Optimised for teens with fixed braces
One of the most affordable ‘smart’ brushes, the Oral-B Teen is a slim handled brush that cleans the teeth really well.
Although the smart features are arguably not needed it has the dentist recommended features and both teens and adults can gain a lot from this toothbrush. If you make full use of what it offers.
- Slim handled brush with good grip with interesting design
- Multiple cleaning modes
- 2+ week battery life
- Bluetooth can be valuable to the most committed users
- No travel case, which would be ideal for target audience
- Not easy to tell which cleaning mode is selected
- Bluetooth connectivity isn’t essential and adds to the cost
More cost effective alternatives
The Teen is essentially a rebadged Oral-B Smart 4 4000. In fact, usually it is better value for no compromise.
If you desire smart features, you are better off investing in models like the iO Series 5 or 6 which are capable of tracking the exact position of the brush in the mouth, so you can take immediate corrective action for optimal brushing results.
But, you can too save a reasonable amount of money by opting for the Oral-B Pro 3 3500, which doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity.
It does have a travel case in the box and multiple cleaning modes. It cleans the teeth just as well.
You don’t get an ortho brush head as standard, but you can buy these separately.
We like it because it offers great all-round performance and value. It is our top pick for an Oral-B toothbrush and is the most recommended model of our best electric toothbrushes.
|Oral-B Pro 3 - 3500||19,365 Reviews||£100.00 £44.99||View on Amazon|
Design, usability, clean & general use
Packaging is designed to catch our eye and it is clear when you compare this to other Oral-B boxes, extra attention has been paid to try and appeal to teenagers.
Social vibe is probably the best way I can describe it, with emojis, #smartcoaching on the front and even ‘Xpress yourself’ on the side of the box.
Smart the box is, I am more interested in what’s inside.
In case you missed the ‘What’s in the box’ section above, you get:
- Braun Oral-B Teen rechargeable toothbrush
- Charging station
- 2 brush heads (1 x Sensi UltraThin & 1 x Ortho)
Before I begin talking about the brush in more detail, I just want to make mention of a few things regarding the box contents.
It is a CrossAction, Sensi UltraThin or a 3D White brush head that tends to be the standard brush head Oral-B include with an electric toothbrush.
In this instance an Ortho brush head is included.
This is designed specifically for braces with quite a unique bristle pattern.
Personally I see why Oral-B have done this, because statistically it is the teenagers that have braces and are more likely to benefit from such. But I do in a way feel it is a bit of a generalisation of this demographic. To be fair it is a relatively cheap brush head that can’t be ignored if not required.
Something I really do feel Oral-B have missed a trick with here is including a travel case.
I speak from first hand experience, having worn braces in my teenage years that there were many times I needed to take my toothbrush with me and a travel case was a welcomed accessory.
Brace wearers typically need to brush a third time in the day and this could be whilst as school or college and therefore the brush has to come with them. A case protects the brush in a bag, reducing the chance of damage or accidental activation.
Perhaps I am overthinking it, but even if it added a few extra pounds to the price it would have been worth it.
You can buy them as accessories, but it is just a little extra hassle to source and works out a bit more expensive.
Would you agree with my way of thinking? Let me know in the comments.
To the brush itself then and how it works.
This Teen brush is just like the Oral-B Smart 4 4000, so there is a lot to like here, both technically and aesthetically.
Oral-B have always done, in my mind, a pretty decent job when it comes to the look and feel of the brushes. They do not have quite the premium look and feel of some Sonicare models, but then again they are a bit more cost effective.
The Teen comes in 2 colour options, black and white.
In both instances, the handle is made from a gloss white plastic, finished with a soft touch rubber grip that runs down the front of the brush handle.
It is the colour of this grip that is the main differentiator
To make this Teen model stand out there is a decal/pattern that extends over the vast majority of the grip.
On the white rubber it is a black ‘Zebra like’ pattern whilst the black rubber grip has what I can only describe as a tribal pattern, in a silver/grey colour.
The decal on the black grip does not contrast as much as on the white.
I don’t dislike either and if you are an adult considering this as a cheaper alternative to the Smart 4 4000, then you may well agree with me.
The rubber grip runs top to bottom on the front of the brush handle. There are a series of ridges around the power button that help hold and guide you to the controls of the brush.
On the back of the handle is a harsher but still practical, series of grips. Raised plastic notches, give the fingers sticking points on the upper half of the handle.
For me, these are small practicalities that make a big difference in everyday life.
In the upper third of the brush handle in between the contoured grips is the power button that is white in colour with a grey/black power icon on it. The contrasting colour of the icon helps it stand out against all the White body.
You don’t want a button that is too easily activated or too firm, thankfully that is not the case on the Oral-B Teen. It has a nice resistance when pressed. Not too soft that it can be accidentally activated, but not too firm it is difficult to press. Good even for those with limited dexterity in my opinion.
Sitting a little below the power button, just before the decal kicks in, is a Bluetooth logo, giving an indication to the smart capabilities this brush has.
The lower third of the brush handle has the Oral-B and Braun logo in grey/black as well as a battery and charging icon below them.
These icons are transparent and have an LED light behind them that illuminate at certain times.
There are essentially 2 key parts to the electric toothbrush.
The first is the handle that i have described so far, this has all the clever bits of technology in.
Sealed inside, these parts are protected from water and moisture. This means that the brush is water resistant and can be rinsed under a tap and used in a shower.
The likelihood is that it would survive, but I strongly advise you avoid submerging the brush below water, for example in a bath or sink. A rinse is fine, but the brush does not need to sink to the bottom of a bowl of water.
The second part is the detachable brush head, I will explain a lot more about this shortly.
If you take a look at the very bottom of the brush handle, there is a recess, into which the pin on the charging stand connects to. A charging stand is provided.
The brush does too stand upright without the stand.
Right at the top of the brush handle is a metal prong, this is what the brush head connects to and feeds the power from the brush motor.
Just below this metal prong on the rear side of the handle is the pressure sensor.
Are you familiar with a pressure sensor?
If not, in this case it is a plastic panel that is a red/orange colour, it sweeps up over and down the neck of the handle.
When you brush, sensors within the brush detect if you are being a little firm and applying too much force to your teeth. When it detects this, it activates the pressure sensor.
This means that the LED sat behind the panel lights up. You get a bright red light that you won’t fail to notice.
At the the same time as the LED pressure sensor illuminates, you should also notice that the speed of the brush head will decrease and the sound of the motor will change. This is nothing to worry about. It is programmed to do this, until such time as the pressure is relieved.
You see, applying too much pressure when brushing is a big issue and it causes more damage than you might think. A brush need only skim the surface of the tooth and gums. So, the brush reduces the power to protect your teeth.
Just relieve the pressure and the light will go out and the motor power up again. Just remember to let the bristles essentially glide across the tooth surfaces.
If you activate it often, don’t worry all that much, over time you will learn and avoid doing lasting damage to your teeth. Just imagine if you didn’t have it…
This brush has 3 cleaning modes, they are:
- Daily Clean
Remember the order of these, you will need to refer to this in a moment.
Each of the 3 cleaning modes work slightly differently, with differing levels of oscillations, rotations and pulsations to achieve different cleaning effects on the teeth.
For example, Sensitive mode reduces the number of movements to be softer on the teeth and gums.
The provided Sensi UltraThin or the Ortho brush head can be used on any of the 3 cleaning modes, but as our Oral-B cleaning modes article explains certain heads are best used on certain cleaning modes.
To activate each cleaning mode, you have to use the power button on the front of the brush.
Remember the list above, this is the order of the cleaning modes.
Press the power button once to turn it on. Daily Clean mode will launch.
Press it again to change the mode to Sensitive
Press it a third time to activate Whitening mode.
A fourth time will turn the brush off.
You can press and hold the button for 2 seconds at any point to power it off.
This makes sense, but there are 2 issues in particular that I have with the way in which this has been configured.
The first is that to change to any of the cleaning modes, you first have to power the brush on and the second is you need to remember the order.
I suspect over time you will learn this, but wouldn’t some icons or LED’s be helpful to show the mode? The more premium Smart 6 and Genius range offer them.
Ideally a way of selecting the mode prior to actually turning the brush on would be the solution.
