Review: Oral-B iO Series 9 Smart toothbrush

    Cleaning your teeth is one of those tasks in life like vacuuming, that you have to do, but nobody actually looks forward to it. This is the perfect profile of a task that technology can help with. Oral-B’s iO  Series 9 rechargable electric toothbrush is here to help with that challenge. 

    While I’ve used an electric toothbrush for years, this one is on another level, not only with a coloured LED, but far more options and feedback than I’ve ever experienced before. With more accurate information about your brushing behaviour, you are more likely to clean your teeth better.

    This toothbrush leverages some pretty smart technology to analyse your cleaning efforts and provide feedback through a mobile app to help you improve over time. While it doesn’t come cheap, if it saves you even one visit to the dentist, it’ll probably be worth it.


    Curves in all the right places

    One of the neat design elements of this toothbrush is the magnetic wireless base. Almost all other wireless toothbrushes have a stem design at the base of the charger. While it’s a subtle difference the magnetic dock offers a quick and easy convenience, much like Apple’s magsafe connector.

    When it comes to the design of the brush itself, the look is quite professional, available in both black or white, with chrome accents. The brush’s main interface is the colour LED display which features some cut animations that gives the toothbush a personality.

    To interact with the brush, there’s just two buttons, the power button, and a select button. These combine to allow you to move through the menu system on the display selecting different brush modes, change the light right to a personal preference. The display’s main purpose is to give you feedback about your brushing behaviour. By default it is expected that you’ll brush for 2 minutes, however this is configurable . If you end early, the display will show a sad face and the duration that you’ve brushed for (i.e. 1m, 40 seconds). If you brush past the 2 minute mark, you’ll then be greeted with a smiley face to confirm you’ve done a great job.

    To supplement the display feedback, there’s also a vibration every 30 seconds to let you know its time to move to the next quadrant. 30 seconds ensures you spend enough time cleaning the your teeth with enough concentration that you’re unlikely to miss removing any food on your teeth and gums.

    The brush head is removable and the package includes two of them. If you’re buying the brush to use for yourself, you’ll be able to get through a longer timeframe before needing to buy replacements. If you’re planning on sharing between a couple, you can use the included bush head stand which is a nice inclusion.


    How does it perform ?

    If you’re still flying old school with a rectangular brush head, there’s a whole new world out there of round brush heads. Being circular allows the brush head to be rotates which combines with some smart bristle alignment to maximise cleaning across the brushing areas.

    The Ultimate Clean Brush Heads that Oral-B include in their flagship toothbrush do a fantastic job at removing food and build up on the tooth and does an excellent job of getting between the teeth. Often brushes that are this effective brute force their way to cleaning your mouth and end up hurting your gums. Thankfully I never found than an issue, with the pressure sensor feeding the light right on the brush to you know you should be softer in your movements.

    Being relatively small, the brush head is easy to move around your mouth and that makes it easy to get to the back of your teeth and the extreme corners of your mouth. While most brush heads position the bristles at 90 degrees to the brush, this is different, with the bristles angled at 16 degrees to remove more plaque from your teeth.

    I was blown away with the performance of this toothbrush, I honestly haven’t had my mouth feel cleaner than when I use this brush. Oral-B use micro-vibrations combined with the spinning motion to create the magic and that’s what changes as you select from different brush modes.


    Stand out features of this device.

    There’s lots of features to love about the iO series 9, but one of my favourites is the pressure sensitivity. This sensor allows you to get immediate feedback if you press too hard. This ensures you protect your gums and enamel.

    Something I hadn’t experienced before in brushing my teeth is a post-brush analysis. Using the Oral B connected app, you get a visualisation of your teeth and where in your mouth you should have spent more time cleaning. This is actually really valuable information and makes you realise that brushing without this data means you’re really guessing about your brushing coverage.

    When you consider how Oral B created this technology, you realise the challenge is a pretty difficult one. The 3D Teeth Tracking technology is powered by sensors inside the toothbrush and by using AI Recognition of rotations and angles, it’s possible to calculate which area of your mouth the toothbrush is cleaning to an almost per-teeth accuracy.

    The head of the brush uses a frictionless, smooth magnetic drive system and while I’ve used a half dozen similar toothbrushes, the bristle tips felt significantly different than I’d ever experiences. This felt the closest to a professional clean I’ve ever experienced before.


    Not everything’s perfect

    The issue list is nice and small as this product really excels at what it claims to offer. The big problem here is simply the price tag. After using it, I would love everyone to have access to this quality of a brushing experience, something your mouth would thank you for.

    Unfortunately far too many people will be looking at a regular toothbrush on the shelf of supermarket and thinking, is a normal toothbrush for a few dollars really that bad? The other question is around the price and feature difference between Oral-B’s entry level electric toothbrush and this, given the price point starts at around 1/10th the price.

    After using it I think this investment really is worth it for lots of people but I believe if they halved the price, they’d more than double sales and this has a real opportunity to pickup a cult following like a Dyson vacuum.


    How much and when can you get one ?

    The Oral B iO Series 9 electric toothbrush is available now available now from The Shaver Shop for A$399 (usually $749.00). The package includes

    • 1x iO 9 Handle Black
    • 1x Magnetic Charger
    • 2x Replacement Brush Heads (Ultimate Clean Brush Head in Black)
    • 1x Power2Go Smart Charging Travel Case in Black
    • 1x Travel Refill Holder



    Final thoughts

    This toothbrush feels like it delivers a significantly better clean than I’ve ever experienced at home. It’s not surprising this is the flagship product in the Oral B lineup and yes, you have to pay up for it. This level of technology in a toothbrush may seem a little overkill for some, but I’m a big fan of implementing technology wherever it can enhance our lives and I genuinely think the data provided back to you via the app takes brushing from guess work, to more of a science.

    If you can justify the price tag, then I definitely think you should consider buying the Oral B iO Series 9 wireless toothbrush. The combination of the great cleaning performance, the decent list of features and the inclusion of a travel pack, makes it a great solution for home, or on the go.

    If you have a significant other, you could look at the purchase as an investment for the both of you, buy one toothbrush and just switch them out each brush, essentially halving the price tag.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021


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