Oral-B Pro 3000
Which are the best Oral-B electric toothbrush models? (Updated April 2016) -
Since our Best Sonicares page has been so well received, we've decided to make the same type of features-based comparison for the current line up of Braun Oral-B powered toothbrushes too.
And while we do feel that we've come up with a single model that really does make a best choice (the PRO 3000), what this page does is take you through all of the options and features that Oral-B brushes have to offer. And then explains why (or why not) each of them is important to have, or offers good value, and then which brushes have them.
Who will benefit from our evaluation?
This page is primarily geared toward what we consider the "average" user (which in our mind makes up the vast majority of people who purchase a powered brush). And especially those for whom price and value are important factors.
But even those who have special needs can benefit from reading our review too. By doing so they should be able to pick up enough information to get an understanding about which model makes the best choice for their particular situation.
Which models do we compare?
Here's a list of all of the Oral-B toothbrushes we've included in our evaluation:
- Oral-B Black 7000 with Bluetooth Connectivity - ($220)
- Oral-B White 7000 with Bluetooth Connectivity - ($220)
- Oral-B Pro 5000 with Bluetooth Connectivity - ($160)
- Oral-B Pro 3000 - ($100)
- Oral-B Pro 1000 - ($65)
- Oral-B Vitality Floss Action - ($30)
- Oral-B Vitality Dual Clean - ($30)
Why did we choose these models?
The brushes above make up the entire list of models found on the Oral-B (USA) website on April 4, 2016 on their "Electric Toothbrushes >> View all products" page. (The grid that displayed these names did not include any model numbers, nor did the Oral-B website in general.)
Changes from previous updates.
If you've used this page previously you may have noticed that the above list is much shorter than it has been in the past. In reality, in some ways it is but in others it really isn't.
That's because in previous years many of the available Oral-B "models," having totally unrelated names, were simply the same motorized handle (either precisely so, or at least for all practical purposes) with just a different brush head stuck on it. That may be great for marketing but that's not the way we think customers trying to make a decision should be treated.
With this year's list, some of this same type of foolishness still seems to be going on but to a much lesser extent. (If you find yourself in the situation where you run across an Oral-B product but don't find it listed here, this information may help you to decipher its name and features so you can make accurate comparisons.)
About the prices we show.
As you can see, these models encompass a wide range of prices ($220 down to just $30). These numbers reflect the MSRP prices shown on the Oral-B website.
We couldn't help but to notice that all MSRP's were shown as a range. We assumed that that meant that different (additional) options were available for each model. But when viewing each toothbrush's individual page we could find no evidence of this. (The price we show is the higher end of the range given.)
While checking online for availability, we noticed that many retailers sold each of the models at discounted prices (sometimes significantly so), so be sure to shop around.
Setting the criteria for our Best Oral-B evaluation.
We've set up this comparison essentially the same way we did for Sonicares. In our opinion, the best Braun Oral-B toothbrush models are those that:
- Are the least expensive ...
- feature a "non-contact" brushing capability (we explain below) ...
- can be used with a wide range of brush head styles ...
- and otherwise only have those additional features that the person using the brush feels are especially important to them.
Using these criteria, it may seem that our review is just about which Oral-B rechargeable makes the "best buy," and in some ways it possibly is. But make no mistake about it, the model we've selected brushes just as effectively as any other Oral-B and really is our preferred choice.
Features that Oral-B electrics tend to share.
Before discussing differences, there are some features that Oral-B powered toothbrushes tend to share. It's important for you to know about them both so you'll know what you're getting, and can make comparisons with other brands.
a) Brushing and Quadrant timers.
All of the models we mention on this page feature a 2-minute brushing timer. (The most advanced Oral-B's allow you to customize their timer's duration, see below.)
And all except the Vitality models also feature a Quadrant timer that signals as each 1/4th of the brushing timer's duration lapses (which is typically every 30 seconds).
What's the purpose?
The idea of using a Quadrant timer is that it helps to guide you in brushing all areas of your mouth equally. So every time it signals, you advance to cleaning the next 1/4th of your mouth.
[More details about Oral-B brushing/quadrant timers.]
b) Brushing-pressure indicator.
This feature signals the user when they are applying too much pressure as they brush. [Vitality models do not have a pressure indicator. More details about this feature.]
c) Rechargeable battery.
All of the toothbrushes we compare on this page are rechargeable. According to Oral-B literature, some models run longer between charges than others. (See this page for model comparisons.) The Oral-B Genius models feature a lithium-ion battery. All of the others have a NiMH one.