This is not available, not even on the flagship Genius 9000.
Most Sonicare brushes allow you to do this though.
Another small but significant thing to remember is; put the brush in your mouth before powering on and changing modes otherwise the toothpaste might go flying across the room.
Buy the Genius 9000 and although you have to power the brush on to change the cleaning mode, if you have changed the mode, it will remember it. Next time you power the brush on, it will begin in that mode. The Oral-B Teen does not do this.
I understand why though. If it did, there is no way of showing what mode it is on, unless you make use of the app.
When using the Bluetooth connectivity, the app will show the cleaning mode. I will explain the connectivity option in more detail shortly.
Despite the criticisms of the way in which the cleaning modes are presented, I do love the clean that an Oral-B brush offers. Studies have suggested Oral-B’s oscillating and rotating technology is superior, but there are studies to that side with Sonicare.
It is a little harsher/aggressive feeling than a Sonicare or Colgate brush. Whilst this is not exactly the best way of rating a clean of the teeth, it really feels like it has done something.
The handle offers some 16 days of battery life and is lightweight.
When the battery built into the brush begins to deplete, the charging icon will flash red.
It would be nice if you had a green light to suggest a good amount of remaining charge or yellow for less than 50% for example, but no such luck.
Even better would be a little LED display that showed the exact battery percentage (%). Or in the case of the Oral-B Teen, the app picked up the information.
The battery icon will flash green when the brush is on charge.
In the box with the Smart Teen you get 2 styles of brush head. These are the Sensi UltraThin and the Ortho head.
The Ortho head is one of the more specialised brush head styles available, specifically engineered for braces.
There is a range of more than 6 different styles of brush heads you could use on the Teen.
They are all interchangeable, which means you can select your preferred head and use it with any of the cleaning modes.
These heads work on all Oral-B electric toothbrush handles.
To fit or remove the brush head simply align the metal with the hole in the shaft of the brush head and push the two together until you hear and feel them clip into place.
Pull the two apart to release them.
It is important for your oral health to replace your toothbrush head every 3 months or sooner if your bristles are frayed.
Official Oral-B brush heads are recommended and they all have something known as indicator bristles. These are blue coloured bristles that will over a 3 month period gradually discolour.
When they are a very pale blue or white it is time to change. It is a clever reminder system.
Most cleaning modes on this brush run for 2 minutes.
If you did not already know, this is the globally recommended brushing time. 2 minutes, twice a day.
If you didn’t know this or are guilty of not brushing for as long as you should, the brush can help in 2 ways.
The first is the built-in timer and quadpacer.
Imagine your mouth broken up into 4 sections. Upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left.
You should spend 30 seconds cleaning each section. The pacer helps you keep an even brushing time on these 4 sections.
At 30 second intervals, the brush will provide an audible warning via a slight pause in the brush motor at to tell you to change quadrant. Once the 2 minutes are up 3 brief pauses in the brush motor will be heard and felt.
The brush continues to run, unless you turn it off. Unlike other brands, this does not turn off automatically after the cleaning mode is complete.
Brushing for the full 2 minutes is very important, but just as important if not more so is the right technique. Make sure you learn how to clean your teeth properly.
The second was in which it helps is through the more powerful Bluetooth connectivity and smartphone app.
The idea behind this connectivity is to essentially be a little like having a dentist or hygienist looking over your shoulder saying good, bad, brush for longer, you missed a bit. It is about education for better cleaning rather than telling you that you have got it all wrong.
To take advantage of this, you need and Android or iOS smartphone and Bluetooth 4.0 on your phone.
Download the appropriate app and install it on your phone.
As good as the app is, I feel this is too one of the negatives as some will not see the point of using it or find it more hassle than it’s worth. You don’t have to if you don’t want to.
If you feel you won’t use it, you may want to consider if the Pro 3 3500 is for you.
It takes a bit of practice to get in a routine of having your phone with you when brushing. If you forget it or don’t have it to hand, don’t worry. The handle will store the data for the last 20 cleans and sync this to the app, the next time it connects.
It is also worth knowing that the Bluetooth connectivity works only for one user. If you share the brush handle with a partner, this will mess up the data. If you and other family members all want to track with the app, you need your own brush handle.
