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Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 vs 5100: Which Is The Best?

Electric toothbrushes are an amazing invention and an affordable and easy addition to your personal healthcare and hygiene routine. Dental hygiene is a very important part of overall well-being. Not only does having a great dental health routine keep your smile shining, but it can also contribute to a healthy heart, digestive system, and even immune system.

With so many choices out there, choosing the best electric toothbrush for you can be daunting. There are different types of heads, different types of charging technologies, different features, all in a wide price range. You want to get the most bang for your buck, while also getting exactly the type and amount of cleaning that you need. Fortunately, you only need to look at one brand to get the best electric toothbrush that is perfect for you: Philips.

Philips is one of the leading providers of personal care devices. The health-focused company has been in existence since 1891, making everything from molecular image devices to air fryers. Both customer and employee satisfaction with this company rates extremely high, so you know you’ll be getting a quality product.

In this article, we will be examining two different electric toothbrushes from Philips, the ProtectiveClean 4100, and the ProtectiveClean 5100. There are a few major differences between these two toothbrush models that may help you make a quick decision as to which one would be best suited for your needs.

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean

Main Differences Between Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 vs 5100

The Main Differences Between Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 vs 5100 are:

  • The Sonicare 4100 has one cleaning mode/speed, whereas the Sonicare 5100 has three different cleaning modes/speeds.
  • The Sonicare 4100 includes one brush head, whereas the Sonicare 5100 includes two different styles of brush head, each suited to a different cleaning need.
  • The Sonicare 4100 provides the option for a gradual increase in brushing power over your first 14 uses, whereas the Sonicare 5100 does not have this option.
  • The Sonicare 4100 price tag runs around $50.00, whereas the Sonicare 5100 runs in the $80.00 range.
  • The Sonicare 4100 offers five different colors and color combinations to choose from, whereas the Sonicare 5100 offers only three different colors to choose from.

Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100: The Details

The Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 is a gentle electric toothbrush, perfect for simple everyday use. There is a pressure sensor within the device that warns you if you are putting too much pressure on your teeth and gums, which can lead to damage to your gums and the enamel of your teeth.

To complement this feature, there is an optional program that will increase the power of the brush for the first 14 times you use it. This allows your gums to get used to the proper pressure necessary for brushing without going too hard straight out of the box.

Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100

 

Another great feature of the Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 is the ‘QuadPacer’ technology. This helps you spend an equal amount of time brushing every section of your mouth by using a timer to alert you that you have brushed for an adequate amount of time. There is also an indicator on the brush itself that will tell you exactly when you need to change both your brush head and your battery.

Features

  • Up to 7x plaque removal over a manual toothbrush
  • Philips Sonicare’s advanced sonic technology
  • Quiet operation
  • Indicator when you are pressing too hard
  • Brush handle and brush head are synchronized by microchip technology
  • Replacement indicator lights for both brush head and battery
  • Lightweight
  • Easy-start program option
  • QuadPacer technology
  • Small footprint, will not take up much counter space

Pros

  • Very simple to use straight out of the box, comes partially charged
  • Quickly and easily see if your battery is full or needs a charge
  • Quickly and easily see if your brush head needs to be changed
  • Six months extended warranty
  • Battery charge can last up to 14 days even being used 2-3 times per day
  • Easy-start program allows you to ramp up your brushing gradually if your gums aren’t used to the pressure

Cons

  • Only one type of brush head will work with this brush
  • One cleaning mode/speed
  • Easy to accidentally push the on/off button while brushing
  • Automatic shut-off after two minutes is not optimal for some

Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100: The Details

The Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 has many of the same features as the ProtectiveClean 4100. The pressure sensor warns you of putting too much pressure on your gums and teeth, while the Sonicare technology included in all Sonicare brushes helps clean those difficult-to-reach places between your teeth.

And the Sonicare ProtectiveClean works well on all types of dental work and orthodontics, while being gentle on your gums and helping to prevent cavities.

Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100

 

The important difference to note with the ProtectiveClean 5100 is the features that give you more options on how you brush. This toothbrush comes with two brush heads included: a G2 Optimal Gum Care brush and a C2 Optimal Plaque Control brush, which is standard with both ProtectiveClean models. The Optimal Gum Care brush provides a more gentle, yet powerful head with densely packed and high-quality bristles to help you remove harmful plaque and improve gum health.

The ProtectiveClean 5100 also allows you to select from three different cleaning modes/speeds to be able to customize your brushing to your own needs. The Clean mode is the standard brushing mode for everyday, ideal cleaning.

The White mode is best for removing those stubborn surface stains like coffee from the enamel of your teeth. Gum Care mode gives you an extra minute of low-power brushing to help take extra care of your gums. And with the smart brush and smart head technology, your toothbrush will automatically set to Gum Care mode when you are using the Optimal Gum Care brush head.

Features

  • Up to 7x plaque removal over a manual toothbrush
  • Philips Sonicare’s advanced sonic technology
  • Brush handle and brush head are synchronized by microchip technology
  • Replacement indicator lights for both brush head and battery
  • QuadPacer technology
  • Small footprint, will not take up much counter space
  • Includes two brush heads of different types
  • Includes three different mode/speed options

Pros

  • Can improve gum health up to 100% when using the Optimal Gum Care brush and Gum Care mode of brushing
  • Very simple to use straight out of the box, comes partially charged
  • Quickly and easily see if your battery is full or needs a charge
  • Quickly and easily see if your brush head needs to be changed
  • Six-month extended warranty
  • Battery charge can last up to 14 days even being used 2-3 times per day
  • Option to choose cleaning mode can help clean your teeth more thoroughly if you have specific problems
  • Different brush heads allow you to focus on standard great cleaning or specific gum cleaning
  • Brush heads are easy to switch out and will automatically link with the correct brush mode, though you can still select a different mode if you choose

Cons

  • Some customers have complained that the included brush heads are too hard
  • Vibration can be strong for people who are not used to it or have sensitive teeth and/or gums
  • Using the product has the possibility to get messy
  • The price difference between these two toothbrushes is hefty
  • Can be louder than optimal

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 vs 5100 FAQs

Will the ProtectiveClean 4100 develop mold over time?

There are no reported instances of mold occurring on these toothbrushes, though users do suggest giving your brush a good wipe down after each use. Take sixty seconds to remove the head and use a damp washcloth to simply wipe down the head and handle. This will keep your toothbrush in great shape and working well for a long time.

What is the voltage range on the charger on the ProtectiveClean 4100?

The voltage range for the charger on this toothbrush is 100-240 volts a/c. This allows the brush to easily be used in most countries, although you may need to purchase an adapter to be able to plug it in.

Is there a sensitive setting on this toothbrush?

The ProtectiveClean 4100 does not have a sensitive setting. If a sensitive setting is desired, it is recommended the consumer purchase the 5100 series toothbrush which has three different settings.

Does the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 come with a protective case for the brush head?

Yes. The ProtectiveClean 4100 includes a protective traveling case for the brush head so the bristles will not get damaged or contaminated if the brush is put in a container.

Does the toothbrush come charged?

Yes. The ProtectiveClean 4100 does come partially charged. However, the instruction booklet and manufacturer’s recommendations advise that you charge the toothbrush for 24 hours before initial use.

Does the ProtectiveClean 4100 have to be in the charger constantly when not in use?

No. The ProtectiveClean 4100 has been reported in customer reviews to hold a charge up to 14 days. There is an indicator light on the handle of the brush that will tell you when the brush is getting low in charge.

Does the ProtectiveClean 5100 actually stop brushing after two minutes?

Yes. The Smart Timer included on the ProtectiveClean 5100 will beep to inform you to change quadrants in your mouth and then stop after a certain time based on the setting of the toothbrush. However, if you want to continue brushing, you can simply start the brush again.

Are the 5100 batteries replaceable?

No. This toothbrush has an internal non-removable rechargeable battery. However, a full charge on the battery will last up to two weeks before needing to recharge. The indicator light on the brush handle will let you know when the charge is getting low.

Does the 5100 toothbrush head need to be removed when charging?

No. The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 can be safely charged with the brush head attached. Philips does recommend that you allow your toothbrush to dry completely before you insert it into the charger.

Can I order extra soft brush heads, or are they included ProtectiveClean 5100 brush heads standard?

Yes, there are extra soft brush heads available for the ProtectiveClean 5100. Check Philip’s website for the specific brush head model numbers to make sure that what you are ordering is compatible.

Is the 5100 toothbrush officially American Dental Association approved?

Yes. The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 5100 is approved by the American Dental Association. ADA approval is recognized as a gold standard for evaluating the safety and efficacy of dental products.

What is the manufacturing warranty?

Philips Sonicare toothbrushes have a two-year manufacturer’s warranty. If you are having problems with your brush, contact Philip’s customer service.

Choosing Which One is Best For You

Everyone’s mouth is different, but choosing which of these two great electric toothbrushes is right for you shouldn’t have to be a difficult task. The first question you ask yourself should be what kind of brushing suits you best. Both of these toothbrushes are made by a well-respected company and come with a warranty as well as easy-to-find replacement heads.

The Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 is a very nice electric toothbrush for the price tag. The level of clean this toothbrush offers over a manual toothbrush, on top of the features that make it simple to use and maintain, make it well worth what this toothbrush sells for.

If you are a regular brusher who is not overly concerned about tooth staining or gum health, this is a perfect, straightforward toothbrush for you that will be long-lasting and something you won’t have to put a lot of thought into as far as upkeep.

If you are more concerned about gum disease and gingivitis or have had previous gum problems or other mouth issues, the Philips Sonicare Protective Clean 5100 may be the better choice for you.

ProtectiveClean 4100 vs 5100

While it comes with a heftier price tag, the included features of different brushing modes and an extra included brush head made specifically for gum health make it well worth the cost.

Both of these toothbrushes have received a few negative reviews in relation to the length of time that they continue to work, anywhere from three months to three years being considered not long enough for a product of this price to last.

The six-month warranty from Philips can help with that, and it also seems that their customer service is good at responding to customers who have had devices that last less than a year.

Personally, the Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 would be the choice for this writer. The difference in price tags holds a little sway; however, as just being someone who keeps regular dentist appointments and has never had major problems with my teeth or gums, I don’t feel as if the extra options are necessary for me at this time.

I very much get behind the technology of both of these toothbrushes, and the fact that they hold a charge for two weeks stands high on my list, so I don’t have to remember to plug the toothbrush in every day. I also like that brush heads can be found easily both in stores and online.

I hope this article helps you make an informed decision on choosing the best of these toothbrushes to help keep your dental care at its best!

Karyl Trejo

Karyl is a freelance medical writer from the beautiful Central Coast of California. She has been writing professionally for over a decade and has written over a thousand well-researched, factual articles about dental healthcare. She is the go-to writer for hundreds of dental practices across the nation and readily knows the difference between an inlay and an onlay. She currently holds an AAT in Psychology, and when she’s not busy penning articles about teeth, she’s either working as an optician or chipping away at her next science fiction novel.​

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