Oral-B iO Series 9 Smartphone-Compatible Toothbrush – Review

Is this hi-tech, smartphone-connected toothbrush a gimmick or a ground-breaker? We reach for the toothpaste and put it to the test.

  • Procter & Gamble
  • https://www.oral-b.com
  • RRP £500 (already discounted to £250)
  • Compatibility: Apple and Android smartphones

There have been some very strange connected devices over the years. We’ve seen an iPod-compatible toilet roll holder that had to be plugged into the mains, an iPhone-accessory laser pointer that did little more than use the phone’s battery as a power source and various Bluetooth kettles you could boil using your smartphone, but still need to get up to fill it and to make your drink. You’d be forgiven for thinking a Bluetooth electric toothbrush might be similarly gimmicky and unnecessary, but you’d be wrong. Oral-B’s iO Series 9 Smartphone-Compatible Toothbrush is a real asset to those interested in improving their dental hygiene.

The iO Series 9 toothbrush is of a similar size and shape to regular electric toothbrushes. It’s certainly no heavier, or less comfortable to use. Straight out of the box you can get brushing with its seven presets; Daily Clean, Sensitive, Whiten, Gum Care, Intense, Super Sensitive or Tongue Clean. Switch between them with a full-colour interactive display. A coloured LED band at the foot of the removable head unit tells you whether you’re using the correct pressure; blue if you’re going too lightly, red if you’re pressing too hard and green if you’ve got it right. But it’s when you pair the brush with your smartphone via the Oral-B app that it really comes into its own.

For your Daily Clean, your teeth are graphically represented on the smartphone’s screen. Thanks to the brush’s 3D tracking features, you can tell exactly where you’re brushing and, more importantly, which areas of your mouth haven’t yet been brushed enough. A visual representation of your dental layout is shown in blue, which gradually lightens to a brilliant white as you brush. Remember as a kid, when you sucked one of those tablets that turned your mouth pink, and then had to brush until all the colour had gone? This is the hi-tech equivalent. Coupled with on-screen warnings about applying too much pressure, these guides ensure your teeth and gums are cleaned correctly.

A visual timer on both the brush and the screen show when you’ve brushed for two minutes, as recommended by most dentists. A history of your brushing is recorded, and you can set up specific oral hygiene plans that include tongue-cleaning, mouth-washing and more. It’s compatible with Apple’s Health app too, so your data can be collated in this way if you choose. The brush is rechargeable, with a full charge taking about three hours, and it comes supplied with a charger, a charging travel case and a caddy for a couple of spare heads.

A lot of science has gone into the iO Series 9. It’s taken six years of research and development to complete, and it boasts around 250 exclusive patents. The result? According to Oral-B, when compared to a manual toothbrush, the iO Series 9 gives 100% more plaque removal after eight weeks, six times more plaque removal along the gumline and 100% healthier gums in only one week. In their tests, 83% of patients with swollen gums moved to healthy gums within eight weeks, and revolutionary iO technology gives whiter teeth in a week.

While we’re not in a position to recreate all of these tests to check the figures, after a few weeks of using the brush, we find them very credible indeed. Guided brushing with the app is both practical and fun, and you really do come away with a fresher, cleaner mouth. Our only reservation is the price. The RRP is pretty horrendous, but it’s already heavily discounted by most retailers. And as someone who has recently paid several thousand for dental work, a few hundred for such an excellent hi-tech toothbrush doesn’t seem too great a sacrifice.

Oral-B iO Series 9 Smartphone-Compatible Toothbrush
  • Overall
4

Summary

An excellent use of smartphone technology. It’s not cheap, but neither is a trip to the dentist.

+ Guided cleaning very effective
+ Fun to use (yes, seriously)
+ Cleans and whitens
– Expensive

Ian Osborne

Ian has worked on computer and video games magazines since the legendary Crash and Zzap! 64 in the early Nineties, so he’s seen many changes over the years (including an expanding waistline and receding hairline). A lifelong Mac user, he bought his first Mac in the year 2000. It’s a testament to the resilience of the Mac that his mother is still using that computer to this very day.
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