence which has a screw on brush head, as well as the Philips One by Sonicare.
I have tried the heads on about 5 or 6 different Sonicare handles and they fit fairly well. The gap between the handle and the Triple Bristle brush head is marginally larger than when a Sonicare original head is fitted.
And although the head sits fairly tight on the brush handle, there can be a little more play/wobble in the head compared to an original.
The heads come in packs of 3 and you have the choice between soft and extra soft bristles. I have opted for the extra soft and as the name implies they are very gentle on the teeth and gums. I can’t fault the bristle softness.
Each head is made with a gloss white plastic. This is fine. But one thing to bear in mind is that many Sonicare handles come in an array of different color options. The gloss white might clash a little with black or dark blue brush handles that Sonicare offers.
There isn’t really an easy solution to this unless Triple Bristle offered the heads in black color too. The black heads would fit, stylistically, much better than the white head with some brushes.
Each head has a fixed colored ring at the base. This is a useful feature if there are multiple Triple Bristle brush head users in a home. The colored rings make it nice and easy to know whose head is whose. This is a feature Sonicare doesn’t offer on their own brush heads.
Some Sonicare toothbrushes have something called BrushSync technology. If you are not familiar with it, we explain BrushSync in detail here. It is important to know that these heads do not have the RFID chip in them and are not BrushSync compatible. If you do choose to use them, your BrushSync features will not function.
As you might already know, it is advised to replace your brush head every 3 months on average. Sonicare’s own brush heads and even many after market brush heads have indicator bristles that fade over time. They are a visual clue that the brush head will need replacing. The bristles usually fade from a blue to a very pale/translucent blue. There are no fading indicator bristles within these Triple Bristle brush heads.
Compared to a standard Sonicare brush head, these heads make quite a bit of extra noise when in use. The vibrations of the brush motor cause the 3 parts of the brush head to come in contact with each other. As the plastics collide they create quite a loud and not particularly pleasant nose. The whole toothbrush becomes much louder than if using a regular Sonicare head. My tests indicate the noise increases to 75dB from 67dB, an 8dB increase.
Part of this noise increase has to do with how well the head fits onto the metal motor shaft that extends from the brush handle. Although the fit is quite tight, there is a bit of play compared to the originals. It sounds like the metal is vibrating hard against the plastic on the inside of the head.
Around the edge of each head is a blue piece of silicone which makes the edges of the head softer on the teeth, gums, and cheeks. It should also in theory help reduce some of the noise when the parts vibrate, but they appear not to really help.
Because the brush head wraps around the 3 surfaces of the tooth, your teeth essentially act like a rail on which the head moves along as you brush. It is a bit of an odd sensation and takes some getting used to. The angles etc do mean that you will likely have the plastic parts of the brush head vibrate up against your teeth at times which can make some noise but might also irritate those with, particularly sensitive teeth.
Even for me having tested lots of toothbrushes, I found the head knocking up against my teeth quite frequently. The intense vibration of the head against the teeth can be quite jarring and unpleasant. With practice, it becomes a little less of an issue, but not entirely avoidable.
I found the cleaning results to be pretty good.
It certainly wasn’t perfect. On some teeth, I found plaque left at the gumline. Particularly if I let the brush glide along my teeth.
The results were not quite as good as a standard Sonicare head, in my opinion. That is assuming you are using the correct brushing technique. But the results were better if I rotated and moved the head more than you might think you need to.
With more practice, I could potentially have gotten better results. There is the tendency to think just letting it glide along the arch of teeth is all you need, but small alterations to the angle of the head and a tiny bit of pressure can help clean the teeth more effectively.
For those who struggle to brush their teeth due to disabilities or sensory issues, these heads could potentially be a bit of a game changer. It can make brushing easier and potentially to a better standard than you are able to brush already.
If you need assistance brushing your teeth, these could really help those brushing your teeth, do a better job each time.
Depending on the model of Sonicare toothbrush you have, depends on the features that are available to you. Some have multiple cleaning modes, whilst others have the ability to change the intensity (power) of the cleaning mode. Many have both.
It is quite clear that you can see the motion of the bristles on the brush head change, as you alter the intensity of the brush. It also impacted the noise the brush head made. As you might expect, the high intensity setting created the most movement in the bristles and the most noise.
Different cleaning modes also impacted the bristle movement and noise.
This review is by no means a clinical study or looking into the science, but I do wonder if the benefits of the different cleaning modes are lost when using these Sonicare compatible Triple Bristle heads.
To some extent, the heads still deliver the same power to the bristle tips. And the potential alternating power settings and brushing times exist too. But, Philips will have designed those modes on the basis of using a standard Sonicare brush head, where the bristles move side to side in a sweeping action. They were not designed with a 3 sided head in mind.
The bristles and subsequently the fluids (including toothpaste) moves differently with these heads. As a consequence, the cleaning might be different.
Technically you could too be invalidating your warranty/guarantee by using unofficial brush heads/accessories. I haven’t heard or seen anyone actually being penalized as a result, but it is technically possible. It can be hard for Sonicare to prove.
For those wondering, you can use these heads with crowns, veneers, dental bridges and implants.
My testing of these heads lasted just a couple of weeks. And to be fair I had no reliability issues with them. They remained fitted to the brush handle and did not come loose as some others have reported.
Now, by no means am I saying there is an inherent fault, but I have heard and seen others complaining about the long term durability and reliability of these heads.
Taking a look at the bottom of the head, up into the shaft, you can see what are best described as 4 cracks. This is normal. It is part of the design and construction process.
I have nothing to confirm this, but I do wonder if such breaks in the plastic could impact the vibration and durability. Might there be less strength in the overall head because they are not 1 complete piece of plastic?
When compared to a Sonicare original brush head, you will see the Sonicare head has a metal ring in the base, to help give strength and rigidity. This would add a small cost to the production process. If Sonicare is doing this, I can’t help but think there must be a good reason for doing so.
Is there a reason Triple Bristle have not?
I have not experienced it myself, but I have seen multiple reports of the hole in the center, (into which the vibrating metal shaft fits) breaks so the head becomes loose. I can understand how this might happen. As I said earlier there is more play in the heads when fitted to the shaft, so over time, this can potentially get worse.
Sonicare sells standard brush heads that do not have the BrushSync technology. These typically average around $8 when purchased in a multipack.
The ‘smarter’ BrushSync enabled heads typically cost around $10.
|Triple Bristle Sonicare Compatible Heads||718 Reviews||$25.00||View on Amazon|
A pack of 3 Triple Bristle Sonicare compatible heads costs $25. At $8.33 per head, this is more expensive than a standard Sonicare brush head.
Granted, they are unique and offer a benefit. But I feel they are perhaps a fraction overpriced. I would have thought around $6 might have been more fitting. Maybe I am being harsh and missing the point. Perhaps they are worth more because they are different.
If you subscribe at www.triplebristle.com you can save $3 per pack. You can also have a new pack be delivered straight to your door every 9 months.
Ultimately I like the idea of these brush heads. They don’t do a bad job at all of cleaning the teeth. They do help give a better clean each time as they are less technique sensitive than the original Sonicare brush heads. But, I haven’t been completely won over by them.
I would like to see a slight improvement in the fit of the heads and attempts to reduce the amount of additional noise they create. An option to get them in black, to match more Sonicare handles would be nice too, as would saving a couple of dollars off the cost.