We chose the Oral-B Pro 3000 to test one of the most popular and affordable Oral-Bs on the market. It’s little brother the 2000 is highly reviewed and respected, so we were expecting a lot from this brush. The Pro series combines 3-D cleaning power without a lot of extras to give customers a solid brush without any frills. But how good is it compared to all other Oral-B brushes? Not quite as good as we had hoped, we’re sorry to say.
Oral-B Pro 3 3000
- Powerful cleaning action
- Solid build quality
- Lots of brush head options
- Travel case included
- Low cost
- Uncomfortable for new users
- Dated design
- Very loud
- Average battery life
One Job: Cleaning your teeth
Here at TestHut, we hold our products to the “One Job” standard. When you buy an electric toothbrush, you might be impressed by all the features and gimmicky things it can do, but ultimately we just want to know how well it cleans your teeth.
Oral-B is the only brand that can claim every one of their brushes has the approval of the American Dental Association. They also claim to be the most recommended by dentists, and they have paid for studies to show that their brushes clean better than anyone else. We had high hopes for what this brush could do.
Armed with the Cross Action brush head (their most recent and powerful option), the 3000 made a glorious noise when we first fired it up. The brush oscillates about 9,900 times each minute and pulsates at an impressive 45,000 times per minute. This combined cleaning effect is what they refer to as “3-D” because the brush is both oscillating and pulsating to really give your teeth a good cleaning.
However, none of our testers found that the final cleaning result to be superior to many of the other brushes in our test pool. We felt that the Oral-B does not get into irregular crevices as well as some of the sonic brushes, especially the Sonicare models, and our teeth did not feel as clean. Our plaque tests also revealed this to be true, showing that where surfaces are not smooth, the Pro 3000 struggles to clean.
Cleaning performance test results
Electric toothbrush cleaning performance rated from 1-5 based on test results (higher score is better).
|Toothbrush||CATEGORY OVERALL||Plaque removal (50%)||Feel after cleaning (25%)||Power and amplitude (25%)|
|Philips Sonicare 4300||4.8||5||5||4|
|Philips DiamondClean Smart||4.3||4||5||4|
|Oral-B Genius X||4.3||4||5||4|
|Oclean X Pro||4.3||4||5||4|
|Oral-B Pro 3000||4.3||4||5||4|
|Oral-B Pro 2000||4.3||4||5||4|
Overall, the cleaning was not bad, but this brush was not the best that we tested. Some people like the small, round brush head because it can get to back teeth easier than some of the larger brush heads. Others also prefer the oscillating action to the sonic vibrations of other brushes. However, we found that the noise and volume of the brush did not equate to the cleanest teeth.
Overall, this toothbrush was fighting for the best value electric toothbrush title in our tests.
The Pro 3000 is in the middle of the Oral-B electric toothbrush line. It comes in classic blue and white as we tested as well as an all white version. You will also see it with a subheading such as “CrossAction” or “SENSI UltraThin”. These labels tell you which brush heads the handle comes with.
Our brush came with both a Cross Action and 3D White brush head. All together you get a basic package with the brush handle, two brush heads, an induction charger and a basic travel case.
Much like the dated design of the brush itself, the box insert was made of a big chunk of good old styrofoam. We hope that Oral-B will join the environmental movement soon and move to recycled materials instead in the future!
Look and feel
One drawback of the Pro 3000 that you will notice right away is the dated design. We felt that the blue and white rubberized plastic with all the little lines and details looked very dated next to the minimalist designs of other brushes. One reviewer wrote that it felt like we were back in 2005.
The two-tone plastic is more comfortable than it looks, but the single button seems like a design afterthought. All together, you can tell that this is a tough toothbrush that will last, but it just isn’t something you would have sitting out of your medicine cabinet to show off for guests. This brush looks as if it would feel at home in a dentist office rather than a stylish, modern bathroom.
The good news is that the rubberized feel always gives a sure grip, and the brush never feels like you are going to drop it when it gets wet. And even if you happen to drop it, we know from thorough testing that this brush will not break.
The Pro 3000 is one of the simplest brushes that we tested. It has only one button. You push it once to turn it on, push it again and it changes from the Daily Clean mode to the sensitive mode. Then you push it again to shut it off.
Like most other electric toothbrushes, it has a quad pacer which allows you to clean quadrants of your mouth at 30-second intervals. We didn’t like how the Oral-B brushes stop and vibrate abruptly at the end of each interval. Then, at the end of the 2 minutes, the brush vibrates four times but keeps running. You have to shut it off manually when you finish. On one hand, this is nice because you can touch up the brushing session as needed, but on the other hand, you either need to hold the button down for a few seconds or press it twice to shut the brush off.
