This article has been updated with some hands-on feedback and photos from one of our readers who has been able to test the model ahead of its launch later this year.
Oral-B unveiled their latest electric toothbrush, the Oral-B iO, on the 5th January 2020 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
It is said to be the brand’s most innovative toothbrush to date.
Whilst at its core, the iO cleans the teeth like any other electric toothbrush, it has been designed to be even better than the models that came before it.
The Oral-B iO is due to launch in August 2020.
No details about price or the precise box contents have been given, but based on existing models and previous launch prices, I expect that this brush will cost in excess of £150.
Watch the following video for a summary of the features and my initial opinions on it:
Just by looking at it, you can see that it is quite a bit different to existing models and how Oral-B have thought about smarter integration of features into the brush handle itself to make it more useful to users like you and me.
The new design looks a lot sleeker and more attractive. Whilst Oral-B have always produced good toothbrushes, I have often thought and commented on how the likes of Sonicare brushes look and feel better in the hand.
The exact specifications are still to be confirmed and I have not yet personally seen or handled the iO from Oral-B, but the images certainly make it look slimmer and possibly lighter in the hand too. it looks to be an exciting step forward that I am keen to test.
Vincent Cassano, a site reader has managed to get an early unit to test and informed me that he felt the size and weight in hand was similar to that of most other Oral-B brushes.
The whole brush has been redesigned from the inside out but retains features that are core to Oral-B brushes.
The handle will be available in white, black onyx and rose quartz colour options.
A new frictionless magnetic drive system takes the electrical energy from the built-in rechargeable battery and transforms it into movements of the bristles at the top of the toothbrush.
You still get the oscillating and rotating cleaning action, but micro-vibrations too. Previously these vibrations were known as pulsations, how they differ, only time and testing will confirm.
Just like other Oral-B brushes, it has a small round brush head so that it can cup and clean the teeth really well. However, there is reference to the brush head having been redesigned. The press images show a similar design to the CrossAction brush head that has been available for several years now, but the number of tufts appears to be less and the outer ring of tufts larger.
The use of a new type of motor appears to bring other benefits. One thing I note, from the press release, is that there was the mention of the word ‘quiet’, something Oral-B brushes are not known for being. If the iO is quieter than previous models this will be a very welcome change. I suspect it will have less of a mechanical noise and more of a vibrational humming type of sound, more aligned to Sonicare and Colgate toothbrushes.
I have had confirmation that it is quieter in use, how much so, I will advise in my hands-on review, once the brush launches.
The battery is said to last 12.5 days, which to be honest, is a bit disappointing when compared to existing models from competing brands that last several weeks.
However, there is a new style of magnetic charging stand launching with this brush too. So, I won’t complain all that much until I have gotten the chance to test it.
Unlike current models that can take up to 15 hours to charge, the iO is able to be charged in just 3 hours.
Vincent commented, how the charging stand works well and a small ‘bubble’ on the charging stand makes it easy to align, and the magnets help also.
The battery life does appear to be less than hoped for. Using for about 2.5 minutes resulted in a 10% battery life drop in Vincent’s hands on testing. At this rate, it would last less than a week, so hopefully there will be some improvement.
There is a built-in visible pressure sensor to alert you should you brush too hard that will too automatically adjust the power of the motor (slowing it down), so not to do damage to the teeth and gums, until such time as the pressure is reduced.
But, this pressure sensor is even smarter. When you are applying the correct level of pressure it will light up green and red when there is too much.
You need to apply a small amount of pressure when brushing and the introduction of a green light makes it nice and obvious when you are doing a good job.
Up to 7 cleaning modes are going to be available on the Oral-B iO. The maximum number available on an Oral-B toothbrush to date has been 6.
The 7 modes are:
- Daily Clean
- Super Sensitive (new)
- Intense (likely similar to Pro/Deep Clean)
- Gum Care
- Tongue Clean
There should too be an option to personalise modes.
This personalisation is possible because this is a ‘smart’ electric toothbrush.
Fixed inside the sealed handle are a number of sensors and advanced electronics, including Bluetooth connectivity.
What this means, is that the iO is a smart toothbrush that can be connected to and controlled via a smartphone application. You can, in turn, get real-time brushing feedback, helpful information and manage the brush handle settings.
In addition to this, and perhaps the biggest leap forward for the iO, is the inclusion of an interactive display built into the toothbrush handle.
The small screen gives visual feedback, from the smiling face to the graphic timer that helps encourage you to brush for the dentist recommended 2 minutes.
What this should mean, is that, even though the toothbrush connects to an app, right from the handle, you should be able to get key information about how you are brushing and motivation to brush better.
Reader Vincent implied the tracking was reasonable and the prompts were helpful and ultimately he does see the value in this technology.
Oral-B claim that the iO can achieve:
- 100% healthier gums in just one week
- Six times more plaque removal along the gumline
They also say that 83% of gingivitis patients moved from unhealthy to healthy gums in eight weeks.
Key features of the Oral-B iO summarized:
- Small round brush head with oscillating-rotating and micro-vibrations cleaning action
- New frictionless magnetic drive system
- Re-designed CrossAction style brush head
- Built-in timer and pacer
- Built-in display to provide real-time feedback and encouragement
- Built-in visible pressure sensor
- Bluetooth connectivity for pairing to smartphone app
- 7 cleaning modes
- Personalisation options
- Built-in rechargeable battery with 12.5 days of battery life
- Magnetic charger
- Travel case with handle and head storage
In case it is not obvious, you don’t need a toothbrush as smart as this, a manual toothbrush or basic electric toothbrush does the job just fine, if used correctly. But, innovative products like this can help those who need that extra bit of motivation to achieve good oral health standards.
The Oral-B iO has been given the distinction of a CES Innovation Award Honoree, which recognises outstanding new consumer technology products. Of course, this is a great accolade, but proof of whether it is worthy, will come from the testing and real-world use, I hope to do later this year.
We do know that a new style of travel case has been designed for the iO, and hopefully, that will be included in the box too.
If you want to learn more, you can head to https://io.oralb.com/en-us/ where you can sign up to be notified about updates also. Or, of course, stay tuned here to our site, because we will bring you a detailed hands-on review as soon as we can.
In the meantime, check out the images below from Vincent and let me know in the comments what you think of the iO.