Best Smart Toothbrushes 2017 and a Guide to Choosing One
There are many ways you can boost your dental hygiene; brush your teeth daily, avoid too much sugar and go for regular checkups. Thanks to technology, you can now add something else to the list: smart toothbrushes.
A range of high tech toothbrushes have hit the market in an attempt to help people improve their brushing and keep better track of their dental hygiene. Some of these toothbrushes are from known traditional brands such as Oral-B while others are from newer names in the market.
With periodontal disease being the leading cause of tooth loss among adults and 92% of adults having suffered from tooth decay some helpful tech will go a long way in improving dental health among both children and adults.
But being a relatively new product, it can be hard to make the right choice among the several brands available. In this guide, we highlight some of the best smart toothbrushes in the market while also offering a few helpful tips on how to choose the right smart toothbrush.
Why it Matters?
Your first reaction when you hear of a smart toothbrush is probably to roll your eyes. After all, we have been doing all right with traditional plastic toothbrushes for years. Right?
Not so much. Too many people are still suffering from dental problems with tooth decay and periodontal disease being extremely common. With a general lifestyle change where our diets contain more sugar, even kids are having a hard time keeping their teeth strong and healthy.
A new approach is evidently needed in maintaining dental health. Smart toothbrushes are attempting to solve a number of problems inherent in the traditional way of brushing teeth;
- Not brushing enough times. Some smart toothbrushes keep track of the number of times you brush your teeth and can even give you reminders to do so at certain times.
- Not brushing thoroughly. Most of us brush our teeth on autopilot. We are therefore not likely to realize when we constantly miss a certain spot when brushing. Some smart toothbrushes go as far as incorporating tracking technology to ensure that every part of your mouth has been cleaned.
- Too much pressure. Brushing your teeth too hard can cause a wearing down of the enamel and can also damage your gums. A smart toothbrush will tell you when you are being too hard on your precious teeth.
Sometimes, the smallest changes make the biggest differences. If you are having trouble maintaining dental hygiene, consider getting one of this gizmos. They are also great for kids who need a little motivation and entertainment to keep their teeth clean.
Choosing the Best Smart Toothbrush: What to Look For
1. Comfortable design
One of the biggest challenges facing makers of smart toothbrushes is keeping the device comfortable enough to use while also incorporating the all the new technology needed to make the toothbrush “smart”. An uncomfortable toothbrush is not exactly a motivation to brush one’s teeth often.
While you may not be able to hold a toothbrush when buying online, a good look at it should tell you whether it is comfortable enough to hold and use for at least 2 minutes. User reviews can also be a great source of insight.
The comfort issue also includes the top part where the bristles are. Most dental experts advise that a good toothbrush, “smart” or not, should have soft bristles. They are the best at cleaning gums and removing plaque from teeth. Also, check that the head has a comfortable design that can easily fit in your mouth and reach all the teeth.
Other comfort issues to consider include the length and shape of the toothbrush.
A smart toothbrush must have some sort of connectivity to your Smartphone. The best connectivity is one that uses Bluetooth. A wired toothbrush that requires a physical connection to your device is not the most comfortable to use. Check that the wireless connectivity is strong enough and will not keep dropping off intermittently.
Once connected to your Smartphone, you should be able to control various features and view details regarding your brushing session.
3. Easy to use
Traditional toothbrushes are easy enough to use. You squirt a gob of toothpaste on the bristles and get to work cleaning out your teeth. Things can get a little bit challenging with smart toothbrushes. Now, it’s not just about putting toothpaste on the brush. You have to power it up, connect it to your Smartphone, open the right app and then start brushing. Even after that, you have to understand how the app works and how to get the most out of your smart toothbrush.
A good smart toothbrush should have a quick learning curve such that you are adept at using it after just the first brush. Look out for smart toothbrushes that focus on being high tech but forget about simplicity and functionality. If you require a full 30-page manual to learn how to use it, you are better off with your old toothbrush. All the instructions should easily fit on the label.
4. Easy to maintain
It goes without saying that a smart toothbrush requires slightly more work in maintenance than a traditional toothbrush. However, in keeping with ease of use, it should not be a hassle to maintain. It should be easy to clean, recharge and troubleshoot.
5. Extra features
Some smart toothbrushes come with extra features that make brushing a whole lot more fun. Some for instance, connect to an app that gives you helpful tidbits on dental hygiene as you brush. Some apps will also give you access to important news of the day while others will simply entertain you. Also look out for extra features such as reminders, dental checkup calendar and dental health tracking.
Kids’ toothbrushes are especially loaded with a load of features to get them motivated in cleaning their teeth. The toothbrush itself could emit sounds or lights or the connected app could engage them in a game that encourages them to brush thoroughly.
Top Smart Toothbrushes
1. Oral-B Smart Series
Oral-B is a dental care brand selling a wide range of toothbrushes for adults, kids and special dental conditions such as painful gums. Their entry into the high-tech toothbrush industry comes in the form of the Oral-B Smart Series. The series includes three smart toothbrushes; the Pro 5000, Pro 6000 and Pro 7000.