A criticism of Oral-B brushes in general is that their charging units only operate on 110V (US/Canada models) and not 220V systems. (Depending on the voltage standards in your country, the reverse may be true.)
World travelers may find this incompatibility to be an inconvenience and necessitate purchasing a voltage converter. [More details about recharging Oral-B electrics.]
d) Brush heads.
All of the toothbrushes discussed on this page have handles (the part with a motor) that can be used with any style of Oral-B brush head.
For this reason, in our model comparison we assign zero importance to which type originally comes packaged with a brush. The head is a disposable item and one that you'll be replacing in just 3 months or so anyway. At that time you can select a different style if you want.
We discuss replacement options below, and the topic of brush heads in general here.
Oral-B Deep Sweep and (rotary-style) Floss Action brush heads.
How you brush with an Oral-B.
It's important for you to realize that the way you brush with most Oral-B brush heads is different than you might expect. And this difference may be a determining factor in deciding if this brand is right for you or not.
Rotary brush heads.
With most Oral-B brush heads (the rotary ones) you brush one tooth at a time. That's different than with a regular manual, or even a sonic, toothbrush.
The Deep Sweep.
Oral-B has designed the Deep Sweep head. It's shaped and used more like a traditional toothbrush. So, you do have both options if you want them.
However you do need to keep in mind that while there are 7 styles of rotary heads, you're limited to just the one choice with the Deep Sweep. There's not even a miniaturized version of this head for those who need a smaller brush.
Oral-B features we don't have a lot of interest in.
One of the criteria for picking out what we think is the Best Oral-B is not considering those models that are loaded up with options that might be considered superfluous. And in that regard there are two features that are found on higher-end models that we'll make mention of.
Note: We discuss the Bluetooth and SmartGuide options separately but nowadays these features only come bundled together.
a) The Bluetooth connectivity / Smartphone app.
This feature puts your toothbrush in communication (via Bluetooth technology) with an Oral-B app that's been installed on your smartphone.
- It displays entertainment items on your phone (news, weather, calendar) for you to view while you're brushing.
- It relays the current status of your brush's brushing/quadrant timer, pressure sensor and brushing mode.
- The app allows you to lengthen the duration of the toothbrush's brushing/quadrant timer.
- The app allows you to review details about your brushing history.
[This page explains the use of this option in greater detail.]
Is this feature important to have?
- Some of what this option does is redundant with what your toothbrush signals anyway. And the entertainment aspect of the app (news, weather) can only be considered a novelty feature at best.
- Being able to customize the duration of the brushing/quadrant timer is nice. But Oral-B electrics don't automatically shut off once their standard 2 minute timer has signaled. So you can keep on (seamlessly) brushing for longer if you want. It's just that there's no timer involved.
- The idea of being able to see your brushing history is appealing.
But for the average user, who has a daily habit of brushing their teeth, who brushes until their brush's timer signals them to stop? We could tell you a month in advance what their brushing history will look like.
For the problem brusher we do get how this feature could be a benefit, if it gets used.
Overall, we can see how some people might really enjoy this option. But in terms of being a "must have" for the average user, we definitely don't feel that it is.
Oral-B Smartguide unit.
b) The wireless SmartGuide.
This unit is a small stand-alone LCD screen that wirelessly communicates with your toothbrush.
It displays information about your brushing session, such as the current status of the brushing/quadrant timer, which brushing mode is being used and the excessive pressure indicator.
[This page outlines and discusses the features of this unit in greater detail.]
Is the Smartguide important to have?
It's pretty easy to dismiss a true "need" for having this feature. That's because the information it displays is already relayed to you (although admittedly more crudely) by your toothbrush via various vibrations, lights and sounds.
It's time to take another look at our Best Oral-B candidates.
Not opting for the Bluetooth/SmartGuide feature cuts many of the more expensive models from our list.
Off our list.
- Black 7000 with Bluetooth Connectivity
- White 7000 with Bluetooth Connectivity
- Pro 5000 with Bluetooth Connectivity
Models still in consideration.
- PRO 3000
- PRO 1000
- Vitality (various versions)
Rotary (2D) brushing motion.
"3D" brushing action - This is why you buy an Oral-B electric.
Each Oral-B powered toothbrush either generates the product line's "2D" or "3D" brushing motion.
