electric_toothbrushes/oral-b-best-electric-toothbrushes.htm

 
Picture of Oral-B powered toothbrush.

Oral-B Pro 3000

Which are the best Oral-B electric toothbrush models? (Updated September 2017) -

a) Which Oral-B rechargeables make the best choice (effective yet economical).   b) Which features are the most important ones to have?   c) A comparison of models based on features.

Since our Best Sonicares page has been so well received, we've decided to make the same type of features-based/value 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 the best choice in terms of function and value (the Pro 3000), what this page does is take you through all of the options and features that Oral-B brushes 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 review?

This page is primarily geared toward what we consider the needs of the "average" user (which in our mind makes up the vast majority of people who purchase a powered brush).

And we take the stance that they aren't just concerned about product effectiveness but also cost and value too.


Which models do we compare?

Here's a list of all of the Oral-B toothbrushes we've included in our evaluation:

  • Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 (Bluetooth / Brushing App) - ($250)
  • Oral-B 7000 (Bluetooth / Brushing App) - ($220)
  • Oral-B Pro 6000 (Bluetooth / Brushing App) - ($200)
  • Oral-B Pro 5000 (Bluetooth / Brushing App) - ($160)
  • Oral-B Pro 3000 (Bluetooth / Brushing App) - ($100)
  • Oral-B Pro 1000 - ($65)
  • Oral-B Pro 500 - ($40)
  • Oral-B Vitality Floss Action - ($30)
  • Oral-B Vitality Dual Clean - ($30)
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How did we choose these models?

The brushes above make up the entire list of models found on the Oral-B (USA) website on September 22, 2017 on their "Shop Electric Toothbrushes page. (This page did not display any model numbers, nor did the Oral-B website in general.)

Changes from our last update.

If you've used this page before you may have noticed that there aren't really many changes from the last time we updated this page.

  • Some of the higher-end models now come with fewer included brush heads.
  • While the MSRP of all other models has stayed the same, the Genius Pro 8000 has come down $30 in price to $250.

About the prices we show.

The models listed above encompass a wide range of prices ($250 down to just $30). These numbers reflect the MSRP shown on the Oral-B website. (When a price range was given, we chose the highest one.)

While checking all of these models for online availability, we noticed that many retailers sold 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 as we did for Sonicare brushes. 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 is. But make no mistake about it, the model we've selected can be used to brush 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 feature on this page come with 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 and Pro 500 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're supposed to 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 to the user (via various methods with different models: flashing light, brush handle vibrations, phone app notifications) when too much pressure is being applied as they brush. The low-end Vitality and Pro 500 lines do not have a pressure indicator.

[More details about Oral-B brushing pressure sensors.]

c) Rechargeable battery.

All of the toothbrushes we compare on this page are rechargeable. The Oral-B Genius and Pro 6000 models feature a (preferred) lithium-ion type of 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 come with a handle (the part you hold that houses the 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 of head comes initially 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 explain more about replacement options below, and provide specifics and comparisons of Oral-B brush heads here.

In case you don't know, here's 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.

Oral-B Deep Sweep and Floss Action (rotary-style) brush heads.

Picture comparison of Oral-B Deep Sweep and Floss Action brush heads.

Most Oral-b brush heads are rotary style.

Rotary brush heads.

Most Oral-B brush heads are round or oval in shape and create a back-and-forth rotary motion as they work.

This action, combined with the generally smallish size of Oral-B's heads, lends itself to a brushing technique where you clean just one tooth at a time. That's different than with regular (manual) toothbrushes, and sonic toothbrushes too.

We don't mention this issue in terms of a disadvantage but instead as a FYI issue. Some people may love this method because it allows them to focus on each tooth individually so they know they got each one clean. For others, this method may be too tedious and not the way they want to brush.

The Deep Sweep.

As an alternative, Oral-B has designed the Deep Sweep head. It's shaped and used more like a traditional toothbrush. So, with the Oral-B brand 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 one choice with the Deep Sweep. There's not even a miniaturized version of this head for those who need a smaller brush.