- Oral-B Pro 5000 – this electric Bluetooth-enabled and rechargeable toothbrush comes with 5 cleaning modes; deep clean, daily clean, gum care, sensitive and whitening. A pressure sensor warns you when you are brushing too hard while a timer alerts you every 30 seconds to switch to another location of the mouth. Uses 3D cleaning motion that oscillates, pulsates and rotates for superior cleaning.
- Oral-B Pro 6000 – This is similar to the Oral-B 5000 but is sold only in specific countries including UK and Netherlands.
- Oral-B 7000 – this German-designed wonder provides hundreds of movements per second and comes with 6 cleaning modes; whitening, deep clean, daily clean, massage, sensitive and tongue cleaning. It is especially designed to be waterproof.
Toothbrushes in the Oral-B Smart Series work wirelessly with a Smartphone app to provide real time guidance on teeth cleaning. The guide will tell you how long you should keep brushing and the areas you should focus on.
The app keeps track of your cleaning habits and will even offer a helpful reminder to change your brushing head for maximum cleaning efficiency.
This made-in-France smart toothbrush combines the best of technology to create an elegantly smart toothbrush that makes brushing fun and easy not to mention thorough. To start off, it is made using a super light weight body for superior handling and comfort. At 2.5 ounces, it is one of the lightest electric toothbrushes in the market. The body is designed to be slim and easy to handle.
The toothbrush is equipped with intelligent software to ensure the best cleaning possible. It comes with inbuilt 3D motion sensors including an accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer. All these motion sensors track your brushing and work together with the intelligent software to improve it. For a thorough cleaning experience, the brush vibrates over 15,000 times per minute, giving it superior ability in removing plaque.
For kids, the motions sensors send real data to an app, which responds with fun interactive games that motivate and guide children in brushing their teeth better. For adults, the app has a coach to provide easy brushing guidance.
A single button on the handle is used for all control functions including powering up/down and connecting wirelessly with your Smartphone. Connectivity is achieved through Bluetooth 2.1. Once connected, you need to open Kolibree’s app, which is compatible with iOS 8 and beyond and Android 4.2 and beyond.
Other features include swappable brushing heads, a 16-evels game for kids, an educational coach app for adults, qualitative and quantitative data to guide your brushing habits and optional dentist interaction.
The toothbrush is available on Kolibree’s website for $149.
3. Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum
Another great option is the Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum rechargeable toothbrush. It has three cleaning modes, ensuring that you choose the one that is best for your needs. The three modes include cleaning, whitening and gum care. Each mode customizes the brush’s function and performance for that specific need. You can also choose the cleaning intensity of your choice; low, medium and high.
The advantage of all these options is that you get an experienced that is perfectly customized for you. Whether you have sensitive teeth, gum problems or stubborn plaque, you can set the toothbrush to do what you want.
The brush head itself is design to deliver the best performance possible. It has extra long bristles that reach deep within the teeth to get rid of any bits stuck there and leave your teeth gleaming. An innovative technology uses reminder bristles that change from a deep blue to a pale white color to signify that it is time to change your brush head for continued thorough cleaning.
The toothbrush also features Phillips’ unique Sonic technology that delivers a superior cleaning performance compared to traditional and electric toothbrushes. Like other smart toothbrushes, it includes a pressure sensor to warn you when you are going too hard. The warning comes through a gentle vibration.
Other features include a 3-week battery life, a timer to guide your brushing sessions and a travel case for the frequent travelers.
The Philips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum smart toothbrush is available at $180.For kids, there is Philips Sonicare, which comes specially designed to help their little teeth stay clean and strong. The Sonicare for kids comes with Bluetooth connectivity, 500 strokes per second cleaning action and an interactive cleaning app. It is for use with kids three years and above.
Look for smart toothbrushes that have interchangeable heads. This allows you to easily insert a new head when the other gets old and worn out and cannot clean as efficiently as it used to. Some smart toothbrushes even have innovative indications to tell you when you should get a new brushing head. Phillips has color-changing bristles while Oral-B uses the connected app to keep you updated on when to make a change.
Your priority when choosing a toothbrush is to find one that is comfortable and easy to use. Then look for the one that provides the best “smart” features. Also consider the price; some manufacturers demand a lot of money for no additional value. A good smart toothbrush should cost between $100 and $250.
Smart toothbrushes have yet to hit the market fully. That is why only the major brands like Phillips and Oral-B seem to have made a foray into this area. As such, choosing the right toothbrush can be a little challenging since the options are so few. Hopefully, our comprehensive guide has taken you close to making a decision.
We expect that in the next few years, far more options will become available as smart toothbrushes get mainstream. We will see more high tech features, better performance and increased connectivity. Until then, what we have is good enough to make a huge improvement in your dental hygiene habits.
Are you already using a smart toothbrush? What is your experience? Feel free to leave your comment below.
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