Okay so I deviated from the blogging schedule already. You couldn’t really expect I’d last more than 2 days right? Even though I’m quantifying all the words… 

Back in May 2015, I cashed in a good chunk of my Shoppers Optimum points for a Bluetooth toothbrush from Oral-B. (For some reason, I get points on prescriptions that I don’t personally spend money on. So, I cash them in for things like pulse oximeters, dust-proof mattress covers and Bluetooth toothbrushes. Yep.)

Toothbrush = $200. $170 = Shoppers Optimum points. $30 mail-in rebate. Toothbrush = free.

Which is good because $200 is outrageous. But Bluetooth is cool. And the toothbrush itself leaves my teeth feeling super smooth and clean for a good chunk of time longer than a regular electric toothbrush. [I switched from an oral-b electric, battery operated to this. I previously also owned, circa 2000, one of the first (I think) electric toothbrushes available in-your-home from Oral-B, sold by my dentist to my mother for my young-and-with-braces self. Sometime around then anyways. While that one had a two minute timer, there wasn’t anything custom about it–which, there probably is a lot less customizability in regular (non-Bluetooth) brushes all these years later compared to this one (how would you program it? Morse code?)

So, I’ve been using this thing for 47 weeks. I think that’s long enough to give it a pretty thorough review.

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#actuallyridiculous

Here’s the app.

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Welcome screen.

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One other drawback, is that if you don’t input mouthwash, tongue cleaning (I still WTF at that. I do not use this feature.), or flossing immediately, too bad. So if, for instance, I don’t have the app open, I do not have a chance to record these activities. Which seems really silly.

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By the way, I thought the Bluetooth brush would do more than it actually does. All that is, really, is put your toothbrushing stats in a graph so long as you actually sync every 10 sessions. Or else you have gaps, like I do when it deletes the data. It’s like a glorified stats app with a teeny bit of gamification.

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I showed this bit to my dental hygenist at the dentist on Monday and she was like “Oh that’s so cool, it’s for your hygenist!” I laughed. Except I forgot to sync it on Monday, unfortunately. It’s synced now—which is as easy as either opening the app and a) removing the toothbrush from its dock, or b) pressing the mode button (particularly useful when travelling sans dock, as the toothbrush can handle about a week of use between charges. One battery downside, however, is that it does take FOREVER to charge, and it has a bright blue light that reflects all over the bathroom from the mirror and regularly gets a cloth thrown on top of it.)

Now yes, I did say “teeny bit of gamification” up there. 

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THERE ARE BADGES, GUYS. I’ve got the “7 day brushing streak” “14 day brushing streak” (2 times per day. Let’s be honest, it is easy to brush in the morning when you are getting ready to go out. I am doing really well right now at getting the morning—or early day—brush in, but it’s sometimes a challenge when I don’t go anywhere. Because, you know, food is about.) I’m up for the 30 day brushing streak next week. Also to get “professionally approved” your dentist has to use this app to set up your profile. So, is anybody going to actually get that? There are also SECRET BADGES. [They’re called trophies, but do those look like trophies? No they look like Foursquare badges from when Foursquare was cooler than it is now.]

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This is my favourite badge, maybe. Not that the US is very foreign, but I forgot that this app had location services (to find you news and weather to check out while brushing. Nope, not joking.)

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There are also a set of Oral Care Journeys you can do. Except, look, I’m just getting twice-a-day down consistently, I can’t get in too deep yet.
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And for all of you “give me my data” fiends, there IS an export function… unfortunately, it’s practically useless, as you cannot export to .csv. COME ON, ORAL-B. I want to see if enhanced brushing is correlated with stuff. (…I don’t know really. Like what is more likely to make me lapse in the routine of brushing?)

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So have a bit of work to go to be like the Bluetooth brush that I heard about at MedX 2012 that tells you if you’re missing segments of your mouth using Wiimote-esque technology. But whatever. I knew that before I got it, obviously, but still. 

So, I mentioned my dentist appointment on Monday. Well, the good news is, the brush is doing quite a good job (as am I). I may need to set up a focused care routine for the backs of my bottom front teeth, and try to figure out how to get at my wisdom teeth better without gagging like I usually do (…I’m convinced that the dentist’s office has a “gagger” sticker on my file, because as soon as I walk in they address this issue. Although it did earn me a panoramic non-torturous x-ray SOMEHOW for the cheap price of $20 instead of the regular price the receptionist told me of $70. Which I was going to pay because it, like fluoride rinse, makes the whole thing SO MUCH LESS STRESSFUL. I told my hygenist “Good things come in small packages… except when it’s your mouth,” and she laughed. My dentist has previously told me to never let anyone tell me I have a big mouth. Ha.) The bad news? Well, those damn wisdom teeth. Apparently they are in straight and everything, but thanks, teeny mouth, back top righty has a cavity in it because I can’t get the toothbrush in there properly. So, it’s getting pulled, since that’ll be less work in the long run. (“I could pull it… Well, hmm… We could fill it… No, it’s going to be way too hard to get in there to fill it. I don’t think I even CAN get in there to fill it. Yep, I’m right, let’s do an extraction. Good job, I made the right call in the first place.” Bahaha. I was hoping he said to pull it, actually…)

So, post-insurance dentist total? $192, after not being there since August 2014. I thought it would be much worse. (Thanks, mom.) Getting a tooth pulled? $118. It’s not super major work, but underscores why I haven’t yet purchased private insurance, considering I can not die/not go super broke still regardless…

I don’t know how much the $200 toothbrush helped in the fact that I only had one cavity that, like my other cavities, they said I really couldn’t have done much to prevent, but hey… adherence encouraged by a little extrinsic motivation through an app can’t hurt, right?

Just give me some .csv or .xls export, post-brushing additional activities (mouthwash etc) logging, and a reminder to sync maybe (and that magic “you’re missing this part of your mouth” Wiimote tech) and I’ll be 110% happy. But, 95% is pretty okay too.

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