Simply put, Oral-B Sense is a physical product made up of several components. An electric toothbrush, a special charging stand, and a smartphone application.
The Oral-B Guide is also a physical product made up of several components. In fact, it is made up of basically the same components as Oral-B Sense.
The difference is that the charging stand supplied in the Oral-B Guide has an Amazon Alexa enabled speaker built-in.
The Oral-B Guide is essentially the Oral-B Sense product with an Alexa enabled speaker bolted on.
The Oral-B Guide is sold exclusively by Amazon, whereas Oral-B Sense is sold primarily by Oral-B themselves through their own online store.
Not currently available in Canada, the Guide has a typical selling price of US $160 compared to the Oral-B Sense at $119 in the USA.
So as you can see the differences between them are minor. The key difference between them is the inclusion of an Alexa enabled speaker.
It can appear more confusing because if you have read anything about the Oral-B Guide, you will have seen mention and reference or Oral-B Sense.
The Oral-B Sense technology, features and design are built into the guide, just enhanced with the addition of the speaker.
Oral-B themselves describe ‘Sense’ as a connected brushing system designed to improve your oral health.
Or another way they describe it is ‘like a fitness tracker for your mouth’.
What this actually means to you and me….
The premium electric toothbrush is what you use to clean your teeth and gums. As you use it, key data is transferred wirelessly, via Bluetooth to the charging stand for the brush.
This stand is more capable than a typical charger. It has 4 lights around the edge. These lights are designed to relate to the 4 sections of the mouth, known as quadrants.
During a typical 2 minute tooth brushing session, the idea is you brush each quadrant (upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left) for 30 seconds at a time.
When in use, these lights are lit, with a white light, showing you which quadrant you should be brushing and allowing you to easily see when you should move from one quadrant to another.
Once all 4 sections of the mouth are cleaned, they turn green.
And, if at any point you brush with too much pressure, the lights on the stand turn red, alerting you to reduce the pressure.
Once your teeth are brushed and the toothbrush returned to the charging stand, the data collected is transferred securely to the cloud via WiFi.
An application on your smartphone is then updated with this data and any tips, tricks or guidance necessary is pushed to you via a notification on your phone screen. You can learn from this guidance and review the data collected, so that over time you brush better.
All 3 of these things (toothbrush, charger and smartphone) work together to act ‘like a fitness tracker for your mouth’.
Is it worth splashing out on new technology like this?
As you might expect, the answer to this is “it depends”.
For most users I would suggest not.
In this section of our best electric toothbrush post I explain why we rate smart features as “low importance” in the overall scheme of things.
Some will find them useful, but for many they come at an unnecessary premium.
That being said, if you do like to be on the cutting-edge of technology and make proper use of the features, they can be worth paying for.
If you would like to stay up to date with toothbrush technology and get our opinion on which new products we rate as worthwhile, visit our toothbrush technology page or sign up to our toothbrush tech newsletter.