At $749 AU, the new Oral-B iO series 9 is either the most expensive toothbrush in the world or right up there among them. So is the new all singing, all brushing product worth it?
Truth is the decision to splash out on a toothbrush is much like the choice you make when you buy a bed. You spend a huge amount of time sleeping and a bad mattress leads to a poor fitful night’s sleep. So, for me, buying a good bed that’s going to last for ten years and help you get the zzz’s you need to start the day full of energy is definitely a sound investment.
Now, let’s talk about the importance of caring for your teeth through healthy eating and good oral hygiene so your pearly white ivories serve you well throughout your life. For me, it’s about priorities. If you are happy to buy the latest designer bag that will only last the season, why wouldn’t you consider buying the best ever toothbrush that’s going to protect your teeth for years to come and for roughly the same price?
But yes, I hear you say, the Oral-B iO is simply unaffordable for many people, especially when it is still possible to brush your teeth well with a plastic brush for less than a tenner. And that is true but there is a reason dentists are recommending people use electric brushes nowadays and that’s because the technology has been designed to clean your teeth better. And electric brushes are not the only thing we’re prepared to spend a lot of money on if it has the promise of making your smile more attractive.
So let’s examine what you are getting with the iO. And, what Proctor and Gamble – the worldwide leader in the over $5 billion brushing market – actually got from the last six years of intensive R&D developing the iO, which actually uses over 250 patents from around the world.
First up, they got an award at last year’s CES, the most influential tech event in the world, where the Oral-B super brush won the Innovation Award Honorees.
So let’s take a look at the main features that this new brush offers from the twisted brushes to the variable speeds.
iO Features in Detail
- Linear Magnetic Drive: created from the need to deliver an effective and enjoyable brushing routine. Producing controlled, harmonious movements, the quiet and frictionless linear drive system efficiently transfers more energy directly to the bristle tips.
- Superior Cleaning Action and Redesigned Brush Head: Oral-B iO brush heads combine oscillating, rotating movements with micro-vibrations to ensure a deep clean that reaches every contour. The brush head has been redesigned with twisted bristles, and reinforced with high-density tuft-in-tuft configuration.
- Bimodal Smart Pressure Sensor: an innovation that is the first of its kind to provide positive brushing feedback, identifying and guiding users to brush in the optimal pressure range. The Sensor features a variable-speed smart drive that adjusts frequency to protect gums and enamel.
- Smart Display with Personalised Brushing Modes: an intuitive interface that greets users, while also providing coaching and motivation throughout the cleaning process. Features up to seven brush modes for a more personal experience.
- Artificial Intelligence Tracking via the Oral-B iO App: provides real-time individual tracking and coaching, thanks to artificial intelligence informed by thousands of recorded brushing sessions. Oral-B iO has a simple and intuitive user interface that guides you through a two-minute brushing session with 3D teeth tracking across 16 zones (in the iO9).
At the recent launch event here in Sydney, the Oral-B’s PR team ferried journalists such as myself in chauffeur-driven cars to a huge warehouse in Alexandria to watch a demonstration. There was a floor to ceiling screen that gave a cinematic experience to what were about to experience and then the big reveal. This is where we were shown how you can place a single pearl on the spinning brush head without it dropping to the floor to show how smoothly it operates.
As one of the journalists attending, I spoke to a dentist about the attributes of the black onyx brush. Dr Elizabeth Milford explained that the brush used AI to help map the four quadrants of your mouth and allows you to check that you are brushing your teeth with the right amount of pressure and for the ideal time of two minutes. You can use your iO app to keep a record of how well you are brushing your teeth in much the same way as you use a fitness tracker and an app together to keep track of your daily steps.
Indeed, the clinical tests showed the iO provided a deeper cleaning of teeth and gums, which makes it easier to maintain oral health.When compared to manual toothbrushes, Oral-B iO users experienced:
- 100 percent more plaque removal after eight weeks vs a regular manual toothbrush
- 100 percent healthier gums in just one week vs a regular manual toothbrush
The Oral-B iO has some impressive features such as a frictionless magnetic drive, which distributes energy more efficiently to the tips of the bristles. Having tested out the brush, there is no doubt it provides a sensational result and leaves your mouth feeling like you’ve just been to the dentist for a regular clean.
The two minute timer has helped me clean my teeth for longer and more effectively and I genuinely like the way it smoothly glides around your mouth without sounding like a Hummer.
The new magnetic drive delivers cleaning energy to the redesigned iO brush head, which has been engineered to combine oscillating and rotating cleaning motions with micro-vibrations.
So is it worth it? Well, there’s no doubt it’s the best toothbrush I’ve ever used and I love the results of feeling like I’ve had a professional clean twice a day. So, my verdict is, if you’ve got the money, yes, it’s worth it. And, in my view, it’s worth putting a high price on caring for your teeth.
The new Oral-B iO is available in the following colours and prices:
- Oral-B iO 9 Series Black: RRP $749
- Oral-B iO 8 Series White: RP $649
Oral-B is the worldwide leader in the over $5 billion brushing market. Part of the Procter & Gamble Company, the brand includes manual and electric toothbrushes for children and adults, toothpastes and mouthwashes, whitening systems and interdental products, such as dental floss.