LAS VEGAS — When we first encountered a smart connected toothbrush at CES 2016, we rolled our eyes and wondered aloud if we really needed such an expensive toothbrush with an app to monitor brushing habits.
Fast-forward to CES 2020, and what was once a concept from small hardware startups is now being promoted by the biggest players in toothbrushes. Colgate and Oral-B are both here at CES launching new smart toothbrushes: the Colgate Plaqless Pro and the Oral-B iO.
Colgate’s Plaqless Pro claims to have a first-of-its-kind optical sensor technology that detects biofilm buildup in the mouth and provides real-time coaching via the Colgate Connect App.
Not to be outdone, Oral-B’s iO toothbrush offers a smart pressure sensor to identify and guide users to brush in the optimal pressure range and a smart display that offers coaching and motivation during your brushing session. The Oral-B iO App claims to use artificial intelligence analysis of thousands of recorded brushing sessions to craft its brushing recommendations.
Pricing for both toothbrushes has yet to be determined, but a representative from Colgate indicated that the Plaqless Pro will likely be in the $250-to-$300 range.
There is even a toothbrush on display that uses radio frequency vibrations to loosen and remove plaque and tartar. The $300 Silk’n ToothWave isn’t available in the U.S. yet, but it claims to be the only toothbrush that can remove stubborn impurities attached to your teeth.
Electric toothbrushes are popular and admittedly I am a fan of my own Sonicare toothbrush, but whether app-based toothbrush coaching will ever take off is certainly debatable. As a reminder, somewhere around $3 does get you a regular toothbrush that can be quite effective to maintain dental hygiene.