The button itself is not very aesthetic. It feels clunky and is actually a bit harder to push than most other brushes we tested. Like the styling of the brush, the button has an old-fashioned clickiness to it. You really know when you turn it off and on.
The brush is also equipped with a pressure sensor. We thought that this sensor was one of the hardest ones to trigger in our home tests. When you press too hard as you brush, a red light comes on on the back, and the oscillations get weaker to let you know to lighten up. In our test, the sensor went off at just under 300 grams of force. The recommended brushing pressure is above 150 g but no more than 300 g, so it is actually pretty accurate.
One big drawback of all the Oral-B brushes we tested is the noise that they produce when you turn them on. One user compared it to a “chainsaw in my mouth” and after reading that review, we couldn’t get that idea out of our minds. At around 70 decibels, the 3000 was one of the loudest brushes we tested, and the volume is about as loud as a vacuum cleaner and genuinely unpleasant.
We also suggest that anyone with sensitive gums use both the sensitive mode and a sensitive brush head. Standard cleaning mode with the cross action brush head made our mouths sore after a few sessions. The abrupt cleaning action really does take some getting used to.
The good news is that we were able to coax more sessions out of this brush than advertised. In our lab test, we were able to get a full 82 minutes of brushing out of a full charge—this equals about 20 days of brushing.
One problem with Oral-B brushes is that when they are low on power, the battery light turns red, and the brush gives you a weaker cleaning session. This means that you could be in the middle of your brushing session, right before you go to bed, and suddenly the power cuts out. You can choose to either finish with low power or put it on the charger and wait. We would rather the battery light would come on, but we would still be able to finish our brushing normally and then put it on the charger.
We can safely say that our Pro 3000 will get you about 18 days at full power without recharging which is 4 more days than the manufacturer claims!
The brush handle has a battery indicator light at the base. The only function of this light is to tell you that your battery needs to be charged. When it comes on, it turns red, and, as we mentioned before, the power of the brush drops. We would like an earlier indication that the battery is low before the power cuts out.
Charging the brush is simple with the included induction block. The cord that comes with the charging block is a bit short at only 90 cm . In our lab test, the 3000 took just over 13 hours to fully charge, which is better than Oral-B claims and about average for most of the brushes we tested.
When you buy an Oral-B brush, you enter a world of options when it comes to brush heads. You can buy OEM brush heads in several different styles to meet your specific needs. We tested eleven different Oral-B brush heads and a handful of generics. We did notice a difference in cleaning. Cross-Action brushes seemed to be the best at giving you an overall clean, but they did nothing for our tester who has braces. She had to resort to the Oral-B Ortho Care brush which she felt was not a very good brush head overall.
We also recommend the Sensitive Clean brush head for anyone with sensitive gums. As powerful as this brush is, the softer the bristles the more comfortable your brushing experience will be!
While the genuine Oral-B brush heads are a little more expensive than off-brand brush heads, we do recommend them. They performed better than the generics in our lab tests.
As we said, this brush does not come with many goodies. You get a basic travel case that really is shaped like a plastic coffin. It does an okay job of keeping your brush handle and two brush heads in place when traveling, but it isn’t going to turn any heads.
The plastic feels quite cheap, and we feel that the hinge and latch are flimsy. We don’t see this case lasting for very long.
This brush seems extremely easy to care for. It is built like a tank, and it is easy to clean. Some residue does collect under the brush heads at the top of the brush, so we recommend taking the brush head off now and then to clean off the toothpaste scum that will collect.
If you follow the recommendation of replacing the brush head every 3 months, new brush heads will cost around 2-3 pounds apiece which equates to around 11 pounds a year. That is a pretty low cost in the long run compared to other more expensive replacement brushes such as Sonicare’s.
Oral-B brushes come with a two-year warranty, and this is a brand that has been around awhile so we trust that they will back up their products.
The Oral-B Pro 3000 is exactly what we expected it to be. It is a basic Braun brush that oscillates and pulsates making a lot of noise and fury, with a decent impact on plaque. It is the midrange workhorse of the Oral-B line up and it will get your teeth clean and (we hope) will last a long, long time.
Would we buy one? Probably not. There are other brushes that do a better job of cleaning for about the same price which are more modern and enjoyable to use on a daily basis. If you really like the Oral-B action, then you will also like this brush.
Oral-B Pro 3 3000 Features & Specs
|Brushing Action||3D cleaning action: oscillations and vibrations|
|Included Brush Head(s)||1 Cross Action and 1 3D White brush head|
|Battery Life||14 days (as tested)|
|Battery Indicator||Light on handle|
|Charging Time||13 hours|
|Brushing Timer||2 minutes|
|Pressure Sensor||Yes: handle vibration warning and handle light|
|Brush head reminder||No|
|A.I. Brushing Coach||No|
|Accessories||Induction charging base|