- 5 cleaning modes
- Built in timer
- Long battery life
- UV sanitiser included
- No pressure sensor to alert when brushing to hard
- Better value options exist (see other choices)
The 3 BIG Questions about the Philips Sonicare Flexcare+
If you are short of time, the answers to the following 3 questions should let you know all you need to about the Sonicare 6 Series FlexCare+. If we have missed something, let us know in the comments.
If you want more detail, you can read our full Philips Sonicare FlexCare+ review further down the page.
1. Is there anything drastically wrong with this toothbrush?
Nothing is wrong with this brush. It cleans well, with a number of different cleaning modes on offer. A decent battery life, uv sanitiser and travel case make it an appealing package.
However, newer models might be more appealing for some.
|Philips Sonicare FlexCare+ with UV Sanitizer||13 Reviews||£289.99||View on Amazon|
2. Which other brushes should I consider?
The Platinum Connected is actually the closest match when considering like for like features, but the 4300 is really the better buy in our opinions.
The 4300 forgoes some of the cleaning modes and UV sanitiser, but it offers a brush head replacement reminder and pressure, 2 features I feel are more useful than some of the extras the FlexCare+ has.
3. Where is the best place to buy the Sonicare FlexCare+ HX6972/03?
Normally there is no one best place purchase a toothbrush from. Most of us buy from a store we trust who is selling it at a reasonable price.
You may be able to find elsewhere, but the availability is limited.
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We are not sponsored by big brands or healthcare companies. Our site is funded by affiliate revenue and ads, but we only recommend products that we have tested and truly believe to be worth your money.
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And now for a bit more detail….
The FlexCare+ actually has a lot going for it. Multiple cleaning modes and various accessories in the box, it’s a decent package all round.
It is one of only a few brushes to offer the number of cleaning modes that it does, it is far from revolutionary in its design and it does not boast any groundbreaking features but it does the intended job well.
What’s in the box
- Philips Sonicare FlexCare+ (6 Series) HX6972/03 electric toothbrush
- 2 x InterCare brush heads
- Charging station with UV sanitiser
- Travel case
- Sonic cleaning action
- 5 different cleaning modes
- Built in rechargeable battery
- 3 week battery life
- 2 minute timer
- 30 second pacer
- Automatic power off
- UV sanitiser
Pros & Cons
Here are what I consider to be the main plus and minus points for the Sonicare FlexCare+.
- Cleaning modes – Offering 5 modes the FlexCare+ caters for the most demanding of users.
- Battery life – Up to 3 weeks of battery life you can brush with confidence and go away without taking a power cable
- Timer – A much underrated feature, the built in timer and quadpacer ensure you are brushing for the right amount of time with a degree of equality to different areas of the mouth.
- UV Sanitiser – Addressing what is a big issue for some, a simple one press UV santisation process keeps the brush head clean and free of germs and bacteria.
- Added extras – The Easy-start and automatic power off features are small but significant in the way in which you use and come to love the brush.
- Pressure sensor – No pressure sensor included. A great tool for new electric toothbrush users to avoid doing too much damage to their teeth and gums.
- Bluetooth connectivity – Not for everyone, but other brushes from competing brands offer such, are Sonicare behind here?
Design, Usability, Clean & General Use
Having seen and handled many different electric toothbrushes, the Sonicare FlexCare+ is very average in the way it looks and what it offers on the face of it.
I am being a bit critical when I say it is not particularly appealing, but there is very little that makes me go ‘wow’ about this brush.
Bluetooth connectivity in a toothbrush for some might be a complete waste and I get that. A classy and stylish design might not be what it most important and I get that too.
But Bluetooth and a colourful design are often what grabs your attention and makes things more interesting and may indeed encourage better oral health. If you want these features, look at the DiamondClean Smart or the Flexcare Platinum Connected.
The FlexCare+ is a bit more clinical looking and focused on doing a good job of cleaning the teeth and is not packed with what might be considered unnecessary features.
In hand, like other Sonicare models it feels weighty and solid. Not too heavy, but there is a weight that feels premium rather than really light and cheap plastic.
