What’s your dental hygiene routine lacking? Smartphone connectivity, obviously.
We can officially add toothbrushes to the internet of things: Procter & Gamble is now the second company to announce a Bluetooth-enabled electric toothbrush, and in June it will beat the previously unveiled Kolibree to the market by several months. Both brands missed the boat on selling the first smartphone-connected toothbrush, as Beam started selling a non-electric version last year.
The Kolibree was touted as “a FitBit for your teeth” at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. In other words, it will track how often you brush and how well you do it. That doesn’t seem like a product you should spend $199 on, unless you’ve got serious issues with remembering to brush. Proctor & Gamble’s Oral-B brand version seems much the same, though the makers promise it will make your dentist part of your oral routine.
“Dentists always tell us: ‘People do a great job in the week before they come to visit us and in the week after they visit us,” Michael Cohen-Dumani, global associate director for Oral-B, told Reuters. “But nothing can hide the fact that when we look inside the mouth we can see all the areas they miss.” The toothbrush, he said, will allow your dentist to keep tabs—and to tell you which areas of your mouth need more attention. The app will guide your brushing, he said, and you’ll “be able to fully personalize the brushing routine for you,” because you totally can’t do that with a regular toothbrush. The product will cost about $219 in the US and $330 in the UK, which is a lot to pay for a babysitter. But the company says that testing showed an increase from under a minute of brushing time to over two minutes, on average.
As prices fall, we’ll expect everything to be connected to the internet—even our toothbrushes. By the time we can afford them, maybe smart toothbrushes will do something other than tell us to mind our back molars. The company is expected to officially unveil the device this week at the Mobile World Congress. While you’re waiting, check out Oral-B’s ConnectedToothbrush.com for more of this utterly delightful nonsense:
Correction: A previous version of this post stated that Oral-B’s new toothbrush would cost $330. In fact, the company expects it to retail for around $219 in the US and $330 in Britain.