Does a smart toothbrush really improve your dental hygiene?

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Smart technology is coming at us from all angles, especially for our health. One of the most popular trends is adding some intelligence to our brushing routine. But, is a smart toothbrush really necessary for oral health?

  • In addition to whiter teeth and fresher breath, a smart toothbrush could actually help detect early signs of heart issues.
  • Parents are always looking for ways to get their kids to be healthy. The Kolibree Magik is an intelligent toothbrush that turns brushing into an interactive AR game.
  • Although, not everyone is convinced with this new technology. Having to be connected to your device for another step of the day might just be a step too far.

The current trend of smart toothbrushes isn’t new but it is certainly growing. We’re blasted with TV ads left and right about which toothpaste is best. For years, we’ve bought into these commercials to make our teeth whiter and brighter than ever before. Now, the hardware is catching up. Pairing a toothbrush with an app and the latest technology, we’re getting all the information possible for our pearly whites. Are smart toothbrushes just another way to get the consumer to spend money? Or is this the future of our oral health?

A smarter toothbrush

There’s been a lot of innovation in both directions in the toothbrush industry. On one hand, we’re seeing incredibly futuristic products complete with new technology and app integration. On the other, we’re presented with a back-to-basics eco-friendly approach to help our earth. This leaves us wondering if the recommended twice-yearly visits to the dentist and a standard toothbrush are cutting it or if we need to upgrade to a smart toothbrush.

A lot can be said for technology, though. Brands such as Oral-B and Sonicare are pulling out all the stops in the race to being the best – and smartest – in the electric toothbrush sphere. They, along with other brands, are packing in more features than we could ever imagine:

  • Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 – As a forerunner, this smart toothbrush has its own brain. It caters its abilities to your brushing habits. For example, if you brush too hard, it lightens up its pressure.
  • Colgate E1 with Brushing Coach – What’s better than having your own personal dentist? Having one in your pocket. Using the app on your smartphone, this brush and app guide you along your brushing journey to give you key insights into the brush pressure as well as build-up.
  • ToothShower In-Shower Oral Care Solution – For those looking to multitask, this oral care system hooks up to your shower to provide a truly thorough clean. Best of all, you never need to worry about any mess.
  • Sonicare DiamondClean Travel Kit – In addition to app integration and three extra brush heads, the included travel case also doubles as a convenient charger. It’s perfect for frequent flyers looking to maintain their dental hygiene.
Does a smart toothbrush really improve your dental hygiene?

App integration for a deeper clean

The latest craze

The current trend hitting the crowdfunding shelves are mouthguard-shaped devices that claim to clean your teeth in just seconds. The idea is simple: place the bristle-filled mouthpiece in your mouth and press the button. For 10, 15, or even 45 seconds for some products, the bristles work tirelessly to remove plaque. Here are some of the best that we’ve recently featured:

  • Amabrush Automatic 10-Second Toothbrush – One of the first we featured on Gadget Flow, the Amabrush actually brushes all of your teeth in just ten seconds as the bristles work their way between your teeth.
  • Y-Brush 10-Second Deep Cleaning Toothbrush – Featuring nylon rather than silicone, this powerful brush system is single sided. This means you’ll need to flip it over to brush your other set of teeth. Plus, it comes in four sizes to suit everyone in the household.
  • Kumamoto Automatic Hands-Free Toothbrush – With an FPA-approved design, this small yet mighty brush offers 360 degrees of cleaning to your teeth. It also massages your gums to complete your oral hygiene routine.
  • CHIIZ Sonic-Powered Automatic Toothbrush – Pairing a smart design with sonic technology, this toothbrush is totally hands-free. It stays in place thanks to pressure from biting down and delivers sonic vibrations to remove plaque.

However, the jury is still out on all these seconds-only toothbrushes. Of course, they’ll need lots of real-world testing from both dentists and consumers. At the moment, dentists want one thing to be clear: in addition to brushing, you also need to floss.

Practicality

For many products in our lives, the introduction of technology has tons of benefits. Toothbrushes are no different. Tech upgrades can actually improve your hygiene:

Time: A simple timer to let you know when you’ve hit two minutes of brushing can truly improve your oral health. And, some toothbrushes beep every thirty seconds so each quadrant of your mouth gets the same thorough clean.
Thoroughness: Likewise, an intelligent brush that can accommodate your brushing style ensures you get a deeper and more thorough clean.
App: By connecting to an app, you can keep an eye on your brushing style, progress, and overall health.
Information: With the app at your fingertips, you can give more information to your dentist and perhaps catch oral issues before they become a big problem.

The public test the Oral-B Genius

What the experts say

Even with the smartest toothbrush on the planet, the best way to maintain the best oral hygiene is to visit your dentist every six months, as recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). That said, a more capable brush will undoubtedly keep your mouth cleaner and healthier. A standard non-electric toothbrush does a great job but only if you use it correctly. However, hitting those two minutes of perfectly even brushing is easier said than done.

The argument for an electric toothbrush can even be considered down to its most basic trait: it ensures you brush for a solid two minutes. Some toothbrushes even vibrate every 30 seconds so you can tackle every corner of your mouth.

And, of course, an oscillating, vibrating, jiggling brush sliding across your teeth does indeed remove more plaque as well as reduce gingivitis. For that reason, a standard electric toothbrush seems to be the clear choice. But, they cost an average of about ten times as much as a traditional toothbrush. And, if the initial cost wasn’t enough, you still have to replace the head, no matter the brush, every three months. Add in the cost of a smart toothbrush and the question of whether it’s worth it really comes into play.

You might also want to consider what else the ADA has to say. They actually only list one super smart electric toothbrush in their ADA Product Seal Category: The Oral-B Genius Pro 8000, a Bluetooth-enabled toothbrush complete with intelligent sensors and an app. It’s so smart that it even compensates for your poor brushing habits.

Interactive brushing with Benjamin Brush

Better habits

For some, an upgrade in toothbrush doesn’t need to be all about app integration. Sometimes, an improvement in design or functionality is all it takes to make our lives easier and healthier. After all, as long as your technique is down, a non-smart toothbrush can be just as useful.

  • Goby Premium Electric Toothbrush – Providing an all-over clean, this innovative toothbrush comes with a subscription plan to replace heads every one, two, or three months.
  • Benjamin Brush Smart Music Toothbrush – For kids (as well as your inner child), this incredible toothbrush brings music to your routine. It’s great for ensuring you brush for a full two minutes (or however long your song is).
  • ISSA play Hybrid Electric Toothbrush – With sonic pulse technology, this simply designed toothbrush is complete with an antibacterial silicone coating for total cleanliness.
  • Be. Battery-Free Electronic Toothbrush – Using the power of your movement, this toothbrush gets power from kinetic energy. With a couple simple twists, the brush operates for 80,000 brush strokes.

Cleaning has never been easier

Final thoughts

Although there are tons of benefits and features of smart toothbrushes, they may not be all that practical. You may find out more information about your teeth sooner than your traditional brush-using partner, but the result would be the same: a trip to the dentist for any problems.

If the price isn’t a problem for you, we’d definitely recommend opting for a smarter toothbrush. Something like the Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 offers unprecedented insight. With more knowledge about your mouth, it can only lead to healthier habits and choices. (Along with regular visits to the dentist, of course).

But, make sure you read all the reviews for details you may overlook. Some electric toothbrushes have been found to be too noisy to be worth the benefits.

The Gadget Flow Daily Digest highlights and explores the latest in tech trends to keep you informed. Want it straight to your inbox? Subscribe now.

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Meet Ashley Timms

Ashley Timms is the Editor in Chief at Gadget Flow where she gets to write about the most incredible products in the world. When she’s not writing, she’s producing fine art dog photography.

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