It seems to us that the Deep Sweep style really hasn't caught on with users. As compared to just a year ago when this head seemed to be hyped quite a bit, Oral-B promotional materials now seem to place much less emphasis on it.


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 sorting past those models that are loaded up with options that we don't think the average user really needs, or will get much value out of having.

Toward that goal, there are two features that are found on higher-end Oral-B's that we feel warrant discussion.

Picture of Oral-B Smartguide unit.

Oral-B Smartguide unit.

a) 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. (And the phone app too, see next section.)

b) The Bluetooth connectivity / Smartphone app.

This feature puts your toothbrush in communication (via Bluetooth technology) with Oral-B's app that's been installed on your smartphone.

  • 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.
  • Sensor in the Genius Pro 8000 relays to the app places where you have already brushed so it can notify you if you have missed any areas.
  • It displays entertainment items on your phone (news, weather, calendar) for you to view while you're brushing.

[This page explains the use of this option in greater detail.]

Is this feature important to have?

We don't think so. We can see how using it might provide motivation for problem or disinterested brushers, either through its informative or novelty aspects. But in terms of being a "must have" for the average user, we definitely don't feel that it is. You can brush just as effectively whether using the app or not, if you choose to.

! As of 2016 our opinion on the matter is rather moot. All of the better Oral-B's (which includes all of those that even come close to being considered for our best-models list) now have Bluetooth/Smartphone App capabilities.


Paring down our list of Best Oral-B candidates.

Different than in some previous years, cutting those toothbrushes from our list that have nice but unneeded high-tech capabilities only removes one model from consideration.

Off our list.

  • The Pro 7000 with Bluetooth Connectivity (and SmartGuide unit)
 

That doesn't mean we think that the Oral-b brushing app feature is all that important to have. It's just that it's pretty much a standard feature in their lineup now.

Models still in consideration.

  • Genius Pro 8000 (bluetooth / brushing app)
  • Pro 6000 (bluetooth / brushing app)
  • Pro 5000 (bluetooth / brushing app)
  • Pro 3000 (bluetooth / brushing app)
  • Pro 1000
  • Pro 500
  • Vitality
 

Oral-b 2D brushing.

Animation of Oral-b '2D' brushing motion.

The 2D brushing action consists of a back-and-forth oscillate-rotate 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 (superior) "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.

Oral-b 3D brushing.

Animation of Oral-b

The 3D brushing action consists of a back-and-forth oscillate-rotate, and also pulsating, brushing motion.

"Non-contact" brushing.

The pulsing action that Oral-B has 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 generated by the way the brush's high-frequency pulsations agitate the fluids that surround the user's 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 (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 (non-contact) 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.

[Use the following link if you'd like to read more about how Oral-B's work and their brushing settings.


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.

  • Pro 500
  • Vitality
 

This model only features 20,000 pulses-per-minute 3D brushing.

  • Pro 1000
 
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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).

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. (As an example, one commenter below states that their check with support in Australia confirmed that the 1000 version sold there did have 40,000 pulsation / 8,800 oscillation capabilities.)

The list of candidates we're still considering.

Based on just choosing models that feature Oral-B's best brushing action, this is the list of candidates still in contention. We might mention, this is the first year where we've gotten to this point in our discussion and had so many toothbrushes still being considered. They are:

  • Genius Pro 8000
  • Pro 6000
  • Pro 5000
  • Pro 3000
 

(In case you're wondering, all of these models can be used with the Oral-b brushing app.)


Paring down our "Best" list further.

The biggest difference between all of the models still in the running is the number of brushing modes each of them offers. Here are the ones they have:

  • Genius Pro 8000, 6 modes: Daily Clean, Pro-Clean, Sensitive, Whitening, Gum Care, Tongue Cleaning
  • Pro 7000, 6 modes: Daily Clean, Deep Clean, Sensitive, Whitening, Gum Care, Tongue Cleaning
  • Pro 6000, 5 modes: Daily Clean, Pro-Clean, Sensitive, Whitening, Gum Care
  • Pro 5000, 5 modes: Daily Clean, Deep Clean, Sensitive, Whitening, Gum Care
  • Pro 3000, 3 modes: Daily Clean, Sensitive, Gum Care

Which of these brushing modes are important to have?

It's our opinion that most of Oral-B's brushing modes are just novelty features.

Yes, each one does shake or sputter the brush head a little differently. But we simply don't have any faith nor have seen any published research that suggests that when it comes to plaque removal that using one of them is more effective or more efficient than just using the brush in its continuous full-power mode.

We'd take the stance that:

  • For the vast, vast majority of people, they should simply concentrate on removing as much dental plaque from their teeth as they can during the brief period of time they are willing to dedicate to brushing. (Yes, we're of the opinion that most people don't brush often enough or long enough.)
  • And if a person has been really effective in removing plaque from around their teeth (like by using their brush in full-power mode), those additional issues that their brush's other modes address (gum health, whitening, etc...) will likely be taken care of too.

We find it hard to believe that anyone's own dentist wouldn't agree with this opinion too. You should ask.

Which is the full-power setting?

With Oral-B rechargeables, full-power mode is termed "Daily Clean." This is typically the default setting for a brush. And as you can see in our list above, all of our remaining candidates have it.

Other brushing modes that bear mentioning.

There are two brush settings that some models have that might be used as an alternative to Daily Clean. They are:

  • Deep Clean (Pro 7000, Pro 5000) - This setting runs its brush in Daily Clean mode but resets its timer to 3 minutes instead of just two.

    We think that brushing longer is great. But we don't see why you need to go to the expense of buying a particular toothbrush to do it. You can just brush longer using any of the other models still on our list.

  • Pro Clean (Genius Pro 8000, Pro 6000) - Oral-B states that this mode runs the brush head at a higher frequency. That sounds good, and if we owned a brush that had this setting we'd probably tend to use it.

    The catch is, we did a Google search of Oral-B's entire English version website and only found two pages that even made mention of this mode. And that was just as sentence-fragment promotional/marketing blurbs and nothing really detailed or substantial.

    So if Oral-B doesn't seem to promote this as some type of big breakthrough and a major improvement, how can we?


Picture of an Oral-B PRO 3000 electric toothbrush.

Oral-B Pro 3000

Our Best Oral-B list has now been narrowed down to just one model.

The Pro 3000 - ($100)

( Compare Oral-B 3000 prices and deals at Walmart.com and Amazon.com. )

All of our above discussion leads us to the conclusion that the Pro 3000 makes the best buy in an Oral-B. That's in terms of brushing effectiveness and efficiency, cost and therefore value.

It's our pick as the toothbrush that we think cleans teeth just as well as any other Oral-B, at the savings of not having to buy any more superfluous features than you absolutely have to.

Use this link for specific details about the Pro 3000's features (and a direct comparison to other models).

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 still 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, Pro 500 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), 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. [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 models. So if you see another Oral-B 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) Other differences between our "Best" choice and other models.

Here are some additional differences between the Pro 3000 and the higher-priced Oral-B's.

  • The 3000 does not come with a travel case.
  • With higher-end models, their battery indicator gives you some idea of how charged up they are (via 3 little lights). With the 3000 it's more along the line of the brush "is" or "isn't" currently 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 Pro 7000 and 5000 will last for 10 "days" between charges. The 3000 just for 7 days. The Genius Pro 8000 and Pro 6000 for 12 (the only Oral-B's to have a lithium-ion battery instead of a NiMH one).

    If you travel and don't want to take your charger along, this might be a consideration. Also, generally speaking lithium-ion batteries offer advantages over NiMH ones.

  • 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 for this.

    If for whatever reason your brushing routine involves switching from one mode to another, this might prove to be a disadvantage or at least an inconvenience. In the case where you just brush using a single mode (like just Daily Clean, our preferred choice), this difference would be a non-issue.

  • Excessive pressure/Timer indicators - The Genius Pro 8000 and Pro 6000 offer the Smartring indicator, which is easier to visualize from all angles than the Pro 3000's flashing light. But don't forget that Oral-B's also create audible and phone app notifications that signal these same events.

c) Higher-end models seem to have a higher-quality build.

It's our subjective opinion that the top-dollar Oral-B's generally do have a more refined, higher-quality feel. And possibly this is a reflection of how they are designed and assembled.

However in an era of lowest-possible-cost manufacturing and non-replaceable batteries, we're not so sure we really want to invest any more money in any brush than we absolutely have to.

If you do decide to move on up the line, the question would then become which brush to choose.

  • In terms of features alone, we see no advantage in purchasing the 5000 over the 3000.
  • The 6000 does offer some fairly significant enhancements but the disadvantage with choosing it is that its cost is roughly twice that of the 3000, which is quite a step up.

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.

Compare Oral-B prices and current deals on Amazon.com and Walmart.com
Using our referral links supports this website at no additional cost to you.

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.

Have questions?

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:

  • "Try Oral-B for 60 days, starting from the first day of purchase. If you are not 100% satisfied, receive a full refund via pre-paid card. No questions asked."

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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Topic Menu ▶  Powered Toothbrushes

  • Sonicare Toothbrushes Pages -
    • Sonicare models reviewed. - A comprehensive review of the features/prices of all of the current models of the Sonicare lineup. Differences and comparisons between each of the individual product lines are pointed out.
    • The best Sonicare models - A narrative that outlines how to determine which Sonicare model makes the best choice for you. It discusses Sonicare features, which of these features we think are important to have, and which models seem to offer a reasonable manifestation of them.
    • How sonic toothbrushes work. / Effectiveness. - If you're wondering how sonic toothbrushes work and what's special about the brushing action they create, this page explains.
  • Sonicare Features Pages -
    • Brush Heads - Information about Sonicare brush heads, including: What styles of heads are available, in which sizes? Which heads can be used with which models? Comparative cleaning efficiency. How long does a brush head last? Screw-on vs. Click-on design. Standard vs. Compact sizes.
    • Sonicare brushing features - An outline of the various brushing modes different Sonicare models have, and what we think of each of them. It explains the importance of having the 31,000 strokes-per-minute brushing action.
      We also explain details about the Easy-start, Smartimer, KidTimer, QuadPacer, BrushPacer and Smartphone App functions (how they work, what we think of them).
    • Additional Sonicare features - We discuss Sonicare's UV brush head sanitizer in this section. We also explain features and issues associated with Sonicare battery types, charging units, working voltages, battery replacement and travel features.
  • Oral-b Toothbrushes Pages -
    • All Oral-B rechargeable models - A comprehensive review of the features/prices of all of the current Oral-b rechargeable models. Some comparisons between each of the individual toothbrush lines are made.
    • The best Oral-B models - Our narrative outlining how to figure out which model makes the best choice for you. It covers Oral-b features, which of them we think are important to have, and which models seem to offer a reasonable manifestation of them.
  • Oral-b Features Pages -
    • Brush heads - Details about Oral-B replacement brush heads: styles, options, differences. Which are the best ones?
    • Brushing modes - An explanation of the different Oral-B brushing modes found on various models. The importance of 3D vs. 2D brushing action.
    • Additional Oral-b features - Information about the Oral-b Bluetooth/Smartphone app and the wireless Smartguide, as well as what we think of them. Also details about Oral-b brushing timers, quadrant timers and brushing pressure indicators, as well as charging units, operating voltages and battery types.
  • More about electric toothbrushes Pages -
    • Powered vs. Manual toothbrushes - Do you really need an electric toothbrush? This page can help you to decide. Advantages and potential benefits of electrics. What does research say?
    • Rotary electric toothbrushes - Types and brands of rotary-brush head powered toothbrushes (Rota-dent, Interplak, Braun Oral B). Pros and cons of their design differences.
    • The best electric toothbrushes for Senior Citizens. - Elder persons in different age groups, with differing situations, need different features. This page discusses the pros and cons of various models in meeting those needs.
  • Page reference sources.
 
 
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