On the front of the brush just below the neck, the point at which the brush head attaches, is a Philips Sonicare logo in a Grey colour font. It contrasts nicely against the primarily all White body of the brush.
There is a contrasting panel right on the front of the brush handle that runs almost the full length.
This colour is referred to as ‘Copper Frost’ by Sonicare. It’s a Green/Blue/Silver colour.
Inside this panel are the control buttons and cleaning modes.
At the top is the power button that is White in colour but framed by a Silver ring. When pressed this turns the brush on and off.
Below it sits the mode button which changes the brushing mode to 1 of the 5 modes available when pressed.
A stretched oval shape and Silver in colour it is surrounded by a White and then a Silver ring, making it stand out clearly on the handle.
Below these buttons are the names of the 5 cleaning modes available on the brush.
Each one lights up with a White light when the brushing mode is selected.
Below these is a battery indicator made up of 3 bars, each of which has an LED behind.
Right at the base of the brush is a recess into which the charging prong on the provided charging stand sits.
Contrasting the White body of the handle is a slightly less glossy Copper Frost colour that runs as a ring around the base of the brush handle, then extends up the back of the brush handle towards the neck, where is sweeps ever so slightly into the side of the handle. It adds a contrast to the normally all White plastic shell of the brush.
Sealed inside the brush handle is the Lithium-Ion battery and the motor. From this runs a metal shaft that pokes out at the top of the brush handle.
To this the brush head attaches, and the power is transferred from the motor to the bristles to clean the teeth.
Water resistant the handle is perfectly fine to be exposed to water, toothpaste, saliva etc. Ideally you should rinse it off after use and dry it. Whilst I suspect little harm would come to the brush if used in the shower, Sonicare do suggest not to use it when bathing.
Provided in the box are 2 x InterCare brush heads. These are one of a number of different styles of brush heads that can be used on this brush handle. The interchangeable design means that they can be swapped as and when you please.
Some heads work best with certain cleaning modes, but all heads can be used on any mode you chose.
Designed to reach deep between teeth and into hard to reach areas the InterCare brush heads feature extra-long, high-density bristles to target hidden plaque caught deep between teeth and in other hard-to-clean areas. Within just 2 weeks you can have healthier gums as up to 6 times more plaque can be removed with this brush than a manual one.
My teeth felt clean and fresh after each use of the FlexCare Plus and whilst I do not suffer with gum issues, I am sure that significant benefit will be seen by users if you do.
No doubt you are aware that it is important to replace the brush head regularly. Every 3 months is the general recommendation, sooner if the bristles are worn.
Every head has a set of reminder bristles that fade from a Blue to a pale Blue/White colour over time. You can use these as a visual reminder as to when you need to replace your brush head, if you don’t remember when you last did.
If you are the first time use of an electric toothbrush, the power that the motor delivers can seem daunting and painful to the teeth and gums.
A great feature for electric toothbrush newbies is the the ‘Easy-Start’ option. It helps ease you into using such a powerful electric toothbrush. The Easy-start feature gradually increases the sonic power over the first 14 brushing sessions until it delivers the impressive 31,000 movements per minute.
Brushing must last at least 1 minute to properly advance through this ramp-up cycle.
This is just one example of the finer details Sonicare offer that are often overlooked or misunderstood.
The 5 cleaning modes on this brush are explained below.
- Clean – Complete whole mouth cleaning (2 minutes).
- Gum Care – Complete whole mouth cleaning (2 minutes) plus gentle cleaning for problem areas and along the gumline (1 minute).
- Refresh – Touch-up for a quick clean (1 minute).
- Sensitive – Gentle cleaning for sensitive gums and teeth (2 minutes).
- Massage – Gentle gum stimulation (2 minutes).
To select the mode that you desire, press the mode button an appropriate number of times until the mode is lit on the brush handle.
You need to select the mode before powering the brush on. You cannot toggle between modes when the brush is running.
The brush will continue to run in the selected mode until an alternative is selected.
I like the fact that you select the mode before powering the brush on. So many brushes require the brush to be turned on first and require you to remember home many presses of a button you need. It’s not a great experience in those instances, but it is here on the FlexCare+.
When the brush is running, the internal time and quadpacer begin working too. Designed for those modes that last for 2 minutes the idea behind them is to encourage you and I to give equal attention to the different parts of the mouth and brush for the recommended time.
At 30 second intervals there is a slight pause in the brush head motion which changes the sound emitted from the brush and stops bristle movement, signaling to you to change quadrant of the mouth when cleaning.
When the 2 minutes are complete, the brush automatically powers off, signalling the end of the clean.
Automatic power off is a simple but great touch that conserves battery life and offers convenience.
A feature that in my opinion is missing, is a pressure sensor.
A pressure sensor is not generally found on Sonicare brushes (DiamondClean Smart and FlexCare Platinum Connected being the exception), but are found on Oral-B handles.
As the name implies if too much pressure is applied during cleaning a light is illuminated to alert you and you can reduce this so as not to do damage to the teeth. You soon learn, and it comes somewhat redundant. It is not an essential but would be a nice inclusion that would help new users I think.
This said, brush too hard with the brush and you notice a change in motor sound which should act as a sign to reduce the pressure. The bristles of the brush need only skim the tooth surface.
Bluetooth is another feature that is beginning to creep in at this price point and whilst it is far from required, it is another feature that makes the likes of Oral-B brushes potentially more compelling.
Many more of their brushes have this, but actually Sonicare have implemented it well on the FlexCare Platinum Connected and DiamondClean Smart. It is an innovative and future focused approach to oral healthcare and can really help if you have particular goals in mind
Included in the box is a charging stand that not only allows the brush to sit upright on the stand and be charged but also offers up a UV sanitiser, that can kill the bacteria on brush heads.
The fairly compact santiser can accommodate up to 2 Philips brush heads. 2 little prongs allow the heads to be placed inside and stood upright. Position so that the bristles face the internal lamp, close the door and press the green button on the top to begin the cleaning cycle.
Lasting 10 minutes the UV bulb produces rays that further kills any lingering bacteria trapped on the brush head.
I really like this idea. It seems logical and could help long term to reduce the chance of oral health issues. That said many of us have gone for years without using or needing this.
How frequently you run the cycle is up to you.
It does need to be connected to power for it to run and opening the door mid cycle will stop the process. You can also press the power button again to end this.
Supporting voltages of 100-220v the plug connects to the 2 pin power supply found in UK bathrooms, but requires only a plug adapter should you travel with the brush or wish to connect it to a 3 pin UK socket.
The handle does not need charging all that often given the the battery can last up to 3 weeks.
LED’s on the brush handle give feedback about the battery status. More on that in the ‘Battery’ section of this review.
Also included in the box is a travel case.
Holding the handle and 2 brush heads (only 1 supplied) the travel case is basic but functional. White in colour it protects the brush from damage and accidental activation when in transit.
It is a fairly solid case. It is not the most premium have seen or used and the brush cannot be charged in the case either, like the DiamondClean can be.
However, despite being a fairly basic case it is thicker and sturdier than those provided with many Oral-B models and is a welcome inclusion, particularly if you travel regularly.
Quality is as I mentioned part and parcel of this brush and being a Philips product it is built to a high standard. Should something go wrong, there is a manufacturer supplied warranty that lasts for 2 years.
Summary of Design, Usability, Clean & General Use
- Solid well built brush handle
- Looks ok, but not as appealing as some other brushes
- 5 cleaning modes
- Separate power and mode button
- 2 brush heads included
- Alternative brush heads available
- Cleans the teeth and gums well
- Built in quad pacer and timer tells you when to change quadrant and finish brushing
- UV sanitiser included
- Lacks a pressure sensor
- Lacks Bluetooth connectivity
- Travel case included
- Easy-start feature is really compelling
- Automatic power off really helps achieve an excellent battery life
- 2 year warranty as standard
The battery is what powers the brush and delivers the all important movement to the bristles that sweep away the plaque and bacteria.
