I thought that electric toothbrushes had reached their peak and couldn’t become any more advanced, but the Oral-B SmartSeries 5000 proved me wrong. The SmartSeries 5000 is highly effective and would be extremely useful for people with pre-existing periodontal disease; however, I found it to be a bit over-engineered for my own use.
Like many of Oral-B’s high-end electric toothbrushes, the SmartSeries 5000 comes with a SmartGuide. This wireless LCD screen operates as a clock when it’s not in use, and acts to maximize brushing performance when the toothbrush is in use. It displays a four-quadrant timed chart that ensures that each quadrant of the mouth is brushed evenly, and it gives a smiley-face indicator after the user has brushed for the dentist-recommended two minutes. (The smiley face winks after two and a half minutes and grins after three.)
The SmartGuide also reveals the setting of the toothbrush, which can be adjusted with a single touch of a button. The SmartSeries 5000 has the Clean, Gum Massage and Polish settings found in the other Pro Performance toothbrushes, but it is set apart by its powerful Deep Clean setting, which offers a thorough between-tooth scrubbing unmatched by any other home toothbrush. I was surprised to find that the Deep Clean setting completely eliminated all traces of plaque from my teeth and gums, but didn’t cause me any pain or inflammation.
The Pro Performance line of Oral-B toothbrushes are unique because of their interchangeable brush heads, which can be selected and paired with a toothbrush setting to meet the needs of each individual user. For example, I enjoyed using the ProWhite brush head with the Polish setting; the combination worked well to whiten my teeth without the use of any harsh chemicals. Someone with delicate teeth and gums might use the ExtraSoft brush head on the Sensitive setting, and a person with chronic gingivitis may benefit from the soft Precision Clean brush head with the gum massage setting. The SmartSeries 5000’s customizable nature makes it an excellent choice for almost any consumer.
Despite all these perks, I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the SmartSeries 5000. I like having clean teeth, but I don’t necessarily need a toothbrush that winks at me when I’ve brushed for two-and-a-half minutes or sends me a computerized message when it needs a new brush head. This technology could be extremely useful for someone with tooth decay, gum disease or a physical disability, but I’ve never felt that my old-fashioned, low-tech toothbrush was inadequate. I don’t need a “smart” toothbrush with its own internal computer– I just need one that cleans my teeth effectively.
I would highly recommend the SmartSeries 5000 and the other Pro Performance toothbrushes to someone for whom conventional toothbrushes have failed. Since I have never had gingivitis, cavities or any physical difficulty brushing my teeth, I think that ordinary toothbrushes have served me well. However, a person with pre-existing periodontal disease could benefit tremendously from the customizable, high-tech nature of the SmartSeries 5000.