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Years ago, my dental hygienist tried to get me to switch to an electric toothbrush. Being a purist and having grown up with a standard, manual toothbrush, I hesitated to make the jump mainly because of how expensive the brushes were at the time. Nowadays, it’s very easy to acquire an electric toothbrush at an affordable price. The trend now is to track your brushing progress through a connected Bluetooth brush. I’ve been presented with many of these options, but have been somewhat intimidated by them because they are so powerful. In order for me to jump on the electric, connected toothbrush bandwagon, I had to be presented with the Colgate E1 Smart Toothbrush.
Colgate’s Smart Toothbrush connects to iOS devices to help monitor your progress and brushing efficiency. The toothbrush ships with its own charging stand, a head replacement, and the brush itself. The E1 toothbrush is actually powered by Kolibree, another type of smart toothbrush. The brush uses Kolibree’s proprietary AI technology, 3-D motion sensors, accelerometers, gyroscope, and magnetometer to track your progress as you brush. The brush uses Bluetooth 4.0 for connectivity to your mobile phone. The brush produces gentle vibrations and rounded bristles to clean effectively while protecting your teeth and gums. It’s very lightweight (only 2.5 ounces) and an impressive 2-week long battery life.
The Colgate E1 Toothbrush comes in a nicely branded, heavyweight box. The walls of the box are reinforced to protect the product inside and it’s clearly labeled so that it can be identified easily in a store. Out of the box, the brush already has a head placed on it and it is pre-charged. Before you get started, you should download the mobile app from the iOS App Store and start your profile. That way, when you get the toothbrush out, you can start brushing immediately. Eager to get started with the brush, I got it set-up as soon as I pulled it from the box. Once your brush is connected to your phone, the app will automatically start collecting data (when you brush of course). To start brushing, you tap on the ‘brush’ icon and select one of the guided brushing methods. There is Coach+, Coach, Go Pirate and Rabbids Smart Brush. The last two options are really meant for little kids to get them excited about brushing regularly, but I will admit that I tried Go Pirate and found it to be quite enjoyable — and challenging as a game.
One of the features I really like about this brush is the guided Coach and Coach+ modes. They really make sure you brush evenly across your teeth and that you brush for the proper length of time, too. I know my biggest mistake when I brush is rushing through it. I try to be thorough, but until I started using the Colgate E1 on a regular basis, I didn’t know how much I was actually missing. I will still use my manual toothbrush, but typically only in the morning when things move a bit faster than they do at night. Even though 2 minutes isn’t exactly a ‘long’ time, it can seem like an eternity when you are trying to get out the door in the morning. I did try both the Coach and Coach+ modes in the app and found that I liked the Coach+ better. I felt like the instructions were a little more concise. I love the status updates you get from the app and the chart on the home screen of the app that shows your averages. The nice thing about this view is that you can see what areas you need to work on and be aware of as difficult for you to reach.
According to an article by Consumer Reports, electric toothbrushes do have a slight edge over their manual competitors. Truth be told, as long as you are brushing thoroughly for at least 2 minutes, either brushing method can be effective. The study shows that electric brushes reduce the amount of plaque 21% more than manual ones do. I didn’t have an effective way to measure the amount of plaque on my teeth before and after brushing, but my teeth certainly felt cleaner than when I brush with the manual toothbrush. The Colgate E1 is a very user-friendly toothbrush that makes it easy to get started with electric toothbrushing even when you’ve been hesitant to do so in the past. Its retail price is right around $100, which seems to be inline with other Bluetooth connected toothbrushes, but it’s still a high enough price to make you consider whether or not it’s worth the price. For me, I would invest in the Colgate E1 based on its ease of use and lightweight structure. It’s far less intimidating than some other smart toothbrushes and it gets the job done.