The app is very comprehensive with lots of options. It gives you all you need though to not only effectively brush your teeth, but to log the cleans and motivate you.
There are features like integration with your calendar so you can see your days agenda, news, tips and tricks, so you stay interested when cleaning your teeth.
At times I have found these distracting, you may want to customise the settings to avoid some notifications.
You can also set personalised modes which can disable cleaning modes on the brush handle too.
Sadly the app does not show the battery power of the brush handle.
The main feature of the app is the on-screen timer and guide that shows you where to brush and how well you have brushed.
Here is another slight problem with the Oral-B Teen. The lack of a place to hold and view the app when brushing.
Oral-B relies on you holding your phone I guess. More premium models like the Smart 5 come with a smartphone stand included in the box. It gives a place to sit the phone and have it sat at the ideal viewing angle.
The idea being, launch the Oral-B app, site the phone in the stand and you can now see the timer and how well you are cleaning, plus all the useful advice.
In the unlikely event something go wrong, there is as standard a 24 month warranty is provided with the Oral-B Teen.. This covers the battery too. Register the brush online and you get an extra 12 months at no extra cost, so 36 months or 3 years in total.
One final thing to be aware of is that there is a money back guarantee on offer from Oral-B. It is essentially like a trial, whereby you can buy and try the brush. Should you not like it you can return it for a refund. This is particularly useful if you are unsure whether an electric toothbrush is for you. Find out more about it here.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Slim and comfortable brush to hold and use
- Looks good
- 3 cleaning modes (Daily Clean, Sensitive & Whitening)
- 2 brush heads included (1 x Sensi UltraThin & 1 x Ortho)
- Alternative brush heads available
- Need to switch the brush on to change cleaning modes
- No way to easily tell which mode is being used
- Built-in quad pacer and 2 minute timer tells you when to change quadrant and finish brushing
- 16 day battery life, but no percentage indicator for clear feedback of remaining power
- Bluetooth connectivity with app for logging and coaching
- Not all will find the app useful
- No smartphone stand or travel case included
- Water resistant and can be used in the shower
- 2 year warranty as standard, register online for a free additional year
- Money back guarantee option for 30 days
In years gone by, the battery life in an Oral-B electric toothbrush was acceptable but really fell a little short of the competition.
Thankfully in the last 18 months or so things have improved, mostly thanks to the adoption of Lithium-Ion batteries.
This Teen brush has a rechargeable battery built inside.
It is not user removable, but on a full charge will give what Oral-B claim as 2+ weeks battery life.
What this means is you can generally get 16 days of use from the brush. That is 32 cleaning sessions of 2 minutes in length or 66 minutes of brushing time.
Our hands on testing has achieved as much as 20 days (40 brushing sessions), but the power of the brush does decrease a little as the last remaining power is drained from the battery.
16 days is good, but Philips Sonicare still typically last longer with 3 weeks (21 days) being the average.
On the brush handle are 2 icons that light up, a battery icon and a charger icon.
When the battery is low, it is the charging icon that will flash red.
To replenish the battery, sit the brush handle on the provided charging stand, connect it to the power and the battery icon will flash green.
Made of plastic, the charging stand has a prong on the top, this aligns with the recess on the base of the Oral-B Teen.
This charger has a power cable complete with a 2 pin plug that will typically connect to a power socket found in a UK bathroom. This is not a European plug.
The charging stand is rated for 220-240v.
With the use of a 2 pin to 3 pin adapter, it can be connected and recharged from a standard 3 pin socket.
It usually takes up to 15 hours to recharge the brush fully. It is a relatively slow charge that is pushed to the brush via the charging stand, so it is perfectly safe to leave the brush on here at all times when not in use.
In fact, the circuit in the brush actually cuts off charge when complete so as not to overcharge the battery.
Summary of battery life
- Newer Lithium-Ion battery technology used
- 66 minutes of usage time or 16 days usage based on 2 cleans a day
- Can be left on the charger
- Takes up to 15 hours to charge fully
- A 2 pin (UK bathroom) charger is included in the box
- Status icon flashes green when charging and red when battery is low
- Charging stand supports 220-240 volts
- Competition still offer up to 3 weeks usage
Price & where to buy
I have included links to buying options here at the start of the review.
