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Colgate And Oral-B Are Putting AI Where You Least Expected it: Inside Your Mouth

By: Vishal Mathur

Last Updated: January 06, 2020, 13:33 IST

Colgate And Oral-B Are Putting AI Where You Least Expected it: Inside Your Mouth

Colgate Plaqless Pro smart electric toothbrush and the Oral-B iO rely on AI and the app in your phone to manage your dental health.

Artificial intelligence is everywhere. Your biometrics are everywhere. But this is one intersection that you probably didn’t expect, at least not this quickly. If you were concerned about your fingerprints or retina scans ending up on some database server somewhere, you better be prepared for a map of your mouth and how well you have brushed your teeth this morning to be an added field in that map. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 in Las Vegas, Colgate and Oral-B, two names well known in the dental care space, have unveiled smart toothbrush. And these pair with your smartphone to add the cool AI tricks to the experience of brushing your teeth.

Colgate has the new Plaqless Pro smart electric toothbrush (try saying that with a mouth full of toothpaste) has a tiny sensor embedded that can detect the plaque build-up in your mouth before you start brushing. The toothbrush pairs with your phone via Bluetooth and you will have the Colgate Connect app in your phone which deciphers that data for you. Colgate insists that this will provide precise information in real time that is specific to each mouth. And that will neatly lead on to the distinct feedback regarding the brushing technique of every individual, based on the data collected. The app will tell you in real time if you’ve missed a spot while brushing, the history of how well (or how badly) you have brushed and customized oral care tips as well.

“The Colgate Plaqless Pro smart electric toothbrush is inspired by that shift and improves brushing efficacy by accounting for an individual's brushing technique and the biofilm buildup in their mouth. And by immediately alerting the user when an area is clean, Plaqless Pro coaches them to brush better, helping both the patient and the oral care provider to build an even stronger partnership in achieving optimal oral health,” says Dr. Maria Ryan, Colgate's Chief Dental Officer. The Colgate Plaqless Pro smart electric toothbrush will go on sale later in the year.

CES already thinks this is great, and the Colgate Plaqless Pro smart electric toothbrush has won the Best of Innovation for Health and Beauty.

Not to be left behind, Oral-B also has a smart toothbrush up its sleeve. Or up its toothbrush stands in the washroom. It is called the Oral-B iO. For starters, what you get with the iO is a motorized brushing mechanism—Proctor & Gamble says this is designed to combine oscillating, rotating movements with micro-vibrations to ensure a deep clean. There is also a Bimodal pressure sensor in the toothbrush, which tells the user exactly how much pressure needs to be applied while brushing. You will need to download the Oral-B iO app on your smartphone, and the company says this will be the bearer of real-time individual tracking and coaching, thanks to artificial intelligence informed by thousands of recorded brushing sessions. There are 7 cleaning modes as well, including daily clean, sensitive and whiten.

“Oral-B iO™ goes beyond being a new toothbrush – it is an innovative brushing technology with a truly sensorial experience that users will feel, hear and see, transforming the act of brushing teeth from something they have to do into something they actually want to do,” said Lisa Ernst, VP Global Health Care R&D, Proctor & Gamble. The Oral-B iO will go on sale in August, and you can even sign up for the waitlist now.

I can only imagine how clueless we must have all been over the years, standing at the washbasin every morning and every night, toothbrush in one hand, a tube of toothpaste in the other, wondering what these complicated things are for! There is no doubt that all the smartness which the Colgate Plaqless Pro smart electric toothbrush and the Oral-B iO bring to the table will be worth it for many, but still, there is a niggling feeling that it’ll be an overkill for most. I may perhaps become a follower.