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Hands-on Gear Review
Oral-B Pro 1000 Review
Price: $50 List
Pros: Good cleaning performance, easy to use
Cons: Not the most comfortable, subpar battery life
Bottom line: Second best cleaning performance, but can be uncomfortable for sensitive gums or smaller mouths
The Oral-B Pro 1000 did well in our tests, earning a score of 61 out of 100 in our tests. This toothbrush excelled in our cleaning tests, as well as in ease of use. This, combined with an MSRP of $50 led to the Oral-B Pro 1000 taking home our Best Buy award. This model has a great value, and would be the top recommendation for those shopping on a budget.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
This model was the second highest ranked model in our cleaning test, earning an 8 out of 10 in this metric. This brush uses a rotation-oscillation style brush head, which we found missed less spots than the side to side style brush head in our tests. Our test highlighted how many spots an inexperienced user would miss with each model, and this model universally did well across the board with our panel of testers. Each tester in our panel refrained from brushing for a period of about 16 hours, then chewed a plaque disclosing tablet per the manufacturer's instructions. These tablets visually indicate where plaque resides on teeth by coloring it red, and then scores were determined by comparing the before and after photos of brushing. We used whatever toothbrush head came standard with the toothbrush, in this case the Oral-B CrossAction brush head.
This model was tied for the top scoring position when it came to our stain removal test. For this test, eggshells stained in coffee acted as our proxy for stained teeth, and each model was run for 120 seconds on a tooth-sized area on the shell. This toothbrush did not have a mode specifically for whitening, so the standard mode was used. Below you can see the before and after comparison of the eggshell after being cleaned.
The downside to this increased performance was the majority of our testers found this brush one of the least comfortable, discussed in further detail in the next section.
This toothbrush was tied for the lowest score in this class, meriting a score of 4 out of 10. This score was split between holding comfort, brushing comfort and noise of the toothbrush. The holding comfort consisted of the ergonomic feel of the toothbrush and was evaluated by all of the testers prior to the cleaning test. They did this blindfolded, and had not used or seen any of the brushes before, to capture their true first impressions.
This model has a handle with a glossy finish and a rubberized grip on the front, weighing in at 4.5 ozs. The Pro 1000 was rated as average when it came to holding comfort, but our panel was not pleased with this toothbrush when it came to brushing comfort. The toothbrush head on this model is close to 50% deeper than other models we tested, which led to a noticeable difference when it came to the feel when actually brushing.
This larger brush head was too large to comfortably clean the back molars for some of our testers, as well as made them much more prone to drooling during testing, much to their chagrin. This would definitely be something to consider if you have a mouth on the smaller side, as those with larger mouths found the Oral-B less cumbersome. Even though this brushing head had soft bristles, we noted that the rotation-oscillation style of motion felt more abrasive and aggressive than other models, something that those with a history of sensitive gums felt was a dealbreaker.
This also caused this brush to be one of the loudest that we tested, with a much more "mechanical" noise than the side to side motion brushes. This noise felt decently loud to our testers when using this brush, and was the second loudest brush on the SPL meter. This model measured in at 74 dBa from 2" away, 16 dBa louder than the quietest model that we reviewed.
Ease of Use
This category was set up to assess what was difficult about the toothbrush, and identify issues that would be frustrating enough to stop you using it. The Oral-B Pro 1000 scored a 6 out of 10 in this metric, right in the middle of the pack. This was the most common score in this metric, as inherently this is a relatively simple product, but there were some noticeable points that we identified throughout our testing. Our panel of judges felt this brush came in the middle when it came to its visual aesthetic, with the higher end, toothbrushes receiving the highest marks.
Maintenance was relatively easy with this model, replacement brush heads simply snap on, and cleaning the brush was fairly easy. To test ease of cleaning, we made a dilute solution of toothpaste ("toothpaste gruel") and sprayed this on each handle, and then cleaned each one to find problem spots and hard to reach places. We only had slight difficult cleaning around the power button, but did have some problems when it came to cleaning around the bottom of the brush and at the attachment point for the brush head. This brush was significantly easier to clean than we had originally thought, as the rubber grip provided plenty of grooves to collect grime.
This model was not incredibly stable on its base, somewhat top heavy and easier to knock over.
Having only a single cleaning mode, the one button interface simply turns the brush on and off. This brush does have the standard two minute timer, with 30 second intervals for pacing. This brush also has a pressure sensor to alert you when you are brushing too hard.
Battery life is an important aspect of an electric toothbrush, as the longer it is, the more flexibility and freedom you have. For example, you can feel free to leave the charger at home for short trips, and have confidence that the brush will last the duration of the trip. The Oral-B had the shortest battery life out of any models that we looked at, earning it a score of 4 out of 10. This brush lasted for 44 minutes before dying, or about 11 days (brushing twice a day for two minutes). The battery indicator blinks red when not in use to signal that charging is necessary.
This brush has the best value of all the models that we looked at, earning it our Best Buy award. The Oral-B Pro 1000 has an MSRP of $50, with a 2-pack of replacement brush heads for $22. This model has all the features you need, and nothing extra, perfect for someone shopping on a budget.
This bare-bones toothbrush gave a strong performance, especially considering its price. It gets the job done, and we would recommend it to a friend. The only caveat we found is that people with smaller mouths or extra sensitive gums may benefit from one of the more comfortable models.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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