In the section below, I discuss the price more generally and in relation to similar products.
£79.99 is the suggested selling price for this electric toothbrush.
Here in the UK (and many other countries around the world) the reality is that rarely do brushes actually sell at the recommended retail price.
The UK’s oral health care space is particularly discount-heavy, with many brushes selling for 40, 50 or even 60% below this price.
This Oral-B Teen is no exception.
Typically it sells for approximately 50% less at £40, but retailers have sold it for as low as £30.
Prices do vary depending on when and where you buy it, but from what I have seen there is a little less volatility in the price of this model in comparison to some others. If I were to generalise, the cheapest prices tend to be available online rather than in stores found on the high street, but that probably comes as little surprise to you.
I paid just £35 to acquire it.
Given the fact that this has Bluetooth technology built-in and therefore is a ‘smart electric toothbrush’ at the time of review it is to my knowledge the cheapest and best value brush of its type from a leading brand.
For those who really want a Bluetooth enabled brush, this is a bit of a steal really considering what you get.
It pains me a little that Oral-B sell the Smart 4 4000, which is technically the same toothbrush for on average £20 more, but it actually has a retail price of £120!
Here at Electric Teeth, to get a good idea of the value, we work out an approximate cost to own the brush over a 3 year period.
This gives us a bit of a benchmark as to the value of the Oral-B Teen in comparison to other toothbrushes available today.
In addition to the outright purchase of the brush handle at £40 on average, the cost of replacement brush heads must be factored in.
Required every 3 months, replacement heads can be purchased in packs of 4 and are priced on average between £11 and £14.
One of the benefits with the Teen is that you do get 2 brush heads included. 1 is the Ortho style head which might not be suitable for you, so some value may well be lost here.
Using the average cost (based on one user) and ownership over 3 years (the same as the warranty period (if registered online)), the Oral-B Teen will cost £70 or 6p per day to own.
This price does exclude the cost of water, toothpaste and electric to charge it. This price also works on some assumptions, but you get a rough idea.
The Smart 4 4000 that I have mentioned would cost £90 or 8p per day.
You can bring the cost down further if you were to share the brush handle (not the brush heads) with other members of your household.
Or consider brushes without smart functionality.
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.
Summary of price & where to buy
- Recommended retail price of £79.99
- Generally available with 50% or more off RRP; circa £40.
- Live price comparison here
- Works out at around 6p per day over 3 years
- Smart 4 4000 costs £90 or 8p per day
- Share brush handle with another user to extend value
Reliability & long term use
The Oral-B Teen comes as standard with a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty.
Take just a couple of minutes to register the brush online and you can claim an additional third year at no extra cost.
3-5 years tends to be the average life of an electric toothbrush. Many do last a lot longer, but with electrical circuits and a rechargeable battery built-in, there is always a little risk of failure.
Of course, it would be great if they lasted forever, but sadly, this is not the case.
With a long history of electric toothbrush production Oral-B know how to build a brush that should remain reliable for a good few years.
Hands on with the Teen has given me no reason to doubt this reputation and I have no concerns over the reliability of this toothbrush.
All told, for the price, there is little I can complain about with the Oral-B Teen.
Slim in hand with a great clean, reasonable battery life and built-in Bluetooth connectivity, this is the best value ‘smart’ toothbrush on the market today.
I do think an opportunity was missed by failing to include a travel case, but these can be purchased separately.
What is essentially a rebadged and repackaged version of the Oral-B Smart 4 4000, I do think it is perhaps a little stereotypical and generalised to include an Ortho style brush head, put a pattern on brush handle and then rename the brush, Oral-B Teen. However, I cannot deny these things appeal to this segment of the market.
Teen’s and adults alike can gain a lot from this electric toothbrush. If you make full use of what it offers you will have healthier teeth and gums.
But, consider alternatives to save money.
- Height (without head) – 19.5cm
- Height (with head) – 23.5cm
- Width – 2.3cm
- Thickness – 2.9cm
- Weight (without head) – 123g
- Weight (with head) – 129g
All are approximates