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Smart toothbrushes are expensive. Quip’s model is proof why you don’t need them

Brushing your teeth is a deeply ingrained part of the daily routine for most people. You wake up, stretch, get out of bed, and brush your teeth. It’s the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night. When something is as ubiquitous as that, can a smart toothbrush really make much more of a difference than a normal toothbrush?

Well, yes and no. A smart toothbrush can certainly enhance the brushing experience and give you a deeper, more dentist-like cleaning, but you don’t need to spend a fortune on one. As time goes on and smart toothbrushes become more advanced and complex, their price goes up. I spent some time using Quip’s new Smart Brush, and it has forever changed my mind. Here’s why you don’t need to break the bank on a smart toothbrush.

Still a better clean than manual brushing

There’s no denying the effectiveness of electric toothbrushes when it comes to getting rid of plaque — they’re better than manual brushes. Period. Two of the more popular brands on the market, Oral-B and Sonicare, have shown consumers the advantages of toothbrushes that leverage vibrating brush heads — and Quip’s interpretation is no different. Actually, Quip has been a name in the electric toothbrush scene for a while, but the recent launch of its smart toothbrush shows big improvements to the design.

Once turned on, the brush runs for two minutes, which is the amount of time recommended by the American Dental Association. Every 30 seconds, it pulses to remind you to change position and brush another part of your mouth.The vibrating motor results in a cleaner feeling when you finish brushing, and the timed pulses make it easy to know that you have brushed for the right amount of time that day.

For the most part, the biggest difference between smart toothbrushes is the technology behind the brushing. For example, Oral-B’s top-of-the-line model, the iO Series 9, leverages a fancy magnetic drive system for its brush head, which gives it power to clean and buff away hard-to-get-rid-of debris in teeth. It’s a complex system for sure, but one that you’re paying dearly for with your wallet. Quip’s vibrating brush head may not be as sophisticated, but the results speak for themselves. It gets the job done, and if you brush for the recommended time, twice a day, it’s just as effective at cleaning as those pricier models.

They all track your brushing the same way

We’ve all seen our fair share of smart toothbrushes, so if there’s one thing we can agree to say about them, it’s that they all offer the same promise of tracking and monitoring our brushing — and Quip’s toothbrush is no different.

When you link the brush and the app, the Smart Motor is able to track your brush’s position, speed, and activity to provide more detailed feedback and suggestions on how to improve your oral hygiene. The Quip app is full of content to keep you brushing, including 2-minute-long songs to entertain you while you clean your teeth. The smart brush tracks four primary areas: The duration you brush, the number of strokes per minute, the intensity of your brushing, and your coverage.

Other smart toothbrushes follow this same premise with brushing. Colgate’s Hum toothbrush, for example, offers a similar guided experience. It knows what area you’re brushing and for how long. And on top of that, it’s closely priced to Quip’s brush. On the other end of the spectrum, Oral-B’s iO Series 9 brush is substantially more expensive, but doesn’t offer anything more in terms of tracking. In fact, all smart toothbrushes provide tracking data to help users improve their oral hygiene habits and their overall health.

Incentives to keep on brushing

The biggest appeal of the Quip Smart Brush isn’t the features, but the price. Where other smart brushes cost as much as $300, the Quip is easily affordable by comparison at $50. It also includes a mirror mount and a transparent travel container in the price.

On top of the low introductory price, Quip actually rewards you for good brushing habits. The app has a reward system built into it. For brushing in the morning, you earn one point. For brushing at night, you earn two points. You can also earn bonus points for completing challenges, like a perfect weekly streak that awards 5 points. As these points build up over time, you can exchange them for a wide variety of different rewards.

Even better is that there’s a healthy selection of products to choose from to redeem points on — much more than what Hum by Colgate offers in its online store. For example, you can receive a $5 credit toward a new brush head and battery for 450 points. You can also get a $5 Target e-gift card for 450 points. If you want a Quip tote, that will cost 540 points. There are numerous prizes to earn, but the vast majority are monetary credits toward another purchase. In essence, Quip actually pays you for brushing your teeth.

Between the brushing feedback, reward system, and low price, Quip is a great option for someone looking for their first smart toothbrush. The only way it differs from higher-end smart toothbrushes is in the actual design of the brush itself. Rather than a round head, Quip resembles a normal toothbrush and vibrates side-to-side. It’s not exactly like the dentist, but it’s a close enough at-home experience that your teeth won’t know the difference.

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