Dork Review: Braun Oral B Triumph with Smart Guide 5000

Oralb_Triumph_5000The question is, do you really need to spend £80 on a toothbrush? There’s no point asking me, I’m the girl who spent £100 on a toothbrush. If you ask me, you’re going to get a resounding “yes”.

Why’s that? Because if you spend a decent amount on your toothbrush you’ll have a toothbrush that lasts years and you’ll also have teeth that last years.

Spending £100 on my Philips Sonicare toothbrush was a big decision for me (see my previous post about GHDs), but it was definitely worth it. After all, I’ve made it to 30 without a single filling to my name.

The Oral B Triumph 5000 is in a similar price bracket (at £79.99 or cheaper from Argos) and offers the same level of cleaning expertise. In fact, this one is even fancier than my older model Philips, offering a range of cleaning heads and a special “Smart Guide”.

The Smart Guide is basically a wireless clock that tells the time until you switch on your toothbrush. At that moment, it comes into its own, telling you which part of your mouth you should be cleaning, timing you for 30 seconds on each section and letting you know when you’re pressing too hard. Once your 2 minutes are over, it flashes up a smiley face; make it to 3 minutes and the face starts winking at you.

It’s at this point that you realise your toothbrush is patronising you.

I’m really not a fan of pointless gadgetry. If it’s not beautiful or useful, I just start thinking about the carbon footprint, the waste of plastic and metals and the needless use of the earth’s resources. Yes, things like this really harsh my buzz.

But the fact is, the smiley face worked on me, dammit. Yes, it’s patronising, but I was a teacher’s pet. I crave approval. And the smiley face gives me that approval. I’m aware that this should probably make me more than a little depressed.

There’s also something nice about seeing a countdown for how much longer you’ll need to clean to get your toothbrush’s approval. Whereas my Philips toothbrush just vibrates differently to let me know it’s time to swap (which the Triumph also does) and then switches itself off at the end, the Braun model brings a sense of closure to your dental care routine. It might as well hand me a sugar-free lolly at the same time.

Gains points for

  • Sucking me in with a gimmick against my better judgment
  • Doing a really good job of cleaning my teeth
  • Being much easier to clean than the Philips Sonicare, which gets snarled up with all manner of unpleasant goo.
  • Having heads that can actually be found easily in supermarkets and chemists (unlike Philips).

Loses points for

:( Being a lot noisier and low-tech sounding than the Philips models. It’s like using an electric screwdriver after using a sonic screwdriver
:( Having far chunkier cleaning heads (a trade off that makes it less grubby further down)
:( I may be sucked in by the gimmick, but that Smart Guide really is a waste of plastic and an unnecessary luxury on a product that already comes with a built-in LCD screen.

Both Philips and Braun make excellent toothbrushes. If you haven’t yet splashed out on a decent brush, treat yourself. You really won’t regret it. Your teeth feel cleaner, the stains really do vanish, and your trips to the dentist will be a whole lot less scary.

Buy from Boots
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Argos

Check prices on eBay

Katie Lee

Dork Adore's Editor! Katie started out life as a tech journalist and blog obsessive, launching the UK's first and biggest blog publishing network, Shiny Media. Favourite dork things: knitting, crochet, Press Gang, Buffy, Battlestar, Doctor Who and lifehacks.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle PlusStumbleUpon

Hey there, dork

You're a nerd, we're all nerds, let's make something beautiful happen. Sign up for our newsletter. We promise not to use your details inappropriately.

[maxbutton id="1"]


  1. Ben Rose says

    There are 2 elements to brushing your teeth. One is cleaning the teeth themselves and the other is cleaning in and around the gumline.

    The Philips Sonicare brushes are excellent for cleaning teeth. Like a normal toothbrush but with ultrasonic pulses which really help to clean plaque off. It’s easy for anybody to switch to the Sonicare which just makes a quiet hum and has a fat handle.

    The Braun brushes however are noisy but powerful. Combined with the premium “floss action” head, you can polish your teeth well but also clean down under the gums where the more traditional Sonicare bristles don’t go. In real-terms, when my wife switched to Oral B from her Sonicare when we moved in together, her gums stopped bleeding after the first week or so.

    The Oral B brushes should be used differently – more like a floor polisher, you can clean one tooth at a time and slowly move the brushes around the mouth.

    It’s essential you change you brush head regularly, I find mine is dead long before the machine actually tells me to change it. Shop around for a good price, I usually buy in bulk when a good deal comes up on Amazon. The “floss action” brushes cost the most but are worth every penny.

    Another big win is that the Triumph charging stand is fully dishwasher safe. The charger is kept separate to allow for this but also makes the charger very handy for travelling. The travel case is also very easy to clean.

    Finally, if you think the additional “Smart Guide” screen is a waste, there is an identical lower model of Triumph that includes the same handset but no screen – you just use the one on the device itself.

  2. Emma Cossey says

    I’ve had one of the earlier versions of this for a couple of years now and I’d agree that it’s well worth splashing out on.

    My one doesn’t have the winking face though. Is it wrong that I appreciate a wink first thing in the morning?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *