Oral-B, one of the leading brands in the dental health care has shown off a new and interesting product to accompany your twice daily brushing routine.
The Oral-B Guide is a toothbrush charging stand with a difference.
It has Amazon Alexa built-in. Yes, you read that right.
Did anyone really ask for such?
Need or want aside, it is good to see that Oral-B is looking to innovate.
It is a new engaging way to encourage more people to brush their teeth for the correct amount of time.
A manual toothbrush is fine, you don’t need to use an electric toothbrush, although they do tend to clean better.
A manual or basic electric toothbrush might be perfectly adequate, but it is no good if it doesn’t visit your mouth for 4 or so minutes per day.
So this is where Oral-B Guide with Sense technology looks to help.
Take a look at the promotional video below.
So, the Oral-B Guide is a package of products. An electric toothbrush, smartphone app and smart charging stand.
However, unlike a regular charging stand, this one has a speaker built-in and is enabled with Amazon Alexa and is too water resistant.
The idea being, you can walk into your bathroom, ask Alexa to play you some music as you brush your teeth, which should help get you a little more motivated.
You could even ask it to set alarms and control other items in your home, if you have other connected items.
The Oral-B Guide is actually based on the Oral-B Sense smart brushing system. The Guide has the same notification lights on the top of the stand. However, it has been enhanced with the addition of a speaker and Alexa.
On the top of the Oral-B Guide are a number of controls as well as lights.
If you imagine a clock face, to the left side, at the 9 o’clock position there is a ‘-’ icon and on the right side at the 3 o’clock position, there is ‘+’ icon. These are for controlling the volume.
Sitting at 6 o’clock is a play/pause icon with a mute microphone icon above. Rather than being physical buttons they appear to be touch sensitive areas on the unit.
In between these icons, on the outer edge are 4 sections (quadrants) that allow light of varying colours to shine through.
No lights shine through until the toothbrush is in use. As you turn the toothbrush on the lights are activated.
Each quadrant lights up with a white light as you complete 30 seconds of toothbrushing.
Lighting up in a clockwise fashion, the light in the upper right side shines white and then after 30 seconds the lower right side, following around until all 4 are lit.
Essentially, this works in conjunction with your timer in the toothbrush, they act as a visual clue as to how long you have been brushing for and what quadrant you should be focusing on.
With the popular brushing techniques, you spend 30 seconds cleaning each section (upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left) of the teeth.
As an extra visual clue, as you pass every 30 second milestone, the light will blink green as yet another visual clue before turning white again.
If you brush too hard, the lights will turn red, in addition to and visible pressure sensor you may have on the brush handle, to show you that you are brushing too hard.
Once the brushing session is complete, the light will turn green to show you it is complete.
All of this is to coach, encourage and educate you to brush better and more consistently.
In the box with the Oral-B Guide is a toothbrush.
This toothbrush remains in sync with the Guide’s smart charging stand via a Bluetooth connection.
As you might have perhaps imagined, Alexa needs an internet connection to function.
So, what happens is this stand can be connected to your wireless network at home.
Once a brushing session is complete, data is sent from the brush to the stand. The stand then securely transfers this to the cloud, using that wireless internet connection.
Via an app installed on your smartphone, you can then log, review and learn from the data collected.
The app provides useful tips and advice based on your personal brushing habits.
The Oral-B Guide is an Amazon exclusive product, so it is being sold only via them.
At the time of writing it is available for purchase in the USA only at a price of $229.99.
There is currently no mention of the price, or precise availability within the UK or Europe.
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.