A top of the range electric toothbrush designed for those that want to give their teeth the best, the Oral-B iO9 is packed full of attention-grabbing features. Are they worth the money, or is this toothbrush more than you need?
The Oral-B iO9 electric toothbrush is about as feature-packed as they get. It has a full-colour digital screen, smart modes for personalisation and an enhanced pressure sensor. It’s one of Oral-B’s most advanced brushes, using AI technology.
- Round toothbrush heads for easy and comfortable cleaning
- Pressure control and position detection so every tooth gets thoroughly cleaned
- Fast charging, including a travel charging case
- Battery life could be much better
- Not as easy to grip as some other electric toothbrushes
- High price for more tech than necessary
About the brand
The Oral-B brand is one that most people have heard of. It’s been around since 1950, and you’re likely to see Oral-B products in your local dentist’s office. Originally started by a dentist, Oral-B is now part of Proctor & Gamble which gives the brand a worldwide presence. Many dentists advertise, sell and promote Oral-B products.
Oral-B electric toothbrushes have been made using Braun technology. Some of their brushes are very affordable, starting at around £30, whilst others have an RRP of close to £500. As the price rises, you’ll find each toothbrush equipped with even more tech. You can also buy a wide variety of other Oral-B dental care products like floss, water flossers, mouthwash, toothpaste and manual toothbrushes.
With the Oral-B brand, you know that you’re getting a trusted name and a toothbrush that’s very safe to use. Does this toothbrush live up to the good impressions that Oral-B has made over the years?
What’s in the box?
As soon as you open the box to get to your new iO9 toothbrush, it will be clear that your money has been spent on a lot of useful accessories. As well as a magnetic charger that promises to fast charge your toothbrush in three hours, you’ll also get a travel case to charge your toothbrush on the go.
A refill holder looks after any spare toothbrush heads. It’s always good to have at least one, and ideally more, ready to go. It’s recommended that you replace your toothbrush head at least every three months, as well as if it’s damaged or after a period of illness.
The iO9 comes in a few different colours. Get it in black, white or a colour called rose quartz that could better be described as ‘grey with the slightest hint of pink’.
The iO9’s charging station uses magnets to initiate charging. This means that your toothbrush just rests gently on the top of the charger. This includes a 2-pin shaving plug, so most people will want an adaptor that will work in a standard 3-pin outlet. The travel charging case also comes with a 2-pin shaving plug. That’s great if you’re in a hotel room, as most have the right power outlets, though again you might like to keep an adaptor with you. If that’s the case, you’ll need to buy your own as these aren’t included in the box.
You’ll get one Ultimate Clean brush head to get you started. If you want more, you can purchase four refills in a pack. This option would give you toothbrush heads to get you through a full year, with refill packs typically costing about £25 for four.
Look and Feel
The iO9 electric toothbrush is comfortable and easy to hold but lacks the rubber grip that many prefer from other Oral-B brushes. The lack of rubber grip shouldn’t cause too many problems for the everyday electric toothbrush user but may be something you’ll miss if you have any existing grip problems.
One of the best things about this toothbrush is that the power goes straight to its head! Vibrations within the toothbrush handle are very carefully controlled so that all the movement happens where it’s needed and not along the handle where it isn’t.
You get a choice of toothbrush colours – black, white or rose quartz. All three brushes have a premium look, likened to iPhone devices, which will really appeal to people that want the most stylish gadgets at home. The full colour display is more than just a few LEDs, with beautiful colour blending that adds to the high-tech look and feel of the iO9 toothbrush.
Oral-B brushes have always been known for their round, oscillating heads. This toothbrush is no exception. Though even the cheapest Oral-B brushes use these circular movements, they’re a feature that most people wouldn’t want to give up. The oscillating heads provide a thorough clean, often considered to be much more effective than side-to-side sonic technology. Fortunately, even if you disagree with this opinion, the iO9 toothbrush has you covered. It combines circular movements with fast sideways movements, keeping the much-loved Oral-B brushing movements and combining them with sonic technology. As a result, you really will get a dentist clean feeling.
Choose from 7 different cleaning modes, giving you options to personalise your brushing experience. Daily Clean is what you’ll get with most brushes, though you can also choose from other options like the gentle Sensitive and Super Sensitive, the targeted Tongue Cleaner, Whitening and Gum Care, and the powerful Intense Clean.
If you struggle with sensitive teeth and gums, the gentle Sensitive modes can help to maintain good dental hygiene whilst limiting any discomfort. Intense Clean is incredibly powerful, so should be used sparingly if you want to work on those more embedded stains. Use the other modes to really focus on one specific element of cleaning. The Tongue Cleaner mode helps to freshen your breath, whilst the Gum Care mode can reduce the risk of gingivitis.
