Sonicare Electric Toothbrush Heads Explained


Philips Sonicare makes a number of different brush heads for their electric toothbrushes.

It can be really quite confusing to understand what the differences are, and which brush head is right for you.

In this article, we are going to explain those differences and give our recommendations on which brush head is most suitable for you.

Whilst we will explain all of the differences between the different styles of brush heads, we want to start by giving you what we deem to be the most important information first.

And that is, simply don’t worry all that much about which particular style of brush head you have. Because what will have more positive impact than the style of the brush head is your brushing technique, how frequently you brush, and how long your brush for.

It’s going to be much better for your oral health if you focus on brushing for two minutes twice a day with a correct technique than it is if you worry about the different style of brush head.

You might not realize, but the approach for brushing your teeth is different with a Philips Sonicare toothbrush than it is to regular, manual toothbrush.

So familiarize yourself with those differences and you’ll likely see an improvement in your oral health.

Many people wonder whether the range of brush heads available from Philips Sonicare are just a bit of a marketing gimmick, and they don’t really have much benefit.

Whilst it would be a little bit harsh to suggest they are purely a marketing gimmick, there is very limited evidence to really suggest that any one particular brush head is better than another.

Whilst particular brush heads may provide some benefit for some in particular circumstances, as a general rule it is just better to opt and stick to one brush head than worrying too much about the different brush head styles.


BrushSync Technology

It should be noted, also, that Philips Sonicare have introduced a technology called BrushSync technology. It’s important to note that some brush heads have a microchip built in, and can potentially command a higher price.

Just be aware that if your brush handle does not have BrushSync technology, you won’t benefit from all of the features that that BrushSync brush head will offer.

Recommended Brush Heads

Many people ask, what is the best brush head?

Simply put, there is no one, ultimate, best brush head. Particular brush heads may be better suited to one individual than another, depending on personal circumstance.

However, we will give our recommendations on which brush heads are most suitable to particular individuals.

All of these brush heads will ultimately do a good job of cleaning your teeth to help you have a cleaner and healthier smile.

So for most individuals, for daily brushing, you want to opt for the C1 ProResults brush head or the C2 Optimal Plaque Defence brush head. This may also be known as the C2 Optimal Plaque Control brush head.

For those with sensitive teeth and gums, you want to opt for the S Sensitive brush head or the G2 Optimal Gum Care brush head.

For those looking to whiten their teeth, the W DiamondClean or the W2 Optimal White brush head is what we would recommend.

For those with braces, you’re best off going for the C1 ProResults brush head, although any of the Sonicare brush heads will work with braces.

So, let us run through the key differences between these brush heads.

ToothWave – Innovative Dental RF Toothbrush


The ProResults, also known as the C1 ProResults brush head is designed to be an everyday brushing solution.

It has a contoured profile to the brush head, which achieves twice the plaque removal than a manual toothbrush.

C2 Optimal Plaque Defense

Also known as the C2 Optimal Plaque Control brush head, is another everyday brushing solution.

This BrushSync compatible brush head is designed to remove seven times more plaque than a manual brush head, thanks to the soft bristles and specifically curved power tip that makes reaching the teeth at the back of your mouth nice and easy.

G2 Optimal Gum Care

This brush head can be used for everyday cleaning, but is designed more specifically for those with sensitive teeth and gums.

This is a BrushSync compatible brush head that gives a gentle, yet effective plaque removal, particularly along the gumline, improving your overall gum health.

W Diamond Clean

Or W2 Optimal White brush head is a more specific brush head for whitening the teeth, and removing external stains on the tooth surfaces.

This BrushSync compatible head has effective stain removal properties and offers up to a 100% whiter smile in just seven days thanks to the diamond-shaped bristles.

C3 Premium Plaque Defense

Or the C3 Premium Plaque Control brush head is designed as an everyday brushing solution.

It is another BrushSync compatible brush head. The bristles on this head offer up to four times more surface contact, whilst the flexible sides are soft on the cheeks and gums.

G3 Premium Gum Care

This brush head is designed as a more specialist brush head.

Another BrushSync compatible head, this absorbs excess pressure through the bristles and the flexible sides and it can remove up to 10 times more plaque than a manual toothbrush.

W3 Premium White

This brush head is a more specialist brush head for whitening of the teeth and removing surface stains that exist on the teeth.