Built into the sealed handle is a Lithium-Ion battery which is not user removable.
Always setting a strong standard in battery life, Sonicare have equipped the FlexCare Plus with a battery capable of up to 3 weeks of usage time.
Based on the average 2 minute clean, twice a day by 1 user, this brush will run for 84 minutes or 42 brushing sessions.
In fact, you might find you eeek a couple of extra days from the battery as our own hands on testing resulted in up to 27 days from a full charge.
Either way the performance from the battery is very good, considering the overall size and profile of the brush handle.
When you compare the FlexCare to Oral-B brush handles that currently offer a maximum of 16 days life, it is very impressive indeed.
It takes up to 24 hours to charge the battery in the brush fully.
This is a little longer than other brands, but not surprising given the performance.
Included with the brush is a charging stand and UV sanitiser. It is an all in one unit. The santiser is at one end, with the charging stand at the other.
Fixed to the stand is the power cable that connects to the UK 2 pin socket found in bathrooms. If you wish to charge the brush from a 3 pin socket, you will need a 2 pin to 3 pin adapter.
The stand actually supports 100-220v, so should you travel, particularly internationally, you need only a power adapter rather than a voltage adapter if taking the charger with you.
The prong on the right side of the charging stand fits into the recess on the bottom of the brush to hold it upright whilst charging.
The flashing light of the battery gauge indicates that the toothbrush is charging.
1 solid Green LED indicates that the toothbrush is 34-66% charged. 2 solid Green LEDs indicate that the toothbrush is 67-94% charged and 3 solid Green LEDs indicate that the toothbrush is fully charged.
When you hear 3 beeps and 1 of the 3 battery indicator LEDs is flashing Yellow, this will mean the power is too low and needs to be recharged.
Summary of Battery Life
- Lithium-Ion battery built in, not user removable
- Up to 3 weeks or 84 minutes of usage time
- Takes up to 24 hours to charge fully
- A charger included in the box that works on 110-220v
- 1 Green LED – 34-66% battery
- 2 Green LED – 67-94% battery
- 3 Green LED – Fully charged battery
- 3 beeps and 1 flashing Yellow LED – Recharge required
What a brush is worth and how much you are prepared to pay for it is personal opinion.
Whilst some are prepared to pay several hundred pounds others want to spend just tens of pounds.
The recommended retail price of the FlexCare+ is a rather impressive £220.
Given the options available from Sonicare and other brands, this does on the face of it appear expensive and even the most premium DiamondClean Smart now seems relatively good value in comparison.
However, at the time of writing this review the FlexCare Plus has been available for some time and in many ways superseded with other models.
It is available only from Philips directly and many of the other common stores that would stock such a brush do not.
The selling price at the time of review is £110, so an impressive £110/50% less than the recommended retail price.
This is much more inline with other models and options available.
For many years Sonicare have always commanded a premium and to be fair this is reasonable given the battery life, performance and quality of their brushes.
On average, the expected life of an electric toothbrush is 3-5 years although many do last longer.
At Electric Teeth, we like to price the models over a 3 year period to get a rough idea of what the total ownership cost is and how they compare to other brushes on the market. This includes factoring in the cost or replacement brush heads, which are about £5 a time with Sonicare.
Take the average £110 purchase price, add the cost of replacement brush heads for 3 years (£50) and the total ownership cost comes out at £160 or £0.15 per day.
With any brush you can extend the value by sharing the brush handle with another user. Of course change the brush head and be aware that you will need to recharge more frequently, but this can help keep the cost of ownership down.
Whilst it does not have the same number of cleaning modes, the Sonicare Platinum Connected would a good alternative. Subject to change, at the time of review, the cost of the brush is nearer to £100, which gives a similar ownership cost, but you have the benefit of it being a newer model and offering up connectivity too, should you want this.
That said, forgo the UV sanitiser and extra cleaning modes and the 4300 ProtectiveClean is a very good option, particularly when it offers a pressure sensor and brush head replacement reminder, 2 very useful additions.
