October 2021: Colgate have removed their notification/register interest page on their website. There has been no official announcement to say the product has been cancelled. However, given the time since the announcement and the lack of updates, this looks very likely.
Colgate is a leading name in the dental healthcare space, we have all heard of the brand, haven’t we?!
Well as well known and pioneering as they are, Colgate is a few steps behind the likes of Oral-B and Sonicare with their range of smart toothbrushes.
Now, for those who think there is no need for smart toothbrushes, I will be the first to tell you that they are far from essential.
However, they do serve a purpose and although they might appear like an overengineered solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, these connected and innovative toothbrushes can bring real healthcare gains to those who may struggle to be motivated by traditional techniques and approaches.
Colgate did launch the Connect E1, which is a smart toothbrush and performed ok in my own hands-on testing. But, in truth, it fell a little short of being the polished product it should have been and wasn’t up to the usual standards and value I would expect of Colgate.
Whilst the E1 remains a current product (at the time of writing at least), Oral-B and Sonicare have continued to innovate and up the ante, making it more challenging for Colgate to compete. The Genius X from Oral-B and the DiamondClean Smart from Sonicare have achieved 5 star ratings in our hands-on reviews.
Despite the impressive products already available, this that hasn’t stopped Colgate. They have announced the Plaqless Pro, an innovative new smart electric toothbrush which offers something, I don’t think has been seen before on a toothbrush.
This is a toothbrush that detects plaque.
Yes, you read that right.
And just to be clear, although plaque is the very reason we brush our teeth, this brush is spelt Plaqless (missing the u and the e, normally found in the word plaque).
Brushing the teeth, disrupts and removes the plaque build-up that can be damaging to the teeth and gums is left untouched.
The new Colgate Plaqless Pro has optic sensors built in that detect biofilm buildup in the mouth, so that it can be seen and removed when brushing.
In principle, this sounds like a really simple and innovative idea.
Plaque is the reason we brush our teeth, but we can’t easily see it.
Products like plaque disclosing tablets help highlight areas of plaque buildup, but few of us ever use these let alone daily.
Brushing technique has a lot to do with how well plaque is removed, but if you don’t know that you are brushing wrong or that it is building up in areas you were not aware of, how can we do anything about it.
The Plaqueless Pro is really designed to be a little like an at home coach to help you and me brush better and remove the harmful bacteria buildup that is plaque.
Announced on the 5th January 2020 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Colgate hasn’t given an extensive technical brief or details on precisely what the Plaqless Pro will be like to use on a daily basis, but we do know the following.
A light ring around the neck of the toothbrush is the alert that you and I need. It will light up blue when a buildup of plaque has been detected by the optical sensor.
Once the toothbrush has cleaned the area and no more plaque is detected, the blue light will turn to white, indicating all is good and now you can move on.
Bluetooth connectivity feeds data from sensors in the brush handle to your smartphone, to give a precise and personalised brushing experience.
You essentially get a real-time picture of how clean your mouth is and how well you have brushed.
No details have been released about the battery life, whether there is a pressure sensor onboard or what the warranty might be for example.
Colgate battery life is usually pretty good as is the warranty.
The E1 does not have a pressure sensor, but it does have a 2 minute timer and pacer built-in, so it is highly likely the Plaqless Pro will have this too.
There is also no word on the brush heads and the likely price. Will they be more expensive because of the sensor that sits just below the bristles?
The toothbrush has won the award for Best Innovation, Health and Beauty at CES 2020.
At present, there is no information on the expected price or when it will launch, even though it was announced back in January 2020. You can head to https://shop.colgate.com/products/c-page to see a promotional video as well as register your interest. Based on the events of 2020, I don’t think we will see the Plaqless Pro available for purchase until at least the spring of 2021 and the price is likely to be around £150 I would estimate, based on the technology. However, I hope to be surprised and a price of £100 or less would be fantastic. As soon as it is available, I will go hands-on and report back in a detailed review of what it is really like to use.