The Oral-B Professional Healthy Clean Precision 5000 with SmartGuide does an excellent job of cleaning and is easy to use once you get the hang of it. It's loaded with lots of snazzy features, but the bells and whistles may not be necessary. We chose the Oral-B Professional Healthy Clean Precision 4000 (*Est. $100) as a Best Reviewed product because it performs as well as the Precision 5000 in professional tests, is well liked by users and costs less.
Exceptional cleaning. Owners say the Oral-B Professional Healthy Clean Precision 5000 with SmartGuide (formerly Oral-B ProfessionalCare SmartSeries 5000) does an excellent job of cleaning teeth. One user at Drugstore.com says, "You can really feel the difference after just one use." Another says that it helped improve overall gum health after a few weeks of regular use.
Professionals say the SmartGuide, included with the unit, helps to improve brushing technique. Testers at Good Housekeeping, for instance, love the feedback it provides and say it helps them to brush longer. The guide displays time remaining, notifies you when to move to the next area of the mouth and warns if you are brushing too hard. Subjects in one study noticed improved brushing force and thoroughness while using the SmartGuide, compared to using the same toothbrush without the guide.
Some owners, however, say the separate guide is best suited to children learning to brush their teeth and not necessary for most adults. If you prefer a more basic option, the Oral-B Professional Healthy Clean Precision 4000 (*Est. $100) works in the same manner but lacks the SmartGuide feature.
Lasts for years. Users say they are pleased with the durability of Oral-B power toothbrushes, in general. Several owners at Walmart.com and Drugstore.com say they have used Oral-B electric toothbrushes for up to 10 years before needing a replacement. Most say the Oral-B Professional Healthy Clean Precision 5000 seems to be as durable as previous models.
Slight learning curve required. The Oral-B Precision 5000 is loaded with features that owners say make it easy and enjoyable to use. For instance, it has a timer with a quadrant prompt to let users know when to move to the next area of the mouth. It also has an ergonomic handle, making it easy to hold, but testers at Good Housekeeping say it is a bit heavy.
The toothbrush is also travel-friendly -- it comes with a travel case and portable charger. Good Housekeeping says the user guide is confusing, however. Testers say it takes some trial and error to learn how to operate the toothbrush properly.
1. Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice
Review Credibility: Good In this study, the Oral-B Triumph with SmartGuide (the predecessor to the SmartSeries 5000) was found to significantly improve brushing technique over the Triumph alone without the SmartGuide. Subjects got a more thorough cleaning and were more likely to use appropriate force with the SmartGuide than without it.
Review: Impact of a Novel Power Toothbrush with SmartGuide Technology on Brushing Pressure and Thoroughness, K. Janusz, et al., 2008
2. Good Housekeeping
Review Credibility: Good In Good Housekeeping's roundup of electric toothbrushes, the Oral-B ProfessionalCare SmartSeries 5000 earns top marks. Testers say the SmartGuide timer encourages them to brush longer. Some say the brush is a bit heavy, however.
Review: Best Electric Toothbrushes, Editors of Good Housekeeping, Not Dated
Review credibility: Good Nearly 125 reviewers at Walmart.com give the Oral-B ProfessionalCare SmartSeries 5000 an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Owners say that it does an excellent job of cleaning teeth, but the extra features (such as the Smart Guide) aren't necessary.
Review: Oral B Professional Care SmartSeries 5000 Electric Toothbrush, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of November 2012
Review Credibility: Good The Oral-B ProfessionalCare SmartSeries 5000 earns an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from nearly 100 owners at Drugstore.com. Users say that it makes a noticeable difference for their teeth, but several say that it's quite pricey.
Review: Oral-B ProfessionalCare SmartSeries 5000, Rechargeable Power Toothbrush, Contributors to Drugstore.com, As of November 2012
Review Credibility: Fair This review of the Oral-B Triumph (the predecessor to the SmartSeries 5000) focuses on the brushing feedback shown on the LCD display. Erik Sofge calls this brush "the best, smartest toothbrush I've ever used," but he does not offer any details about how the brush feels in use or how well it cleans his teeth.
Review: Oral-B's New Electric Experience: The Smartest Brush We've Ever Used, Erik Sofge, Oct. 1, 2009
6. The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice
Review Credibility: Fair This article cites the growing consensus that powered toothbrushes with a rotation-oscillation motion are the most effective in removing plaque and reducing gingivitis. The article singles out the Oral-B Triumph (the predecessor to the SmartSeries 5000) as an innovative product that has proven effective in teaching good brushing techniques and increasing brushing time.
Review: A Novel Oscillating-Rotating Power Toothbrush with SmartGuide: Designed for Enhanced Performance and Compliance, Patricia A. Walters, et al., May 2007