Oral-B Pro 5000 with Bluetooth Connectivity Review
Pros: Great cleaning score, smartphone app for motivation
Cons: Not the most comfortable
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
Finishing towards the back of the group, the Oral-B Pro 5000 is far from our favorite. It only really outperformed the Sonicare Essence, which costs almost $130 less and tied with the Colgate Smart E1. The Pro 5000 does the best at cleaning out of this group, but is a bit harder to use and has a relatively short battery life.
In our process of rating and ranking electric toothbrushes, we have bought all the best toothbrushes available on the market in the last two years or so and compared their performance head-to-head. We divided our testing procedure into four weighted rating metrics — Comfort, Cleaning, Batteries, and Ease of Use — with the Pro 5000's results highlighted below.
Responsible for 40% of the total score for each electric toothbrush in our test, our trio of comfort tests is the most important out of the entire group. We had a group of different people brush with the Pro 500, rating how it felt and how it sounded. Additionally, we also gave some extra points if the brush has a pressure sensor to alert you when you are brushing too hard. The Pro 5000 fell a bit flat in this assessment, earning a 5 out of 10 for its mediocre performance.
When it came to actually using this brush, our panel noticed that it felt somewhat rough on its standard setting, but this model does have the option of a sensitive mode. The brush head of the oscillation-rotation style is significantly larger than that of the side to side models, making it comparatively less comfortable when brushing the back molars, particularly for those with mouths on the smaller side.
This brush — and others like it — highlighted a key juxtaposition that we noted throughout our tests: The oscillation-rotation style brush heads fared better in our cleaning tests but felt too aggressive and uncomfortable for the people testing the brush.
On top of that, our testers felt this was one of the least comfortable brushes to hold. They specifically noticed the uneven bulkiness around the handle of the toothbrush and the rubber grip on the front and back, along with a small plastic protrusion at the bottom at main detractors from a nice ergonomic feel.
This brush does have a pressure sensor to alert you if you are pressing too hard, attempting to prevent the damages associated with over-brushing.
Noise levels were exceptionally high on this model, measuring in at 77 dBa from 2" away with an SPL meter. We also noticed that the noise was much more mechanical in nature, especially compared to the buzzing of the side by side models. It also felt similarly loud to our testers and to bystanders, contributing to its universally low scores when it came to noise and tone.
Responsible for close to a third of the overall score at 30%, our cleaning and plaque removal metric is the next most important. The Pro 5000 did very well in this test, redeeming itself a bit from its lackluster showing when it came to comfort.
For this test, each tester on our panel would skip brushing for about 16 hours, then use a plaque disclosing tablet to show where accumulations had built up in that time. They then brushed with the Pro 5000, with scoring based on before and after photos taken from different angles — including inside the mouth — looking for spots where the brush failed to remove any plaque.
The vast majority of our testers missed little to no spots with this brush, even in the hard to reach places by your molars or on the backs of your teeth.
We particularly liked that this brush offered consistently good results across our varied panel of testers, while other models have a much less consistent showing.
This model of toothbrush has a very interesting feature that we did not find in the majority of other models we tested: smartphone connectivity. At first, we will admit that we were somewhat mystified as to why a toothbrush would need to ever talk to your smartphone. However, after actually using the app, we became converts and were thoroughly impressed with it. You are able to set goals and track progress, as well as track your brushing in real time with the app indicating what section of your mouth you should be brushing at that time. The app also awards achievements based on good brushing behavior, has reminders to rinse and floss, as well as provides a summary of your dental hygiene habits each day.
This can also be set up in conjunction with your dentist, to help work on problem areas of your mouth, and really get the most out of toothbrushing.
Ease of Use
Constituting 20% of the total score, the series of assessments that comprise our Ease of Use metric came next in terms of importance. We looked at the effort involved in switching brush heads and operating the toothbrush, as well as how easy it is to clean the brush and if there is a two-minute timer. We also compared how easy it is to store additional toothbrush heads with this brush. The Oral-B Pro 5000 did fairly well, earning a 5 out of 10 for its middle-of-the-road performance. It rates about in the middle of all the toothbrushes that we reviewed when it came to visual appeal and features a quick and simple snap-on/snap-off brush head attachment system.
The Pro 5000 has 5 available brushing modes: Standard, Gum Care, Polish, Sensitive, and Whitening. Unfortunately, this model lacks a mode indicator on the brush itself, meaning you have to cycle through the modes to find the one you want. However, there is one on the companion mobile app.
This brush also comes with a 2-minute timer and quadrant pacing every 30 seconds. It is also possible to customize the length of the timer through the companion app. We did have some difficulty cleaning our "toothpaste gruel" solution from around the brush head attachment area, as well as the power/mode selector button. We also found that this model of brush was one of the least stable on its charging base, being the easiest to knock over. The small base became very top heavy with the toothbrush placed on it. However, there is an additional case that can be attached to the base that holds an additional four brush heads, which does dramatically improve the stability of the base.
This brush doesn't have the most intuitive or user-friendly interface on the brush itself, but it does have a great interface when using the app, making this model a great choice for someone who is happy and comfortable using a smartphone and connecting devices.
For the leftover 10% of the total score, we ranked and judged the battery life of each toothbrush. We ran each brush for a full brushing cycle, morning and afternoon, tallying how many days each brush lasted. The Pro 5000 didn't do terribly well, earning a 5 out of 10 for its mediocre performance.
This brush lasted for 16 days, but it does have a low battery indicator to alert you when the brush is getting close to the end of its life.
The Pro 5000 is a terrible value option, offering tons of features that you probably don't really need at a premium price.
This is an alright brush, delivering a fantastic performance in our cleaning test and pleasantly surprising us with the usefulness of its companion app. We love the ease of promoting good brushing habits and the ability to consult with your dentist to help customize it to your own specific dental hygiene needs. However, its high price tag and low comfort score give us some pause and we don't recommend this brush for most people.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer