- Oral hygiene company Oral-B released a new electric toothbrush that uses AI to improve brushing.
- The toothbrush tracks brushing patterns to give specific feedback when users brush too hard, or miss certain areas.
- An accompanying app lets you set goals and track brushing habits over time.
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Oral-B’s new Genius X toothbrush with AI technology went on sale in October, and I got a test version to try out.
Artificial Intelligence has become available in more household items than ever, from washing machines to ovens to toilets, so a toothbrush isn’t exactly unexpected. AI products are typically more expensive than their non-smart counterparts, and this is no exception. One of the best-selling and top-rated electric toothbrushes on the market sells for $US40, while the Genius X goes for $US220, or as much as $US280 on Amazon.
Oral-B isn’t the first company with the idea to apply AI to brushing your teeth. Last year, Colgate released a $US100 AI toothbrush, which sold at Apple stores.
Oral-B says the AI for its toothbrush has “learned from thousands of brushing styles” to direct users to improve brushing. It tracks areas in the mouth that weren’t brushed enough, and areas with too much pressure, which it displays in an accompanying app.
Here are my thoughts and experiences using a $US200, AI toothbrush:
I opened the Genius X box, which came with body, 3 heads, a charging case, and a manual.
The manual instructed me to download the app, which I did. From there, using it was really straightforward, and I didn’t refer to the manual again.
The app syncs with your toothbrush to store your brushing data. When you brush, you can either have the app open or sync afterwards.
In the beginning, the app takes you through some settings and basic tutorials. You also have the option to connect with Amazon and set up refills of brush heads.
You can set a notification for when it’s time to replace your brush head, which was one of the features I appreciated most.
You have the option to start a “dental care journey” if you have specific health goals you want to focus on. I chose gum protection.
The app asked me to assess my gums, then gave me a daily routine to follow, even telling which brush head was best and adjusting the settings on the toothbrush. This was probably the next best thing to have a dentist personalise a regimen.
Other features seemed less helpful. I couldn’t imagine a scenario in which I would share my tongue cleaning streak on Facebook, for example.
The feedback from brushing was really useful. I found it made more sense to keep an eye on the app as I brushed, which updated in real time to show how I was doing, rather than checking afterwards and feeling like the app was scolding me.
Maybe it’s silly, but it felt weirdly good to have the app tell me I did a great job.
There are also badges you can earn if you do certain things well.
Overall, this toothbrush is definitely more powerful than my $US20-something electric toothbrush, and I like the ability to see the areas I’m missing, but until my dentist tells me it’s life or death I can’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on a toothbrush.
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