Drink eight glasses of water a day. Chew your food 30 times. Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day. Growing up we probably all heard these nuggets of conventional wisdom about drinking, chewing, and brushing. Maybe we followed the rules or maybe we didn’t.
You can easily track how much water you drink, especially if you start the day with a full 64 ounce bottle of water; when it’s empty, you’re done. You could also use a smart water bottle like the HidrateSpark. Food chewing is boring, time-consuming if you go for the full 30, and can be a conversational buzz kill when you eat with others. Timing how long you brush your teeth could be easy; just use a timer. But who does that? Wouldn’t it be cool if your tooth-brush could track not only how long you brush but also how good a job you do?
Proctor & Gamble’s Braun group designed the Oral-B 7000 to be a rechargeable electric toothbrush that you can consider your personal dental assistant. The toothbrush, available in black or white, comes with a power handle, five brush heads, a charging base, and a travel case. There are six brushing modes including daily clean, deep clean, whitening, massage, sensitive, and tongue cleaning. The device slows down the speed of the head if you’re brushing too hard which helps prevent wearing away the enamel on your teeth. That’s all the mechanical stuff.
The brushing nanny function of the Oral-B 7000 communicates via Bluetooth to a smartphone with real-time information about your brushing. The Oral-B iOS and Android apps store up to six months worth of data, tracking your brushing time, areas, and modes. If you brush too hard the app alerts you to reduce the pressure. To keep you amused during the two-minute brushing period the smartphone app displays the news, weather, and oral care tips.
You may not feel that you need — or want — a toothbrush that keeps track of your brushing habits. At $200-$220 retail, the Oral-B 7000 is hardly an impulse buy. If your dentist has advised that you need to take better care of your teeth, however, or if you just want assurance you’re doing a good job, this smart Health Tech device could have a role in your daily ablutions. Technology is moving along, but not fully caught up with Mom’s advice. We have smart water bottles and now smart toothbrushes, but still no techy way to keep track of how many times we chew. Stay tuned, though, because chances are good that pretty soon we’ll hear, “Oh yeah, we have an app for that.”