Bluetooth is a wireless connectivity option that many of us are now familiar with.
It is most widely used with smartphones and computers as a way of connecting peripherals like speakers, headphones, mice, keyboards and more, without the need for physical cables.
The 2 components communicate with one another through a wireless data connection. This connection acts as in principle like a phone line might for humans, except the communication is between 2 pieces of technology.
Continued innovation has in recent years brought Bluetooth to the electric toothbrush, allowing you to track your brushing habits and much more.
The brushes have Bluetooth
This is a list of current and past models that have had Bluetooth technology built into them.
- Sonicare For Kids Connected
- hum by Colgate
- hum kids by Colgate
As you can see from the list above there are quite few toothbrushes with Bluetooth built-in. This tech was available in select brushes nearly 10 years ago, but it is only really since 2016/17 that it has begun to become more common and desired.
Why buy a Bluetooth enabled brush?
This is a very common question and a valid one.
The primary reason for such is that technology allows for a new, exciting, engaging, and smarter way for users like you and me to get more information on how we brush.
Brushes can track precisely where the toothbrush is in the mouth, what teeth we have and have not brushed and for how long.
This data is sent back to what is usually a free app from the toothbrush manufacturer and presented in a simple and understandable fashion within the app.
Understanding just how well or not we do brush allows us to make improvements, that should, in theory at least, allow us to take better care of our teeth and gums.
More of these apps now compare the data with other data sets they hold and your own previous brushing data to give more useful feedback and constructive tips on how to further improve.
In the long term, this education will help you have a better oral healthcare regime.
Whilst it depends on the brand and application, there are also other features to the apps. For example, many make it easy to purchase replacement brush heads and do offer personalized brushing journeys to help achieve your own goals.
I don’t want Bluetooth on my toothbrush
If you do not want such a feature on your brush that is quite ok.
Some do see this as a gimmick, a new fangled piece of tech and unnecessary.
Nobody has to use it or indeed buy a toothbrush with it, but it does offer an option for some.
It is particularly appealing to those who are used to a lifestyle centered around their smartphone and how it improves their life.
There are still plenty of toothbrushes that do not have Bluetooth built-in, these tend to be cheaper too.
Bluetooth tends to be in the more premium models that command a higher price point. These often bring other features and benefits too.
Even if a brush you have or want to buy has Bluetooth, you do not have to use it. It is optional, but the feature is there should you want to make use of it. And if you do use it, you can stop at any time.
Which brand offers the best Bluetooth electric toothbrush and experience?
The answer to this question is somewhat personal and depends on how you rate features and performance — we give a detailed answer, with recommendations by category, in this post.
Oral-B are the pioneers within this space and offer the biggest range of brushes, that are more often than not available for less than Sonicare, its primary competitor.
It has been a fairly tightly fought race between Sonicare and Oral-B.
Sonicare's app feels a little cleaner and more intuitive and less data heavy.
However, the Oral-B app and technology are much better at tracking the position of the toothbrush, particularly since the introduction of the iO. Oral-B does too retain more historical data than Sonicare.
The best electric toothbrush with Bluetooth is the Sonicare 9900 Prestige It is stylish, powerful, cleans well and offers lots of features.
Most electric toothbrushes and associated apps are geared to work for one user only.
For example, if 2 people shared a Bluetooth enabled brush handle, the brush would track 4 cleaning sessions in a 24 hour period. By default, it would then sync these 4 sessions to the app assuming it was the brushing data for 1 user.
Oral-B has addressed this issue to a point, but it is far from an ideal solution at this stage, in my opinion.
In order to maintain correct brushing records for each individual’s brushing statistics, the automatic synchronization of cached brush data needs to be turned off.
This is completed in the app, by navigating to the 'More' menu and following 'Your Brush'>'Sessions'>'Automatic Session Sync' and moving the slider to the “off” position.
With this setting disabled, all users can use the one brush handle in combination with their individual smartphone and installed version of the app. However, any brushing events that take place in the absence of the app will not appear in their statistics and will be lost.
Essentially what this means is that 2 or more users can make use of the Bluetooth connectivity and tracking on their own phone, as long as they have their phone within Bluetooth range every time they brush, to allow for the immediate syncing of the tooth brushing data to their phone.
Another option, perhaps more expensive, but less hassle is to consider either the dual handle packages Oral-B offers.
In these packages, you get two brush handles. This will potentially mean rather than sharing brush handles, each user will have their own, and you will only be sharing the charging stand and other included accessories.
Now each user has their own brush handle, their own cleaning data can be recorded and shared to their own mobile device for performance review, without the need for the phone to be in range every time you brush.
What are the apps like and how do they work?
The smartphone apps are ever-changing, particularly as the new toothbrushes launch. Frequently small tweaks and enhancements are being made.
Admittedly as more brushes are launched the apps are updated more rapidly and enhanced to make better use of the technology available today.
I have written a post that explains Oral-B’s Bluetooth connectivity and looks at the more popular Oral-B app in more detail.
Sonicare and Colgate have developed their apps to also be suitable for children. Both have games/stories that help educate and encourage kids to brush better, just like the app does for adults, but with a greater level of interactivity.
Sonicare and Oral-B have an entirely separate app for kids, whilst Colgate has built this into their regular app.
It is worth consulting a review of the specific toothbrush you are using or interested in to see what the app does and how it works.
Below you will find a number of screenshots from both different brands applications that gives you an extra level of insight as to what you can expect.
Sonicare for Kids
Download the apps
To date, all brands with the exception of Colgate offer an Android and iOS app for users. The compatibility of the app with different smartphones and tablets will vary.