From the moment the Oral B iO model 9 toothbrush arrived at our door, carried by a robot on wheels (special delivery from Oral B – yours will no doubt come via the postie, sorry), we knew we'd have fun testing this toothbrush.
Fun, it was, but we didn't expect it to feel so different (read: better) to the older Oral B toothbrush we've been using for the past couple of years. In fact, this toothbrush is a bit of revelation – and the results are amazing – but you're going to have to read on to find out why.
Keep scrolling – and for more on the best electric toothbrush 2020, don't miss our main guide.
Oral B iO series 9 toothbrush: the basics
Let's start with what's In the box: there's the iO 9 handle with one ultimate clean brush head, a charging travel case, a magnetic charger with a two pin plug and a refill holder.
It comes in three colours; pink, black (above) and white (top).
Oral B iO series 9 electric toothbrush: the science
So, we've already said that it's revolutionary – but what do we mean? Before we get to the science, here's what you'll notice as a user: where older electric toothbrushes come with a lot of vibration in the body – which transfers itself to your hand, the iO 9 feels effortlessly smooth and rattle-free.
Put more scientifically, this essentially means the toothbrush has improved gentle micro-vibrations for better plaque removal and a more effective clean. These micro-vibrations, created by a new and frictionless magnetic drive, along with the round brush head and oscillating action can make your gums 100% healthier in a week, says Oral B.
We spoke to Oral B about this and they broke it down for us: this type of oscillation is gentle yet effective because the energy in the toothbrush is concentrated into the brush head, not the body. In other words, they said, it's like riding the EuroStar rather than rattling rolling stock.
A bit more science: you can connect the Oral B iO 9 via Bluetooth to your phone; download their app and it'll track how well you're cleaning your teeth and provide feedback on areas you might be missing. Not a terrible idea for adults (particularly is brushing teeth is always something you do distractedly), but a great idea for kids who are still learning good oral hygiene.
Oral B iO series 9 electric toothbrush: handy features
Unlike a lot of other electric toothbrushes, Oral B's iO series 9 has has multiple brushing modes and reminder for when a toothbrush head needs replacing (which is recommended every three months), plus displays on the toothbrush how much charge it has.
The modes are selected by the button with a white circle on the face of the toothbrush. The modes are: daily clean mode; sensitive mode; gum care; whitening; intense clean; super sensitive; and tongue cleaning. Your toothbrush will start on the default setting which you can change at any time.
The toothbrush is also interactive and greets you as you power up and gives you a smile icon when judged you have brushed your teeth well (and who doesn't love a bit of praise from a toothbrush?).
The toothbrushes advice doesn't stop there because the smart pressure sensor signals red, white or green to alert you whether you’re brushing too hard, too softly or with just the right amount of pressure – its almost impossible to not have perfectly brushed teeth (which, as we all know, is essential) with this technology.
Charging the Oral B iO series 9
If the charge is running low, the motor reduces its speed and the smart pressure sensor blinks red. Once the battery is empty, it will need at least a 5 minute charge before usage – but expect it to charge fully in just three hours.
But wait, it gets even better, because it comes with a charging travel case that can fully charge your toothbrush in six hours, so even those of you with the most hectic schedules don't have to worry about finding time to charge it.
Lastly? The charger is magnetically attracted to the toothbrush – you just need to ensure it's on a flat surface to charge up because if it gets knocked over it won't keep charging.
How long does it stay charged up before needing a boost? We took it on holiday and used it at least twice a day and it lasted for seven days, having been charged just before departure.
Other useful features of the Oral B iO series 9 toothbrush
- You can change the colour of the light ring, change language, perform a factory reset, and explore feedback features.
- There is also a timer function ( so you can set your toothbrush to run for how long you want to brush your teeth for).
- The toothbrush's instruction manual has a list of possible explanations for any problems that might occur with the toothbrush (which is indicated by an orange light on the toothbrush). The explanation can also be displayed in the app for ease.
We spoke to a dentist before we tried this electric toothbrush to find out why anyone would invest the money in an electric toothbrush over a manual one. The advice was that electric toothbrushes are an investment but they do clean your teeth dramatically better than manual toothbrushes and are a lot kinder to your gums – which means less time at the dentist in the long run, and less money spent on hygienist sessions (and since we were trying this during lockdown when dentist appointments were on hold, this was something of a blessing).
But what did we think? We're electric toothbrush converts anyway – they clearly do a better job than manual brushes. And this electric toothbrush does a better job than any other electric toothbrush we've ever tried: our teeth feel cleaner than they have ever done but the brushing feels gentle on our gums. Yes, it's expensive, but yes, we'd highly recommend the Oral B iO series 9 electric toothbrush.