Oral-B’s Bluetooth Toothbrush Offers App Features It Doesn’t Necessarily Need

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Oral-B’s Bluetooth Toothbrush Offers App Features It Doesn’t Necessarily Need

I once posted a lament sparked by the availability of Bluetooth smart toothbrushes, so of course it was only logical for me to review Oral B’s new Bluetooth 4.0-enabled smart toothbrush. The upgraded electric teeth cleaner communicates with an app on your smartphone, receiving programming instructions and settings and sending back data on your history and track record to let you get a historical look at how our mouth care has been going. Surprisingly, it wasn’t something I found completely useless – but it also definitely isn’t for everyone.

Basics

  • Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity
  • 3 interchangeable heads included
  • Induction charging stand
  • Travel case
  • 10 day battery life (2x use per day)
  • MSRP: $220
  • Product info page

Pros

  • Clean feels almost dentist quality
  • App caters to limited attention spans

Cons

  • Non-Bluetooth version has similar benefits for better value

Design

The Oral B SmartSeries 7000 bears more than a passing resemblance to is immediate predecessor – in fact, it’s the same basic device, with the only difference that I can surmise (since I also have access to the previous, non-BT version of the SmartSeries 7000) being that the new Bluetooth edition is the only one that will pair with your smartphone, despite the fact that the older model pairs with the included dedicated brush timer accessory for the Bluetooth edition, and vice versa.

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That said, the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” definitely applies in this case. The Oral B top-end Bluetooth brush has a sizeable handle that provides a good grip, thanks in part to the rubberized back, as well as buttons that are easy to reach on the front, and indicators that tell you all you need know about your electric mouth cleaning machine, including charge level and whether the Bluetooth radio is active. Special red lights illuminate while you’re brushing to tell you that you’re pushing too hard, and the removable head clips in solidly, providing no suggestion that it’ll loosen over time or fall off without undue prompting.

Oral-B included SmartGuide, a digital clock that also shows your progress through your brushing session, including offering visual cues to let you know when to switch quadrants of your mouth for optimal coverage. This guide is very handy, with a removable mount for your bathroom wall or mirror, plus it’s powered by two AA batteries for wireless operation and pairs quickly and easily with up to two Oral-B SmartSeries devices.

Performance

The Oral-B SmartSeries 7000 with Bluetooth feels almost like going in to the dentist for a cleaning, especially if, like me, you pair it with a WaterPik for hyrdo flossing and mouthwash to rinse everything away. It’s one of my first experiences with electric toothbrushes in a long time (the non-Bluetooth version already in my possession belonging to another member of the household) but it has already made me a convert. The Bluetooth features, however, seem not quite integral to the device’s overall value proposition, but that may depend on your fanaticism for clean teeth (and maximizing the efficiency of the cleaning process overall).

The app itself offers some clever tricks, including funneling weather, news, personal settle information and scenic picture slideshows sourced from National Geographic to your device to keep you occupied while you brush for that entire two minute cycle. It also deepens the tracking aspect of the brushing experience, giving you access to historic data and weekly or monthly summaries. You can customize the pre-set brushing programs according to dentist information, too, so the SmartSeries brush effectively becomes your brush, more than any non-connected device can claim.

IMG_8236In short, the app, and therefore the Bluetooth connectivity, is a nice-to-have, but I couldn’t help but find myself reverting back to just using the Smart Guide for my daily routine after a week or so of testing out the app + brush combo. The fact is that while the app does provide some amazing granularity and advanced stat tracking, it still doesn’t keep track of where exactly in your mouth your brush is actually being used, or log detailed pressure info or provide other super-zoom data that might actually lead to significant routine or practice changes.

Bottom Line

Oral-B’s Bluetooth toothbrush has a lot more to recommend it than I’d have anticipated, before trying one out. The news and weather feed resident within an app that also provides timer and brush guide information is a clever match-up that turns what could be a chore into something far less arduous. Still, this generation hews so closely to the last SmartSeries 7000 that the sole difference of Bluetooth doesn’t quite justify the price difference, especially given that you can get good deals on the outgoing hardware.

Our teeth are still among the parts of us that benefit the most from regular maintenance and preventative care, though, so the data collected by Bluetooth devices like this one could have long-term impact that goes well beyond an app with a counter and stats to satisfy curiosity, so long as the next generation of the SmartSeries with Bluetooth from Oral-B keeps evolving.

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