When it comes to making the purchase, if this is the brush for you, be sure to shop around and pay the price you are comfortable with and from a retailer you trust.
Please note that all costs quoted are approximates and prices will vary based on location, supplier, time of purchase. These figures should not be relied on as hard fact but as a guide, based on real information at the time of writing.
Summary of Price
- Recommended retail price of £220
- Available direct from Philips at £110
- Works out at around £0.15 per day over 3 years
- Share brush handle with another user to extend value
- Better value options exist
Reliability & Long Term Use
Rest easy in knowing that Sonicare products are of the uppermost quality.
As one of the largest electric toothbrush manufacturers their design and production process has been developed with reliability and performance in mind.
The nature of an electric toothbrush with moving parts and electrical circuits does mean that there is the potential for failure, but that failure rate is extremely low.
Feedback is generally positive for Sonicare, they are solid and well built.
For your peace of mind the brush is backed with a 2 year warranty, should the worst happen.
The FlexCare+ does little in my mind to stand out from the crowd of electric toothbrushes on the market and scream ‘buy me!’
It lacks a certain wow factor, but perhaps in doing so, it’s understated nature is actually a good thing. Perhaps its the slightly dated feeling design with lack of bold colours.
The lack of Bluetooth connectivity might be an issue for others.
A toothbrush is not the most exciting product on the planet, but it has significant health benefits for you if used correctly.
The FlexCare Plus just works and does so well.
It has the core requirements of an electric toothbrush firmly covered, The standard of clean is good as is the quality of the brush.
There is the travel case for those on the go and the UV santisier for those concerned about the bacteria.
But, your money is better spent on other models, you get a much better return. Seriously consider the ProtectiveClean 4300 or theSonicare Flexcare Platinum Connected (view on Amazon)
- Patented Sonic Technology
- Reduces gum bleeding and inflammation
- Safe and Gentle
Electric Teeth Rating
- Is the Sonicare FlexCare+ an oscillating brush?
- No, it is not.
- How many brushing modes does the Sonicare FlexCare+ have?
- This brush offers 5 different cleaning modes, Clean, Gum Care, Refresh, Sensitive and Massage.
- What brush head does it come with and what alternative ones can be used?
- The FlexCare+ comes provided with 2 x InterCare Standard brush heads. Sonicare do have a range of alternative brush heads that are compatible including, DiamondClean, ProResults, ProResults Gum Health, Sensitive and InterCare.
- Does the Sonicare FlexCare+ have a pressure sensor?
- No, it does not.
- Does the Sonicare FlexCare+ have Bluetooth?
- No it does not.
- Does the Sonicare FlexCare+ come with a warranty & how long is it?
- Yes, it does. The warranty is 2 years.
- Does the Sonicare FlexCare+ have a built in timer?
- Yes. At the end of a 2 minute cycle, the brush automatically turns off signalling the end of the cleaning time. If you want to extend your clean, you will have to power the brush back on. It does also have a 30 second pacer also referred to as a quadpacer. At 30 second intervals a slight pause in the brushing mode to tell you to change quadrants. There are 4 quadrants to the mouth.
- How long does the battery last?
- Officially the the battery lasts up to 84 minutes, which is equivalent to 3 weeks or 21 days of usage based on 2 x 2 minute cleans per day.
- Does it come with a charger?
- Yes, a charging station is included with the toothbrush. It works on 100-220v.
- Can this be fixed to a wall?
- The charging station has not been designed to be fixed to a wall.
- Can I use the Sonicare FlexCare+ in the shower?
- We would advise avoid it. The brush is water resistant and designed to withstand exposure to water but the prolonged exposure to water in a shower is not ideal for the brush and the manual explicitly states do not use when bathing.
- Does it come with a travel case?
- Yes it does.
- Philips Sonicare FlexCare Review
- Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected Review
- Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart Review
Do you own or have you used the Philips Sonicare FlexCare+ HX6972/03?
Are there certain features that you really like or dislike?
Let us know what you think about this brush and let others who may well be considering purchasing one know your opinions before they do.