How much thought do you give to your toothbrush? If you’re like most of us, not a lot. But if your dentist has told you you are an aggressive brusher, you have gum disease, recession or cavities, you might have been told to check out a better toothbrush than the old manual option. I’m here to tell you there’s lots of choice in the electric/ultrasonic/smart toothbrush category and I’ve reviewed many of them. The latest to cross my sink is the all new Oral B iO smart electric toothbrush, series 7. In this review, I’ll look at what it’s like to use, how well I think it cleans and what kinds of special features it has.
Overall I liked a lot of things about this brush and some things I didn’t. The round L-shaped brush head is a bit like using something shaped like a rake in your face. The brush itself is a lot smaller than I’m used to so it forces me to brush more deliberately, aiming to hit every tooth. I like the color screen, but I don;’t love the battery life. I found a lot of the brushing modes to be too much for me personally. But at the same time, I really did feel like it cleaned really well.
- Oral-B mobile app guide
- Interactive display shows brushing mode
- Brush head replacement reminder
- 2-min timer
- Pressure sensor
- Battery life could be better
Oral B iO Series 7 smart electric toothbrush
Let’s get a closer look:
Oral B iO is a rechargeable electric toothbrush, with an Interactive Display that guides you as you brush. The brush also has a unique L-shaped head with a circular brush that’s a bit different from the standard horizontally-oriented brush. More on that in a sec. Paired with the Oral B app, it can help you slow down, stop brushing so hard, and to brush for long enough to be truly effective.
What’s in the Box?
In the Series 7 package there’s the brush handle, two toothbrush heads, a magnetic base for charging and a travel case.
There’s not too much to do to get ready to brush with the Oral B iO: plug in the charger and ensure it’s full of juice to start. Download the Oral B app to your phone and connect your brush.,
In what sounds like the flux capacitor of the toothbrush world, Oral B touts something called Linear Magnetic Drive.
Linear magnetic drive is supposed to “direct the cleaning energy to the point of every individual bristle and integrates Oral-B’s iconic round brush with gentle micro-vibrations for better plaque removal* and an amazing brushing experience.” While that sounds like a lofty promise I think it translates to ‘the brush head vibrates around your mouth’. I wouldn’t say I felt “cleaning energy at the end of every bristle” but I appreciate a good sales pitch.
The brush head is “Dentist-inspired” and is circular. It’s supposed to “expertly clean with micro-vibrations and oscillating action.”. Oral B doesn’t say on its website what a round brush is supposed to do better than a rectangular one. There’s also an Interactive ‘Conversational’ Display. This I will give Oral B points for. The display is easy to read and understand.
The Interactive Colour Display lets you know at a glance which of the brushing settings you’re in, it shows charging progress and battery level and it will also display a smiley or frowny face depending whether or not you hit the recommended 2-minute brushing timer.
That timer, by the way will add up your total brushing time, even if you stop for a bit.
There’s also an ‘exchange reminder’ that will light up when it’s time to replace the brush head.
Now… My name is Erin, and I’m an aggressive brusher. At least that’s what my dentist says. Scrubbing your teeth too hard can wear away your enamel and damage your gums, which is me in a nutshell, so my dentist recommended no more manual brushing, and to instead use any electric toothbrush. The Oral B iO says it helps protect your gums with the Smart Pressure Sensor
You choose a colour for the light ring but then it will turn red when you’re brushing too hard and a green one when brushing just right helps. That at a glance feedback is huge.
Another feature is 3D teeth tracking with A.I
This is where the app comes in. Oral B’s app can actually monitor your brushing, tracking you as you brush across the front, top and back surfaces of your teeth; guiding you to the most thorough possible clean.
Somehow it seems to know exactly what I’m doing which is neat.
Oral B iO smart electric toothbrush: different settings & modes
There’s a host of intensity Settings and in my opinion they are all similar in vibration intensity:
- Daily Clean: call this the Average Joe setting; best for basic everyday cleaning for folks who don’t want to fuss.
- Sensitive: slightly gentler than Daily
- Gum Care: a ‘gum massage’
- Whitening: this setting is supposed to polish your teeth
- Intense: extraordinarily higher speed for the deepest clean
Using Oral B iO smart electric toothbrush
So… What’s it like using Oral B iO?
This toothbrush has been an experience. I’m going to try to describe the experience without ending up being overdubbed for an adult video.
For starters, the round brush and L-shaped head take some getting used to. The configuration of the brush head really means you need to open up our mouth more and it can be a bit awkward to maneuver it into your cheeks. Because of its taller L-shape if feels really big and like it’s getting in the way of my teeth. I have to be really deliberate about brushing because it feels more like your operating a tool than just mindlessly brushing easily. But I guess that’s partly the point.
Brushing with this device does require your attention: you need to work to get it around your mouth. You need to apply the smaller circular brush head to every tooth. And of course you’re supposed to brush for the full two minutes or risk frowny face on your display.
You can easily use this toothbrush without the app, but that’s not what you’re paying for is it? Using the app makes you even more mindful of what you’re doing, where you’re brushing and how long you’re brushing for. Pressing too hard lights up the brush in red and will show you a similar warning on the app screen.
The truth is, for me personally, I didn’t like the round L-shaped brush head; it was too big and awkward. I did appreciate how it made me slow down and brush more deliberately though.
Battery Life: Oral B iO smart electric toothbrush
I was a bit disappointed in the battery life on this brush. While another one I have lasts for months, with this one I only got the expected two weeks or so.
Overall review: Series 7 Oral B iO smart electric toothbrush
Overall I liked a lot of things about this brush and some things I didn’t. The round L-shaped brush head is a bit like using something shaped like a rake in your face. I jest, it’s not that bad, but it is like using a whole new tool. I didn’t care for it. The round brush head is okay; the brush itself is a lot smaller than I’m used to so it forces me to brush more deliberately, aiming to hit every tooth.
I like the colour screen, but I don;’t love the battery life. Compared to another toothbrush I have that lasts months, this one feels like I should be keeping it plugged in. I found a lot of the brushing modes to be too much for me personally. But at the same time, I really did feel like it cleaned really well. Selling for about $279 CAD, it’s also much more of an investment than some other options.
This is a tough one for me: I like the clean it delivers but the tool just isn’t my fave because I honestly prefer mindlessly brushing my teeth so I don’t think I’ll keep using with this one and will revert back to my other brush. That review by the way is also here on the channel.
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