Oral-B Genius toothbrush feels and sees what you can’t – Review


The dental team at Edmonton’s Southgate Dental Centre, is thorough, very thorough, and they care. At each checkup and cleaning visit, I get sage technical and non-technical advice along with the usual words of wisdom but also words of warning about things like regular flossing and proper care of my teeth. And it’s usually my hygienist who’s just a little more scolding than the dentist. The truth is she’s pretty much always right and on my last visit I heard something particularly different.

“You’re brushing too hard,” she declared, adding that it’s not only damaging the enamel on your teeth, it can also cause your gum lines to recede.

Dr. David Gabriel, DDS digs in for a closer look

Ouch. I had no idea. I vaguely recall something like that years ago, blamed my toothbrush and switched to a soft bristle.

But obviously, it isn’t good enough.

The good news is, there’s now an app (iOS and Android) to help you with that. Of course it can’t do it by itself, so it gets a little help from a friend, a new funky hi-tech electric toothbrush, the Oral-B Genius Pro 8000. So for the sake of keeping my pearly whites healthy, I’ve taken it for a test drive to help get me A+ on my next visit.


We have looked at previous Oral-B products here at Canoe Tech Blog and some models did have companion apps, but this one’s the first “kit” that integrates direct use of your smartphone’s selfie camera as part of your daily oral care. I call it a kit, because in addition to the toothbrush, it comes with a smart charging travel case that not only recharges your toothbrush, but also your smartphone or other low power 5V USB devices, with a single plug. There’s also your traditional stand-up charger with a case to hold your various brushes along with a suction-cup smartphone holder, which we’ll talk about later.

High Tech Handle

At first glance, it looks pretty cool and the handle is comfortable to hold. The back has a nice rubber grip; on the front you have rubberized power and pairing buttons. And instead of a series of status LEDs, you have a vertical column of icons, making it easy to tell which of the six brushing modes you’re in. The modes include: Daily Clean, Gum Care, Sensitive, Whitening, Pro-Clean and Tongue CleaningIt also has a Bluetooth indicator so you know you’re connected as well as a battery status light to let you know how much power is left. On the upper portion of the handle is a translucent ring which serves as a 360° multi-colour lighting system, used for both alerts and brush customization.

I have to admit, this brush is pretty techie, but what it does for your teeth is what makes it pure genius.


Alleviate Excessive Pressure

You already know I’m guilty of excessive brush force, but I guess I’m part of the 93% of people, according to Oral-B that do so and most with up to twice the suggested pressure. To alleviate that, the Genius 8000 has built-in Triple Pressure Sensor Technology. It’s designed to monitor pressure on your teeth and shows you visually when you’re overdoing when the brush’s ring glows red and by an app alert. If that doesn’t get you to back off, your brush head will automatically slow down and thus reducing the pulsations and the pressure.


We’re supposed to brush our teeth for at least two minutes each time, but most of us rarely do that. The Genius 8000 has a built-in Professional Timer that not only tracks time, it can visually guide you to what quadrant of your mouth you need to focus on and tell you when it’s time to switch.

Brush Every Square Inch

Now after brushing every which way for two minutes or more, you might figure you’ve covered every square inch of every tooth, but you may be wrong. But to really be sure, instead of just 30 seconds in each quadrant, you can brush using the new Position Detection Technology. How it works is that the brush unit contains motion sensors. Using the phone holder, mentioned earlier, you mount your smartphone on your bathroom’s mirror, and using video facial recognition technology via your front facing (selfie) camera, together they track where you’re brushing and where you’ve brushed. Meanwhile a blue image appears on your smartphone and gradually turns white as you brush a particular area. When the blue is all gone, you’re good to go.

Challenge Yourself

If you need a little motivation for what can be a mundane twice daily routine and are a perhaps a little into gaming, you can take on a Brushing Challenge, whereby the app can track brushing scores and stats and score you based on how well your brushed and even keep track of your continuous streak of brushing, flossing, tongue cleaning and even rinsing. If you’re so inclined, you can also socially share that info with your friends and even your dental care professional. If you prefer to be a little more private, you can still export your stats and activity, preview and even e-mail a PDF of your data. In fact if you’re brushing data is important to you, you can set up an Oral-B account to back it up and even use it with other compatible apps. If you just need something to do while brushing, you can also be entertained having news, weather and sports pop up on the bottom of the screen.


