Which one would we choose?
Both of these ‘Smart’ models are very capable electric toothbrushes that I could happily use on a daily basis.
There is in truth barely any difference between them.
We do pick the Smart 5 assuming you want the more feature rich model.
- The Smart 5 5000 offers 5 cleaning modes (Daily Clean, Gum Care, Sensitive, Whitening & Pro Clean) compared to the 3 (Daily Clean, Sensitive & Whitening) available on the Smart 4 4000.
- The Smart 5 5000 has a slightly more powerful brush motor.
- There is a variant of the Smart 4 that comes with a travel case.
- There is a variant of the smart 5 that offers 2 handles in the box.
- The Smart 5 5000 is more expensive.
These differences are explained at length later in this article. However, you might wish to learn more about each brush being compared. To do so, check out our hands-on reviews:
Please note. Every effort is made to ensure the key differences listed are correct, but these differences are subject to change without notice. Products and the box contents can be changed without notice and different variants can exist.
Detailed comparison: what’s the difference between the Oral-B Smart 4 4000 and 5 5000?
The number of difference between these 2 brushes are very low. It is a wonder in fact that Oral-B even produce the 2 models but they do.
The first difference are the number of cleaning or brushing modes available.
The Smart 5 5000 has 5 cleaning modes. They are:
- Daily Clean
- Gum Care
- Pro Care
The Smart 4 4000 has 3 cleaning modes, 2 less than the 5000. The modes available are:
- Daily Clean
My article on Oral-B brushing modes explains precisely how each mode differs, but in summary, the Smart 5 could potentially be more effective for those that want to achieve a deep clean of their teeth or are focusing on achieving better gum health.
I will be the first to tell you though, that all of these extra modes are not necessarily essential, and for the vast majority, 1 cleaning mode (Daily Clean) is good enough. The Sensitive and Gum Care mode are similar and both would pass as my desired choice for a second cleaning mode that is a little more gentle.
Accessing the cleaning modes on both models is the same process. You have to first press the power button to turn the toothbrush on, then press the power button again to begin cycling through the modes.
Neither brush has any clear indicator on the brush handle to show which mode is selected and you cannot change the mode before turning the toothbrush on.
The next difference is the motor in the brush handle.
Both brushes offer an oscillating-rotating and pulsating motion via the small round brush head.
However, the Smart 5 offers up to 10,500 oscillations and 48,000 pulsations compared to the 9,900 and 45,000 of the Smart 4.
In theory, this means the Smart 5 can clean the teeth better, but this small power difference, in reality, has very little real-world bearing on how clean your teeth are.
These are essentially the 2 key difference between these models.
A couple of things to be aware of is that the Smart 4 4000 is available with a travel case included in the box. Typically this comes at no extra cost, but this is sold exclusively by the Shaver Shop.
Sadly, there appears not to be a version of the Smart 5 with a travel case included.
The Smart 5 5000 is available as a dual handled variant. This is where you get 2 brush handles included in the box.
The package is more expensive, but it may work out more cost effective than buying 2 separate brush handles.
The last difference is the price. I explain this more in the section below, but the Smart 5 5000 is more expensive normally.
In all other ways, the Smart 4 and 5 are the same.
They share the same design, they both have a pressure sensor, 2 minute timer, 30 second pacer, Bluetooth technology, rechargeable battery and brush heads amongst other things.
Does one clean better than the other?
The short answer is no, both clean as well as each other.
However, because the Smart 5 5000 has a more powerful brush motor and additional cleaning modes there is a potential that it can clean the teeth and gum tissues better than the 4000.
But, the difference in cleaning performance is minimal and would be very difficult to actually quantify even for a dental professional.
Even then, our individual oral health has a part to play. As everyone’s teeth are different, what improvements I might get may be different to you, even though we might be using the same toothbrush.
Greater impact or improvement in the overall cleaning ability would be achieved by perfecting your brushing routine.
For example, if you brush twice a day, but for only 1 minute each time, you would gain more improvement in your oral health by increasing the brushing time to the recommended 2 minutes, than you would, opting for the Smart 5 over the Smart 4.
Is one better priced than the other?
Most of the time, the Smart 4 4000 is the cheaper brush, however sometimes offers do come up where the Smart 5 is cheaper.
The recommended retail price is $199 for the Smart 4 and $239 for the Smart 5.
The good news is that both on average sell at around 50% less than retail, so you can expect to pay around $100 for the Smart 4 and $120-140 for the Smart 5.
As both of these models are from Oral-B, the cost of replacement brush heads are the same.
Priced over a 3 year period, owning a Smart 4 will typically work out at $0.15 per day compared to the $0.18 per day of the Smart 5.
Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and will vary based on location, supplier and time of purchase. These figures were correct at the time of writing and should not be relied upon as hard fact, but used as a guide during your decision process.
2 excellent electric toothbrushes, there is barely anything that sets these 2 brushes apart.
Both will be perfectly adequate if you want something a bit more than the basic.
The Smart 5 does just get our pick for the extra cleaning modes and slight power increase.
Ultimately, whatever brush you decide upon, it is you who needs to make the decision; but do so based on which is best for your needs or that of the end user.
Only pay the price you are happy with and do not be led into buying something if it is not right.
Hopefully, I have presented the facts and made the whole decision process that little bit easier.
If you found this useful, have any questions, thoughts or opinions, please leave them in the comments below.