Oral B iO9: The future of dental hygiene is gleaming – but expensive

My teeth have never felt so clean, but the iO9 will leave a sizeable dent in your wallet

Oral B iO9

Product name: Oral B iO9

Price: €650.0

Where to buy: www.boots.ie

Website: www.oralb.com

Thu, Oct 21, 2021, 05:00


My €650 toothbrush is judging me. After flashing up a cheery “good morning” on the screen, the mood turned a bit sour when I had to interrupt my two-minute brushing session before I was halfway through. A sad face flashed up, along with the timer that showed I hadn’t completed my dentist-recommended two minutes of brushing. I was planning on coming back to it, but as smart as the Oral B iO9 is, it couldn’t know that.

Oral B’s latest electric toothbrush is incredibly smart, though. Along with the usual pressure sensor that flashes if you press too hard, and the timer that lets you know when to move on to a different quadrant of your mouth every 30 seconds, the iO9 has artificial intelligence and 3D tracking to make sure you get every tooth sparkling clean.

I am good at dental hygiene, according to my dentist. I brush twice a day at least, remember to floss and always use mouthwash. I’ve used an electric toothbrush for years, and even invested in a fancy one with Bluetooth not so long ago.

I thought I was pushing the boat out with Bluetooth, but the Oral B iO9 is a whole other level. It has 250 different patents. It has Bluetooth and a colour screen that gives you a thumbs-up in the form of a smiley face when you brush well, and a sad face when you don’t brush for long enough.

My teeth have never felt so clean, but it must be said that the iO9 will leave a sizeable dent in your wallet. You don’t need to spend a large amount of money on a toothbrush to keep your teeth in good condition. It’s all about proper technique, and if you get that down, you should be able to keep on top of things.

But for many of us, getting that technique right is an issue. And that is where the iO9 can really help. When connected to the Oral B smartphone app via Bluetooth, you get a real-time map of where you have brushed and how effectively, divided into the front, back and chewing surfaces of teeth. The sensors detect the position in your mouth and, as you brush, the corresponding section on the app disappears and the tooth graphic changes colour.

I’m not going to lie: it feels weird at first. Not because of the extra technology poking around my teeth or because the price tag freaks me out; it’s because the iO9 is not a simple oscillating head like the Smart 4 and its cheaper brethren. The iO9 has microvibrations, which means it feels different to the standard electric brush, sort of like your teeth are vibrating.

It’s also quieter, which is handy if you don’t live alone or like to brush your teeth when others are sleeping. And it definitely works; my teeth feel like I’ve been at the dentist every day.

There are seven different modes for brushing, although to be perfectly honest some may be surplus to requirements (tongue cleaning needs its own mode?). But you can switch between a standard clean and whitening mode, or opt for sensitive programmes, gum care and intense clean.

In the box you get the toothbrush, one refill toothbrush head, the magnetic stand charger, and a charging travel case. The latter is handy, although it comes with its own wall adapter for power, because not only can you store your brush while you travel – you can also keep it topped up.

Not that you need it unless you are taking long trips. The toothbrush charges in three hours to full, which is a huge improvement on previous electric toothbrushes. The screen means you get an accurate idea of how long your battery will last – almost two weeks at a full charge at present, although that may change as time goes on.

The good

If you like your teeth, the iO9 is for you. Not only does the app act as a timer and a log of how often you are brushing your teeth, it also tracks if you are brushing each tooth surface, monitors the pressure you are applying and gives you a heads up if you need to improve in any area.

The not-so-good

There is no getting away from it: the iO9 is expensive. Eye-wateringly so. The iO7 has many of the same features for a cheaper price, and cleans just as well.

It is also not compatible with Oral B’s standard toothbrush heads, which means you won’t get generic ones for a fraction of the cost.

The rest

There are customisable options: the colour of the smart pressure sensor can be changed, and you can choose to use guides for brushing or not. Also, if you don’t have the app to hand, the toothbrush will store data and transfer it when a connection is available, so you don’t miss out on any streaks, medals or achievements in the app, if that is important to you.

The verdict

Ask yourself: what price do you put on good dental health? Then watch out for sales and pick up the iO9 for a discount.