- 2D movement (oscillating-rotating) is the more primitive of the two. The brush head's bristles rotate back and forth as they scrub the user's teeth.
- 3D movement (oscillating-rotating + pulsating) is a more sophisticated motion and creates an important brushing difference.
Oscillate-rotate + pulsate (3D) brushing action.
The pulsing action that Oral-B as incorporated into its 3D movement adds a second type of cleansing action.
It's called "non-contact" brushing and it's an effect where a toothbrush can dislodge dental plaque in locations that lie beyond where its bristles actually touch. (It's due to the way the brush's high-frequency pulsations agitate the fluids that surround teeth.)
[Sonic toothbrushes create this same effect too. We explain how it works here.]
It's important to note that non-contact brushing doesn't remove as much dental plaque as plain old tooth scrubbing does (bristles scouring tooth surfaces). But it is a valuable secondary mechanism. And for that reason, for our Best Oral-B's list, we're only going to consider models that have it.
Which Oral-B models feature 3D brushing?
Actually, this is only part of the right question to ask. The full question should read, which models offer 3D movement at the highest available frequency?
20,000 vs. 40,000 pulses per minute.
When you evaluate Oral-B 3D brushes, you'll find that some of them can generate up to 40,000 pulses per minute, where as others have a top frequency of only 20,000.
You can think of the latter as a lower power setting. And for our Best list, were only going to consider the high-power models because they make the most effective/efficient brushers.
[If you'd like to read more about how Oral-B's work and brushing settings, use this link.]
It's time to trim our Best Oral-B's list again.
Using our high-frequency, 3D brushing mode criteria, we need to remove some more brushes from our list of candidates. You may notice that it's all of the less expensive models.
Brushes we're removing from consideration.
These models only feature 2D brushing.
- Vitality - All versions
This model only features 20,000 pulses-per-minute 3D brushing.
- PRO 1000
Update - Fact checking.
Our claim here that the 1000 models only feature a "20,000 pulses-per-minute 3D brushing action" is a bit controversial.
- You can find some Oral-B documents and information on retailer websites that agree with this statement.
- But, as one commenter has pointed out below, you can also find online Oral-B and retailer information that instead states that these brushes create the 40,000 pulses-per-minute 3D action (the better brushing motion).
- The current version of the Oral-B website seems ambivalent on this point.
We called the Oral-B Help Line a number of times and asked about this but got conflicting answers. Since with any verbal communication there's always a chance that the other party misinterpreted what was said, we decided to use the "email us" form on the Oral-B website.
- Our written question specifically asked if the Professional Care 1000 and the Deep Sweep 1000 are both 40,000 pulsations per minute brushes.
This is their emailed reply, sent June 25, 2015:
- That’s a great question. The Professional Care 1000 and the Deep Sweep 1000 are actually the same model, they are just packaged with different brush heads. This model has 20,000 pulsations and 8,800 oscillations per minute.
A more recent check.
Later in the year we decided to call Oral-B to confirm this information yet again. We talked to a representative on 11/5/2015 asking if the Pro 1000 and Deep Sweep 1000 were 20,000 or 40,000 pulsations-per-minute brushes.
Their answer was that both are "20,000" brushes. The representative suggested that the confusion possibly stems from the fact that this statement is true for the USA market but may not be for these products as sold in other countries. We don't know or have further information about that.
Oral-B PRO 3000
Our Best Oral-B list has narrowed down to just one model.
- The PRO 3000 - ($100) (Price this and other Oral-b's at Walmart.com.)
Yes, this is it. The PRO 3000 is the Oral-B rechargeable electric toothbrush that we think is the best one to buy.
- All of the higher-end models sport features and options that we don't feel we would spend money on.
- All of the lower-end models feature a subpar brushing action.
- As a side note, this was one of the two brushes this review selected last year.
- Use this link for more details about the PRO 3000.
A rundown on what you're getting with the PRO 3000.
Just because we like the 3000 doesn't necessarily mean that you don't need some convincing. You may still anticipate that another model is still the way to go.
We won't encourage you to consider the PRO 1000 or either of the Vitality brushes due to their subpar brushing action. But as a way of helping you to compare the 3000 with the features of other higher-end Oral-B's (which we consider to be good brushes just not exceptional values), or even other electric toothbrush brands, here's a brief overview of what you get.
a) Multiple brush head options.
One nice thing in general about Braun Oral-B is that they've developed a wide assortment of brush head designs that can be used with all of their rechargeable electric toothbrushes (all of the models on this page are rechargeables). [We discuss Oral-B's brush head line up here.]