A BrushSync compatible head, improvements in your oral health can be seen in as little as three days. Removing plaque and surface stains, the bristles make plenty of contact with the teeth and gums, but it is able to flex and adapt to the different shapes of the mouth and teeth to ensure maximum results at all times.


Or the T1 TongueCare+ brush head is a brush head designed specifically for cleaning the tongue surface.

BrushSync compatible, this paddle shaped brush head has 240 micro-bristles that clean deep in to the pores of the tongue surface.

I InterCare

This brush head is a head designed for everyday brushing.

BrushSync compatible, within two weeks, bleeding and inflammation at the gumline will be reduced. Long bristles reach deep between the teeth to dislodge more plaque and bacteria within interdental spaces.

Although it reaches deeper, this is not a replacement for regular interdental cleaning with floss or interdental brushes.

S Sensitive

This brush head is a specialist brushing solution.

The ultra-soft bristles offer a gentle and effective cleaning. It also features a special trim profile to cushion teeth for a gentler brushing experience.


This brush head is designed for everyday brushing that is designed specifically for particular brush handles with the Sonicare range.

It’s the classic Sonicare brush head with a contoured profile to naturally fit the shape of your teeth for a thorough clean. It is a screw-on style brush head, rather than a push-on, pull-off style.


This brush head is designed for everyday brushing, and is designed and most suitable for PowerUp brush handles from Sonicare.

Designed specifically for the battery-operated PoweUp range, the large head is designed for a good overall clean, and even features crisscross bristles on the side for effective gumline cleaning.

Philips Sonicare Kids

This brush head is specifically designed for children.

The Kids brush head is essentially the same size as an adult brush head, but it has super-soft bristles and is designed as an everyday brushing solution.

The brush head itself, whilst it still has nylon bristles, and is of plastic construction, the plastic shaft and back of the brush head is coated in a soft, rubber material. And this is usually green in color. And this soft coating makes it a little bit more gentle on the more delicate tissues and teeth in the mouths of young children and kids.

So the Kids brush head, although it fits to the various different handles, is primarily aimed at children, typically six years and under, but they can happily use it up to around seven or eight years old before moving to a more typical, adult brush head.

AirFloss Nozzle

There is a attachment for the Philips Sonicare AirFloss which is an interdental cleaning product.

These AirFloss Nozzles allow water to be transferred from the reservoir in the AirFloss unit out through the tip.

These nozzles spray a jet of water, combined with air, at high pressure, in between the teeth and gums for effective interdental cleaning.

Although not strictly a brush head, it is a removable and replaceable attachment for a Sonicare AirFloss unit, which is promoted under the Sonicare brand.

Indicator Bristles

Built in to the majority of Sonicare brush heads are something called fading indicator bristles.

These bristles will fade in color over time. Usually they are blue or green, and over what is on average a three-month period, the bristles will turn to a very pale blue, translucent white type color.

And this is an indicator to you that you should replace your brush head.

Dentists recommend, on average, you should replace your brush head every three months. Replacing your brush head every three months makes sure that you’re not doing any undue damage to your teeth and gums, and you’re getting the optimum clean for the brush head.

If you notice your brush head wearing sooner than three months, then you should replace it sooner, and you maybe want to assess your brushing technique.

Interchangeable Heads

It’s worth noting, with very few exceptions, the Philips Sonicare brush heads are completely interchangeable. That means that almost all brush heads will work with almost all brush handles.

There are the odd exceptions, but the brush head will fit and can be used, and will work and it will clean your teeth.

It should also be noted that in this article, we are covering what we consider to be the most current range of Sonicare brush heads at the time of writing.

This range is always subject to change. So there may be brush heads that I have intentionally excluded, because we consider them older, and there may be additional brush heads that are released after the time of writing.

It’s also worth noting the name of the brush head can differ from one part of the world to another. Typically the names are very similar. You can often see similarity, and the most up-to-date information is available on our website.

But in this article, we are trying to give the most common names by which they are known.

Compact Brush Heads

Another small thing to know is that with Philips Sonicare brush heads, typically there is only one size of brush head, a standard size.

However, Sonicare have previously, and do still, in limited numbers, offer a compact version of particular styles of the brush head.

So the whole style of the brush head is pretty much identical. It’s just the physical size of the brush head is smaller.

And these compact brush heads work particularly well in those users who have small mouths, with maybe a lot of crowding in the teeth, where maybe the larger brush head is more restrictive or more difficult to move around the mouth.

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