Fake electric brush heads are risking the gum health of unsuspecting patients.

That's according to the results of a study carried out by Philips that tested more than 200 so-called Sonicare brushheads purchased cheaply online and found that none met Sonicare quality standards.

Their poor design with poor quality bristles had a four times higher risk of damaging the brush handle and could not deliver a gentle in-mouth experience, risking harm to soft tissues.

They could also damage the brush handle or were so poorly stapled that the tufts shed because of the powerful Sonicare drive mechanism.

Private label brush heads also wear out four times faster – in fact, sometimes within a week of use.

By contrast, Sonicare’s superior performance can be assured by using genuine Sonicare brush heads which are up to ten times better at plaque removal.

The study also found that under 50% of electric brush users replace their brush head every three months, and 1 in 10 only replace their head once a year.

Philips suggest these findings make it clear that patient education is needed.

Not only is a brush head’s ability to provide the same clean reduces by 28% over three months, but it can also become a hotbed for bacterial colonisation.

Philips’ research has shown that no matter which Sonicare power handle, the plaque removal capacity of the brush depends on the head.

The latest Philips Sonicare breakthrough is the release of a new brush head range that are fitted with BrushSynch technology.

The unique technology lets the user know exactly when to change a brush head, to get back to 100% performance. Using radio frequency Identification (RFID) technology, the power handle and head sync automatically to select the optimal mode and intensity level, and precisely determine when it is time to replace the brush head.

Microchip-enabled technology detects and synchronises a smart brush head with a smart handle to optimise brushing performance. Brushing effectively is tracked, based on brushing time and pressure, and patients are alerted when to replace the head on both their Sonicare power handle and on an app screen.

It is possible to identify a smart head with BrushSynch technology as it features a connected symbol at the neck. Each head is interchangeable for all click on Philips Sonicare power handles and there are a range of options to cater for a variety of oral health needs.

If a patient is concerned about staining, gingival bleeding or inflammation or plaque removal, there are specific brush heads to couple with their brush.

The new portfolio ranges from a simple entry level head which removes twice as much plaque as a manual and soars up to 10 times more plaque removal.

Visit www.philips.co.uk/dentalprofessional for further information on the Sonicare brush head range, or call 0800 0567 222.