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Published on February 17th, 2015 | by Greg


Oral-B PRO 5000 SmartSeries Bluetooth: Wireless Dental Care

It is a simple truth, universally acknowledged, that every single product can benefit from the addition of wireless. We’ve seen kitchen and personal scales that connect to your smartphone, tons of wearables in every shape and size, not to mention all of the speakers and docks, keyboards and peripherals that all have jumped onto the wireless bandwagon. Leading the symphony is Bluetooth, the major wireless protocol that seems to be able to connect just about anything to just about anything else. We might still be a ways from the Internet of Things (the vaunted IoT), and your home automation system probably isn’t yet quite as automated as you want. But at least now you can rest easy knowing your toothbrush can join in the fun.

The Oral-B Pro 5000 SmartSeries Toothbrush with Bluetooth seems to embody both sides of the classic argument about gadgets. On one hand, it’s a logical extension, taking a battery-powered, rechargeable device and adding extra connectivity. But the entire idea might seem a bit silly at first and plenty of folks asked the question boldly: “why on earth would you want to connect your toothbrush to your phone?” Granted, not everyone needs or will benefit from the addition, but the Pro 5000 is well-designed, and works as easily as you might hope. After a month or so of use, our teeth don’t feel that much better or look brighter than a normal electric toothbrush- and we’ve seen plenty of them.

The biggest downside of this model compared to the rest of the Oral-B family is probably battery life- we’ve gotten used to barely thinking about charging our electric toothbrush, especially during travel. But if you’re a multiple-session-a-day user, you’ll pretty quickly need to charge it up. The stand/charging cradle is easy, and handy, but not ideal for travel (a case is included, but the charging system does not appear to be multi-voltage compatible as it won’t accept 220v). Like other top-of-the-line rechargeable dental cleaning systems, this one does have several modes you can choose from: Daily Clean, Gum Care, Sensitive, Whitening, and Deep Clean. It’s compatible with other brush heads too, and though they aren’t cheap, they are widely available. And it’s lighter weight than many others. To use the Bluetooth features, simply download the free app to your compatible tablet or smartphone (iOS or Android with Bluetooth 4.0), make sure Bluetooth is enabled, and then pair the two. If you’re not the sort to take your device with you to the bathroom, it can be tough to remember and change your habits- but if you already do so automatically, then it’s easy enough to unlock your phone, open the app, and they do automatically pair.

The app basically replaces the guide system, which was an external little monitor that showed information about pressure as well as time remaining. It’s all to easy to overbrush, and the instant feedback (and gratification) is nice- no more needing to peer at a small screen. There’s some gamification aspects now too, with awards and trophies, and if you’ve needed a fun reason to be encourage to brush regularly, the Pro 5000 might be just the trick. As always, their “3D Cleaning Action” is quite effective, and you’ll definitely see a huge improvement over a regular analog toothbrush. Plus, even without your phone handy, it’ll still buzz at intervals to help you move between quadrants, and ensure you do the full two-minute routine. Kids should find it amusing, visitors and guests interesting, and adults who like fitness trackers have another thing to measure. All in all, the Oral-B Pro 5000 is a solid rechargeable toothbrush with a feature that sets it apart, and whether it’s worth the price premium is a matter of how much you (or the family) are likely to want to use an app. Available now, online and in stores, for around $125.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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