We Europeans are noted for our ugly royals and poor dentistry. So I suppose it isn't surprising that it has taken me years of trial and error and hundreds of dollars to find the right electric toothbrush. In my experience, electric toothbrushes sound and feel as if there is a jackhammer in my head. No matter how tenderly I approach my pearly whites, I seem to lacerate my gums. This earns me a stern reproach from my dentist who then sells me a brand of electric toothbrush called Rota-Dent. She does this even though I tell her I already bought one from her and it died within 18 months, hence the move to the jackhammer. I now have been through a grand total of three Rota-Dents. Can you believe it... Anyway, the vicious cycle had been broken by Philips Sonicare Flexcare (around $160).

I love my toothbrush. I fantasize about the next time I am going to clean my teeth. On the sensitive setting (there are three to choose from), I am subjected to nothing more than a gentle buzz. In fact, compared to an earlier version of electric brush, Philips has reduced vibrations by 80%. There are two brush heads, with a smaller one for poking around in those hard to reach places. My teeth are clean and my gums are purring with happiness.

There are a few features that caused me to say "oh, how cool" (you can tell that I'd reached a very sad place as far as dental hygiene was concerned) when I first opened the box. Philips Sonicare Flexcare has a special compartment that sterilizes the brushes using UV light. No more grungy bristles. I'm almost breathless. Then there is a compact charger for Sonicare on the go. The whole thing weighs almost nothing and there is a smart, gray travel/storage bag.

Did I mention that I love my toothbrush?