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Hands-on Gear Review
Oral-B Pro 5000 with Bluetooth Connectivity Review
Price: $130 List | $99.99 at Amazon
Pros: Great cleaning score, smartphone app for motivation.
Cons: Not the most comfortable
Bottom line: Performed the best in our cleaning test and the app is great at creating habits, but can be a bit rough for those with sensitive gums or small mouths
The Oral-B Pro 5000 is the top scoring model by Oral-B. This brush performed well on our tests, scoring a 65 out of 100. This model is set apart by its exceptional performance in our cleaning test and the addition of smartphone connectivity with a matching app. This helps to track your progress towards brushing goals and really cements the good brushing habits that should be strived for.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
This electric toothbrush was the top performer in our cleaning tests, meriting a fantastic score of 9 out of 10. 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 and we compared before and after photos to assess what spots had been missed.
Our panel missed little to no spots, across the board with this model of electric toothbrush. Other models had a much more varied performance with the panel, but this one stood out with such consistent, good, results.
We also looked at how well each model could remove surface stains. To make a more controlled test, we stained eggshells with coffee for 96 hours, then ran the toothbrush over a tooth-sized section for 120 seconds. We used the Whitening specific mode on the aPro 5000 and then compared the before and after pictures.
As we expected based on our plaque removal test, this brush was tied for the top performance when it came to removing surface stains in our eggshell cleaning test. All in all, this model of brush, as well as its other rotation-oscillation cousin (Oral-B Pro 1000), were the top performers in our cleaning tests, missing the least spots and models that you should strongly consider if missing the least spots when cleaning is of paramount importance to you.
This model of toothbrush has a very interesting feature that we did not find in any of the 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. This strong performance, coupled with the smartphone app is really the crux for why this product won our Top Pick award for Promoting Good Brushing Habits.
While this model had an exceptional performance when it came to our cleaning metric — it came at a cost. The Oral-B Pro 5000 tied for the lowest ranking when it came to comfort, earning a sub-par score of 4 out of 10. We split the scoring for this metric up into 3 parts, looking at the holding comfort, or how the brush felt in your hand, brushing comfort, or how it felt on your teeth, and noise level, or how hard it was on your ears. This brush scored at or below average for each of these, highlighting 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.
Our panel 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.
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 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, contributing to its universally low scores in this metric.
Ease of Use
Recovering from its low comfort score, the Pro 5000 ranked average when it came to ease of use. 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, you cannot this model lacks a mode indicator on the brush itself, only on the 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, but the addition of the extra brush head over dramatically improves the stability. This brush scores about average for ease of use, 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.
Having the second shortest battery life out of all the models that we tested, the Pro 5000 earned a score of 5 out of 10 in battery life. Running this model continuously, it lasted for 70 minutes. This would translate to about two weeks and three days of use when brushing the recommended amount. There is a standard battery indicator built into the brush, using 3 bars to allow you to estimate the life remaining.
The Pro 5000 is not necessarily the best value, having an MSRP of $130. This was a high scoring model but was beat by other models that cost substantially less. Both of our other award winners cost close to half as much as this model.
This is a high performing toothbrush, 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, though it is a little on the more expensive side and isn't the most comfortable we tested
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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