Coloured lights on the toothbrush handle will show if you’re brushing too hard, or if you’re not applying enough pressure. A white light is perfect. A green light shows that you’re not pressing enough, and a red light shows you’re using too much pressure. Use the lights to adjust your brushing style, making sure that your efforts are effective without any damage to your gums.
Smart AI technology will also help with effective tooth brushing. Connect to the Oral-B app on your smartphone using Bluetooth and see any teeth that you’re missing. Position sensors within the toothbrush identify areas you’ve missed, showing you a map of your teeth on your phone screen with any problem areas made clear. Most people have one or two teeth that they consistently struggle to brush properly – with the Oral-B app, you’ll learn which parts of your mouth you accidentally neglect.
Whilst the smartphone app can really enhance your cleaning routine, it’s not something that everyone will value. Many people will find that it’s something of a novelty, interesting for the first few days but then more effort than it’s worth. In a rush in the morning, you might not go to the effort of remembering your phone and loading up the Oral-B app. Remember that you’re paying more for all of this technology, but may find a cheaper toothbrush just as good if you won’t take full advantage of the app.
Sadly, Oral-B brushes aren’t known for their great battery life. The iO9 is no exception. At first, you’ll notice that you need to charge your toothbrush quite frequently. Every time you brush, you’ll use about 10% of the battery – assuming that you’re brushing for two minutes. Those that like to use several different brushing programs, adding things like Whitening and Tongue Brushing to their Journey, may find that more than 10% is used. This means that, at best, you’ll have to charge your toothbrush every five days. If you’re going away, you really will want to take the travel charger in your suitcase.
You can’t replace the battery in your Oral-B toothbrush. A common problem with Oral-B brushes is that the battery can start to fail after about a year of use. Suddenly the brush doesn’t seem to charge as well and loses its power more quickly. When you’ve spent so much on a high-tech toothbrush, it would be nice to have the option to replace the battery without buying a whole new brush.
To help to balance the charging issues, this Oral-B brush has fast charging and will be fully charged in roughly three hours. It also stops charging at 100%, so you won’t be harming the battery by leaving the toothbrush on its charger. This can help to soften the blow, as you could use the charger as a permanent stand and have your brush fully charged between uses. If you can get into that habit, the relatively short battery life of this brush shouldn’t be something you’ll think about.
A top-of-the-range electric toothbrush, the iO9 has an RRP of £499.99. Fortunately, you shouldn’t need to pay that much. Oral-B brushes are frequently on offer, with the iO9 available half price if you shop around a little.
By anyone’s standards, the iO9 is an expensive electric toothbrush. For your money you’ll get many impressive features, but how many will you really use? A lot of the features are likely to be little more than short-lived novelty, which means that you could probably get just as much from one of Oral-B’s slightly cheaper models.
You’re likely to feel that you’re paying for gimmicks, though if you’ll actually use the Oral-B app these gimmicks could be worth every penny. You’ll need to take full advantage of brush features to make the investment worthwhile.
Using the Oral-B iO9 with clear aligners
If you’re one of the many people who are using clear aligners to help straighten your smile, you’ll know that it’s important to care for them properly. The Oral-B iO9 can help you to maintain your aligners, ensuring they stay clean and fresh and that they don’t accrue a build up of acid and bacteria that could damage your teeth.
Make sure, before you dive straight in with the toothbrush, that you check the recommended cleaning method from your provider. It may be that you should only use water, or they might tell you to use a little bit of toothpaste to help clear any lingering bacteria. You’ll just need to ensure you’ve rinsed them thoroughly when you’re done.
Some providers won’t recommend using an electric toothbrush at all – certain aligners are made from a thinner plastic that could be damaged. So always read the guidance from your manufacturer provider before you start.
The Oral-B iO9 toothbrush takes home dental hygiene close to its current limits. There’s a high price tag, and in exchange, you’ll get the best electric toothbrush technology.
For many users, this brush won’t be worth the money. If you’ll soon get bored of taking your phone to the bathroom and accessing the Oral-B app every time you brush, you’re likely to find that you’ve wasted good money on the iO9. That said, if you use it as intended, it could be a very worthwhile investment.
Aside from a fairly poor battery life, there are very few downsides to owning this brush if you’ve got the spare cash to spend on it. With seven cleaning modes, Bluetooth technology and pressure and position sensors, you won’t find a better brush for thorough cleaning that feels like you’ve been to the dentist. That said, many people would argue that they don’t quite need to reach this level of perfection. Many other much cheaper brushes can clean almost as well, and sometimes ‘almost’ is good enough.
If you’ll really make an effort to follow cleaning guides and use the app every time you brush, the Oral-B iO9 brush could be worth every penny you spend on it. Before you buy, be honest with yourself about how long it’ll take you to get bored.