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Oral-B iO7 vs Oral-B iO9: Which smart electric toothbrush is best?

Oral-B iO7 vs Oral-B iO9: Which smart electric toothbrush is best?
We put the Oral-B iO7 and Oral-B iO9 electric toothbrushes head to head to find out which is best

When Oral-B launched its iO range in August 2020, we learned what was going to set these powered toothbrushes apart from the rest: micro-vibrations.

For a while now, the brand has relied on oscillating heads to provide a “deep-clean” feel. derimot, the iO range adds micro-vibrations (created by a frictionless drive system, powered by magnets) to address one of the biggest complaints that people have with powered brushes – that they can be too harsh on teeth and gums. The technology also makes the brush much quieter, which is a bonus if you have to get ready in the morning before other household members have woken up.

One of the biggest misconceptions that consumers have about the range is that the iO9 is simply the latest, and therefore the best, modell. derimot, all the brushes (iO7, 8 og 9) were launched at the same time and offer different cleaning options and price points. We’ve no idea what happened to one through to six, but we assume this could be a bit of a gimmick to draw attention to the fact that the iO is the result of six years of product research.

Both brushes are enabled with what Oral-B calls “AI brushing recognition technology”. This means there’s an accompanying app that tracks how you brush each zone of your mouth. The iO9 can even track 16 “sub-zones”, meaning it’ll know if you’re getting to each surface of every tooth.

This may seem like an over-complication, but neglecting the harder-to-reach surfaces of the mouth, like the underside of the molars, is one of dentists’ biggest gripes.

Inside the handle of the iO toothbrushes there is both a gyro sensor and accelerometer, and a portion of Oral-B’s development period was spent collecting data on people’s brushing habits so that the algorithm could accurately read where the brush was in the mouth of the user and interpret it to show how effective their brushing had been.

Selvfølgelig, all this talk of AI, gyro sensors, accelerometers and frictionless magnetic drives has an impact on the price tag – there simply isn’t a more expensive brushing experience out there. We took this into consideration and rather than focusing on the similarities between the two brushes (like pressure sensors and two-minute timers) we looked at what set them apart, focusing on the brushing modes, customisation, the limitations of the AI and overall charging.

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Oral-B iO7

Out of the box, you’ll get the iO7, one refill brush head, a sleek but robust travel case, a travel brush head holder and a magnetic “click” charger. The iO7 gives you access to five cleaning modes – daily clean, whitening, gum care, sensitive and intense – which is probably three more than you really need, but it does allow you to play about with the oscillation angle of the brush and the frequency to find the one you are most comfortable with.

Once you get beyond more than three modes, it’s handy to have a screen to tell you which you’re in, as this means you don’t need to cycle through the different options. The crisp black-and-white OLED display does this with a graphic and text. You only have one choice of handle colour (white alabaster), but this was fine with us as it will match most bathroom décor – if coordinating your toothbrush handle with your towel rail is something that’s important to you.

Opening up the app and establishing a connection with the iO7 will mean that you can monitor how well you are covering the six zones of your mouth in real-time. Vi vil, it should be real-time, but we occasionally noticed some lag between where the brush was in our mouth and the tooth map, although this could have been down to a bad Bluetooth connection. We liked how the app showed the teeth turning from dark blue to light blue and then white as we did a thorough job.

Leaving the brush to charge overnight in the minimal charger (although it only needs three hours), took it up to 100 prosent, which was enough for over two weeks of dutiful brushing. It does, derimot, remain to be seen how that charging load is affected as we spend more time with the brush.

Oral-B iO9

Out of the iO9 box, you get the toothbrush and one refill head, as well as a “Power2Go” charging case, travel brush head holder and magnetic “click” charger. You’ll have two more cleaning modes at your fingertips compared to the iO7 (super sensitive and tongue clean), and the iO9 comes in black onyx and rose quartz colours , which we think can make it look like a mor exciting present than just the white alabaster. The OLED display is full colour, although the monochrome screen of the iO7 didn’t bother us at all as – we don’t see the purpose other than to justify a slightly stiffer price point.

The travel case is a nice touch if you’re away from home a lot and, like Apple AirPods, you charge the case and that will then charge the iO9 when it’s inside – although you’ll need a mains charger to recharge the case, rather than a more portable USB cable. En gang til, the brush charged in under three hours and powered a fortnight’s worth of brushing before it had to go back on the magnetic charger.

It seems that the price jump between the two brushes comes down to the more sophisticated AI. The “3D teeth tracking” takes the position detection data from the brush and presents it within the app in an even more detailed form, so that you can see which surfaces of your teeth (outside, inside and chewing) are being missed the most. It means the iO9 makes visualising which areas of your mouth you are neglecting much easier.

Dommen: Oral-B iO7 vs Oral-B iO9

There was no discernible difference in the brushing performance between the brushes, and spending the required two minutes with either will deliver that “fresh from the hygienist” feeling that users really want from powered brushes. We definitely didn’t miss those extra two modes that the iO9 offered, especially as the tongue-cleaning mode is merely 20 seconds of further brushing, but on your tongue. If you want to do this with the iO7, just disconnect from the app and turn the brush onto its intense mode for the required amount of time.

Most of us are on auto-pilot when we shuffle into the bathroom in the morning. The AI-powered information that comes with both brushes can be incredibly beneficial, but you have to ask yourself if you’re really going to take the time and trouble when you’re a bit fuzzy in the AM, or weary in the evening, to open up the app and pay attention to the feedback that it’s giving you.

If you know that you are going to take that time, then after using it for a few weeks you will begin to have a memory of where you need to go in your mouth and how long you need to stay there to make sure every surface of the tooth has been covered.

Til syvende og sist, the difference in price seems to be purely predicated on the extra level of sophistication that the iO9’s data can provide, but we’d suggest that the feedback from its cheaper cousin is more than enough to improve your teeth-brushing technique and get you back in your dentist’s good books.

Keep your teeth clean, healthy and bright with one of the best electric toothbrushes from our guide

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