How I Clean My Teeth

No, really, stick with me on this one. Braun / Oral-B sent me a super complicated smart toothbrush and as part of the campaign, I’m going to write about my existing oral hygiene, then share what it was like to use their device for a month. To get into the spirit of things, I’ve decided to do this first post as a tech unboxing and first impressions piece.

Before I do, though, be aware that I have historically used a regular old toothbrush, “soft” bristle, and that I have zero brand loyalty, buying whatever brush is on sale at the supermarket. My belief is that they’re all basically made by the same two or three factories anyway, so if I don’t want to pay for the logo or the design (really? design? it’s a toothbrush) that the bristles and basic design work just fine. Serendipitously, however, the toothbrush I have now is an Oral B.

I’ve also taught my kids to clean their teeth – twice daily – using a regular toothbrush and toothpaste. They do a good job and generally have positive experiences at the dentist, though they continually lobby for powered or automatic toothbrushes. I’m skeptical, but now with this new Oral-B unit, we’ll have to see…

What Braun sent me is, ready for this? An Oral-B ProfessionalCare SmartSeries 5000 with SmartGuide. I can already feel my teeth getting smarter!

I wanted to take a picture of the toothbrush assembly still in the box but my kids got there first. In fact, that’s a general problem with being a Dad: You don’t get to open up your own packages any more. Kind of awkward if you get things that >cough< aren’t really child-appropriate >cough< but that’s another story!

Instead, here are all the basic elements, laid out on my bathroom counter:

Oral-B SmartSeries 5000

Notice the wireless timer on the lower right. That’s the “SmartGuide” and it’s ironic that they ship it in “demo” mode: since it’s been triggered but the toothbrush isn’t powered on yet, I’m seeing an unhappy face.

Hmm… maybe they shouldn’t have that particular display in demo mode? 🙂

Not sure how to hook all this up?

The SmartSeries 5000 comes with easy-to-read instructions:

Handy SmartSeries 5000 instructions

Remember, it’s a toothbrush we’re talking about, not a new navigational computer for your private plane. Sheesh.

Fortunately I’m well trained to ignore instructions, so I just proceeded to assemble the toothbrush as seemed logical and it’s ready to use:

Oral-B SmartSeries 5000 with SmartGuide

Again, the monitor is merrily timing something or the other, but at least I have a smiley face this time, so that’s good.

After letting the toothbrush itself sit on its charging stand for a while, I put some toothpaste on the brush, put the brush in my mouth, then pushed the power on button…

ready to go with the oral-b smartseries 5000

And ya know what? It’s a great toothbrush, powerful, comfortable and really left me feeling like I’d gotten a dentist-level cleaning, even with all the complexity of setting things up.

The timer’s also useful to gauge how long you’ve been cleaning your teeth and the four quadrants of the circle time 30 second intervals, so it’s great at ensuring you don’t skimp on one “segment” of your mouth because it’s less comfortable or more awkward.

I’ll give it a month and see how it works, but so far, I’m very impressed.

The SmartSeries 5000 has a street price of about $110, but Oral-B is offering a $10 mail-in rebate on select power toothbrushes through June 16, 2012. Please visit for more information.

Disclaimer: I wrote this initial review while participating in a blog tour by Dad Central Consulting on behalf of Oral-B. I received the product to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate. Are you a fan of Oral-B? Please check them out on the web:, Facebook: and Twitter: @OralB

5 comments on “How I Clean My Teeth

  1. Thanks for the report, Dave. I’m curious: how many of us/you have multiple “plug in and charge” things inside the bathroom at this point? I’ve recently regrown a full beard for a commercial shoot, so I now have my beard trimmer plugged in, along with the myriad of things that my wife has plugged into the sockets inside the bathroom (a whole 2 sockets), so where would THIS go were I to acquire it? I’m wondering if bathrooms are changing as the needs and “power” wants of the populace change to accommodate things like this.


  2. Great point, Mike. It’s what I hate the most about my bathroom: too many darn wires. I have my Panasonic shaver, with holder, my WaterPik gizmo, the new Oral-B power toothbrush, I got a lotta wires. I imagine that modern bathrooms will be built with outlets *inside* the cabinets and small holes in strategic spots on the counter where you can feed a cord down. Or, someday, inductive power so that wires will be unnecessary. Meanwhile, I suppose I’m just lucky to have an outlet on each side of my counter.

  3. Electric toothbrushes can definitely be great. Although, I am very cautious with them around the gum line. Brushing too hard is known to cause recession.

    I would just suggest caution around the gum line. For the rest of the tooth, it is great for disrupting plaque – and that is the name of the game when attempting to prevent cavities as well as gum disease.

    Did you know that gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss by far? Cavities don’t even come close.

  4. Our routine has been that whenever there is contagious illness happening in the house (e.g. if anyone in the house gets a cold), then everyone’s toothbrushes go into the dishwasher on Sterilize every time the dishwasher is run (usually daily). When one child got braces, an ultrasonic toothbrush was recommended by the dentist. Now the problem is, how to sterilize her brush? I’m not about to put a $79 toothbrush containing electronics into the dishwasher. Ideas?

  5. Good idea, Debra. For the electronic one, could you suspend it over a pot of boiling water so that the head is in the water, but the body isn’t? A few minutes in boiling water should do the trick…

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