I mentioned earlier, the brush, depending on need, can be set to different modes. One mode, new to the Oral-B line that may be of interest is the Pro-Clean mode. Using the rounded brush, which acts like dentist utensils, instead of a typical brushing method, this mode, surrounds the tooth and interacts with you as you clean each tooth one at a time.

In designing this new model, it’s apparent that designers realized that oral care is more than just brushing one’s teeth. It also involves brushing the tongue, flossing, perhaps rinsing with mouthwash and guidance from your care professional. Oral care needs are unique for every individual and they can also vary depending on their own particular situation.


Dental Care Journeys

Your dentist might say you need to focus a little more on your lower front teeth. No problem. You can set the parameters in the Focused Care option to add extra brushing time in a particular zone. But you can go deeper than that. Your big audacious goal might be plaque fighting or fresh breath or gum health. Or maybe you want your teeth to be just a little whiter for an upcoming special event.

This is where the Dental Care Journeys come in. It offers a program of specific recommendations and even products to meet your needs. It starts with setting you up with a pre-programmed routine customized just for you. Take whitening for example, the app starts by asking how long you wish to take, how white your teeth are to start and what specific area you want to focus on. It then tells you what tools you need and gives you your morning and evening routine so you don’t have to remember reach time.

What I really like about the Oral-B Genius Pro 8000, is that it compliments what you’re already doing working towards the ultimate goal of healthy teeth. Yes, the toothbrush is a little techie, but its easy to use, but will likely take a little time and patience to master while you figure out all it has to offer and how, (there’s more than covered here). Once you do, you might find those trips to the dentist a little less painful in more ways than one and maybe even a little easier on the pocketbook.


For me the killer feature is the pressure sensing technology saving those precious gums and as we age they become pretty important. I also like the different modes, although perhaps six might be a little overkill – I think I can properly clean my tongue, but it does offer to let the brush do the work that you don’t have to. Tracking the stats is also cool – I’m one for keeping “stats” similar to getting in my daily 8000 steps and for those who like to be social, the app is for them. I’m also really keen on the journeys. It allows you to set a specific goal, perhaps with the help of your dental care professional, personalize it and help you track it. For me, it’s not only motivating, it’s a reminder as to where I’m heading.

Conceptually, the Position Detection Technology is awesome – making sure you cover all the areas of your teeth, which many of us probably don’t do. However, in practice, for me it’s a little tougher as I have a habit of walking around the house for the 2 minutes while I brush away working keeping my pedometer moving.   So unless I want to carry around a selfie-stick, I’ll have to stay put while brushing. Furthermore, while the position detection is easy to set up, I’m not crazy about having to remount the holder each time and while the technology does allow for a little movement, you really do need to stay within the apps camera frame to get proper results. You also need to ensure that your brush is actually touching your teeth as I was able to outsmart the app into thinking I was done by brushing near the tooth and the outside of my cheek.  On second thought, maybe I can learn to stand still for two minutes – for the sake of my teeth.

I wish Oral-B could invent an image or holographic sensor technology or maybe something that works like a laser projection keyboard that could track your face and sense your teeth wherever they would happen to be. Ok, that might be wishful thinking, but I guess that’s where the innovation starts.Activity

Beats Manual Brushing

Nevertheless, if you haven’t used this type of toothbrush before, it’s totally different from a manual brush.  Rather than the back and forth, up and down and all around movements, this brush uses an oscillating, rotating and pulsating technology to clean your teeth. And it can move faster than your hand/arm at more than 3000 movements per minute. The cleaning method is close to what would happen when you go to a professional but of course that doesn’t replace your semi-annual dental pilgrimage.

If you care about your teeth and want to have them in your golden years or are perhaps a little less than diligent with your daily care, the Oral-B Genius Pro 8000 might be a great investment. It retails for $269.95 and available from most of your favourite retailers. You can also check out Oral-B for more details.

Rating: 4.25 /5

Select photos courtesy Oral-B and P & G Brands.


Greg Gazin is the Real Canadian Gadget Guy, Columnist, Speaker, Podcaster & Author

Technology – Entrepreneurship – Communications

Follow me on Twitter @gadgetgreg or Empire KRED (e)GADGET1.


Read more…at Canoe Tech Blog

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.