Electric toothbrushes have been around for a while; helping us to get cleaner teeth, healthier gums and remove more plaque than their manual counterparts. The latest iteration from Oral-B is the Bluetooth Smart (4.0) app-enabled Pro 6000, which follows our love affair with Smartphones and desire to push towards an Internet of Things.
The design of the Pro 6000 doesn’t deviate from other models in Oral-B’s Professional Care range of electric toothbrushes. The handle features two physical keys; a power button to switch the brush on and off and another to select the brushing mode.
Both the front and back are rubberised, which aids grip and makes it comfortable to hold. It comes with a selection of 4 brush heads to choose from, and is compatible with Oral-B brush heads (for a run-down on the benefits of the various different brush heads, check out this article on our blog).
The included Smart Guide is pretty sleek, and comes with a convenient holder that can be used to mount the device to the wall. The charging station for the Electric Toothbrush is fairly compact.
I've been using the Oral-B Pro 6000 SmartSeries for a fortnight now, and have to say that there has been a noticeable difference in how clean my teeth feel after brushing. Using the SmartGuide you can select between the “2 minute” or “Professional” timer; I much preferred using the “Professional” option as it divides the 2 minutes (or 3 minutes in the Deep Clean brushing mode) into four sections so that you know how long to spend on each quarter of your mouth.
It can take a full 24 hours to charge the Oral-B Pro 6000, which will give a battery life of 10 days (2 minute brush, twice daily). The manual advises that it’s possible to keep the toothbrush stored permanently on the charger (and that overcharging is impossible); for the past 2 weeks I’ve left it on charge overnight and kept it unplugged during the day.
Towards the top of the handle on the Pro 6000 there is neatly disguised pressure sensor light; hidden in the streamlined curve that hangs around the neck. When you're pressing down too hard the light will turn to red to alert you (you will also be notified on the SmartGuide). As I’ve been using an electric toothbrush for the past couple of years after a stern talking to by my dentist, I’ve grown accustomed to the kind of pressure needed. I found the pressure sensor on my first electric toothbrush helpful when making the switch from manual to electric useful (but had to purposely apply too much pressure to test this feature on the Pro 6000 and it works well). If you’re yet to make the switch from manual to electric, you should check out our article.
The Oral-B App
There are already a multitude of apps to help you brush your teeth, granted a lot are aimed at children (I use the MyTeeth app for my daughter, which is definitely worth a look if you’re interested) but Oral-B are the first to develop an app that receives real-time data from your toothbrush.
I tested the iOS version of the app on an iPhone 5S, and connecting and set up was extremely straightforward and user-friendly. The app is well designed, features a nice clean interface and comfortable navigation.
Statistics can be viewed by day, by week or by month; you can log flossing and mouthwash habits and there are a range of “achievements” you can obtain, some of which are little too much for my tastes but might appeal to more competitive of you. In addition to receiving data from the Pro 6000, you can also use the app to push information to the toothbrush and update the settings to your preferences.
Also integrated into the app are a variety of other options including access to your local weather, and news. As I’m more of a night-owl and still bleary eyed when brushing my teeth in the morning, I felt these services are wasted on me. But for those who wake up bright-eyed and bushy tailed I can see the advantage of using the 2 minutes of brushing time; toothbrush in one hand, smartphone in the other checking what lays in store for you the day ahead.
The app also features an intelligent listening function, which means the timer will still start and track your brushing session even if you don't have Bluetooth switched on. You also don't have to be in the app for the session to be tracked, which means you can use your phone normally (morning twitter, facebook, or shopping on liGo ;) whilst brushing and the timer will continue to run. This works whether using Bluetooth, or the listening function, which is pretty smart.
At £114.99, the Oral-B is an expensive electric toothbrush; yes some of the app settings are a little gimmicky but the data collected is quite incredible and I did feel like it gave me a new insight into my brushing habits and helped me to identify more accurately whereabouts I needed to spend more attention. If I was going to spend this kind of money on a toothbrush then I would defintietly opt for the Oral-B Pro 6000.