The "sonic" in "Sonicare" refers to the speed at which the toothbrush vibrates, in a range between 24,000 and 48,000 vibrations per minute, which happens to be the range in which the vibration of the toothbrush produces sound. There are also ultrasonic toothbrushes that vibrate at an even higher rate, one too high to produce audible noises, but that's a different category of toothbrush. Although not truly "sonic" in the sense that it uses that sound to vibrate the plaque off of your teeth, the Sonicare and a lot of other electric toothbrushes do have features that help you do a better job than you might otherwise. The most notable is that they pause briefly every 30 seconds to remind you to move the brush to a different quadrant of your mouth, thus guaranteeing that you'll devote the recommended amount of time on your teeth.
Is there any evidence that a sonic toothbrush like the Philips Sonicare Elite produces healthier results than brushing your teeth manually? Not necessarily. If you're skilled at brushing your teeth, hold the brush correctly and use the proper technique, the results of using a sonic toothbrush are about the same as those of using a manual toothbrush. However, if you aren't sure whether your skills are up to the task, you might want to use an electric toothbrush just to be on the safe side.
Although Philips is one of the best known names in electric toothbrushes, there are quite a few other models on the market that you should consider. These include the Waterpik Complete Care WP-900 and the Kolibree (which comes with its own video game)!
I enjoy that "freshly cleaned by the dental hygienist" feeling on my teeth daily. My dental checkup was astounding...I highly recommend this gadget.
We are really pleased with the toothbrushes. They clean very well and I like having the little beep every thirty seconds to prompt you to move to a new area in the mouth.
This version is a step up from what I had and works better. Better in that the sonication is more powerful and it also has a gum massager which is great.