That means choosing the PRO 3000 doesn't limit your options as compared to any of the more expensive brushes. If you see another model that comes with a brush head that especially appeals to you, the 3000 can use it too. (This includes the option of using the Deep Sweep head if you're incline to using a more traditional type of toothbrush.)
b) Comparing brushing modes.
The PRO 3000 and higher-end models feature multiple brushing modes.
- We're of the opinion that the average user (meaning the vast, vast majority) are best served just using their brush at its full-power setting.
- We basically consider the other modes offered to be novelties. (We explain our position here, as well as discuss Oral-B brushing modes in general.)
Which is the full-power setting?
- With most Oral-B rechargeables, full-power mode is termed "Daily Clean."
- As an equivalent, "Deep Clean" mode is the same setting. It's just that with this one the toothbrushes timer switches from 2 minutes to 3 minutes (same brushing action, longer brushing duration).
In our opinion, if you switch to any other setting for full-time use, you're brushing at a reduced power level (you can literally hear your brush working at a different pace in these alternative modes). And as a result, you're reducing your brushing efficiency and likely effectiveness too. We don't see the advantage of that.
The PRO 3000 compared to other models.
Here are the brushing modes the better Oral-B models offer.
- PRO 3000 - Daily Clean, Sensitive, Gum Care
- Pro 5000 with Bluetooth Connectivity - Deep Clean, Whitening, Sensitive, Gum Care, Tongue Clean
- White or Black 7000 with Bluetooth Connectivity - Deep Clean, Whitening, Sensitive, Gum Care, Tongue Clean
As you can see, the PRO 3000 only features Daily Clean (full-power brushing action, the brush timer runs for 2 minutes) vs. Deep Clean (full-power brushing action, the timer runs for 3 minutes) as with the 5000 and 7000's.
But just in case you're overlooking this fact, there's no rule that says you can't just continue on using your 3000 for a full 3 minutes too, thus creating a perfectly equivalent brushing event.
c) Other differences between our "Best" choice and other models.
Here are some additional differences between the PRO 3000 and higher-priced Oral-B's (Pro 5000 and White/Black 7000). You may feel that they are important to you.
- The 3000 does not come with a travel case.
- The 5000 and 7000's battery indicator gives you some idea of how charged up it is (via 3 little lights), whereas the 3000's is more along the line of is or isn't charged (2 little lights).
For the average user whose brush is either being used or is on it's charging stand, we're not sure this difference matters.
- The Oral-B website no longer provides a comparison of battery life between its models. But we have found retailer information that suggests that the 7000 and 5000 will last for 10 "days" between chargings. The 3000 for just 7.
If you travel and don't want to take your charger along, this might be a consideration.
- Mode selection - The PRO 3000 has an on/off switch that doubles as its mode selector.
The higher-end Oral-B's have a separate button as the selector. We don't see how that's a great advantage.
- Excessive pressure indicator - Each of these brushes use the same type of light indicator on the backside of the brush that signals when you are brushing with too much force. For the Bluetooth/SmartGuide models, these respective devices will also signal when you are using too much brushing force.
If you want to evaluate these models further.
We know of two retailers (Bed, Bath & Beyond and Target) that usually have demonstrator models of Oral-B and other electric toothbrushes out on display. The items don't actually work, but you can pick them up and hold them to get an idea of what each is like. In our local area, Target had the wider selection of Oral-B models on display.
Need more information?
Just in case you overlooked it, we have a overview of all current Oral-B models and their features on this page.
If you find you have questions about something you see on this page, or Oral-B powered toothbrushes in general, feel free to post a comment down below and we'll see if we can come up with an answer.
Options after you've purchased.
While sorting through Braun Oral-B toothbrush literature, we frequently ran across mention of their Satisfaction Guarantee. What we saw read:
- "If you are not 100% satisfied within 60 days of purchase, return it for a full refund."
We saw stipulations about needing proof of purchase (we assume a receipt) and that you, the purchaser, had to pay shipping on the return. We saw one version of this guarantee that only mentioned a 30-day period.
Obviously we don't speak for Oral-B, so if having this option as a backup is important to you, you should check with them for specific details before you buy.
Double check brush features before you buy.
Just so there's no question about what you're getting, double check what we've said on our pages versus what features are listed on the packaging of the brush you plan to buy. That way there won't be any question that you're getting everything you expect.
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