Gursahib Sohal introduces the new Oral-B IO toothbrush and gets Chinwe Akuonu’s thoughts on whether it will appeal to dental patients.
This summer saw the launch of the highly-anticipated Oral-B IO toothbrush.
Oral-B describe it as their ‘best brush yet’. The IO technology uses a state-of-the-art magnetic drive system to power the brush. Directing the power into the bristles of the newly designed round brush head.
A first system of its kind! The brush stimulates the bristles to operate in a unique micro-vibrating fashion. This is tailored to remove optimal amounts of plaque and debris.
The oscillating-rotating (O-R) system of previous brushes also has a new generation in the IO brush. It provides a more smooth, pleasurable and noise reducing brushing experience to the user.
What does it include?
The new IO brush hosts a whole load of new and improved features from other models.
The smart pressure sensor guides the user to brush at an optimal pressure range of 0.8-2.5N. Robust laboratory testing determined the optimal plaque removal effectiveness after testing various pressures.
A green sensor light indicates the user is within the correct pressure range. Whilst a red light indicates pressure above 2.5N.
This causes an automatic decrease in the brush’s smart drive. It changes the brush setting to ‘sensitive’ mode when applying too much pressure when brushing.
The unique smart interface of the brush encourages good real-time bushing with a brush timer, location and pressure all displayed on the interface.
A really interesting new feature is the interactive experience of the artificial intelligence. This guides the user’s tooth-brushing session with 3D tracking via the Oral-B app.
It has the ability to accurately display areas the user is missing when brushing. Further encouraging the user to understand and improve their brushing techniques.
An additional bonus is the magnetic charger offering fast charging capability to the brush, taking only three hours to completely charge.
Electric versus manual
As a dental student when providing oral hygiene advice, my patients constantly ask whether powered toothbrushes are any better than manual.
A lot have the misconception that powered brushes damage the teeth, which isn’t the case at all when used correctly.
A Cochrane review in 2014 concludes: ‘Powered toothbrushes provide a statistically significant benefit compared with manual toothbrushes’. And power brush users over a 11-year cohort study show 22% lower progression of probing depth, 21% lower clinical attachment loss and 20% less tooth loss.
We can easily relay such facts and figures to the patient to show why a powered toothbrush is more beneficial.
The new Oral-B IO in the authors’ opinion is the most optimal of choices to achieve such results.
Chinwe, a fifth-year dental student at Kings and qualified hygienist, was given the IO brush three months ago to review.
‘As a registered dental hygienist, I was lucky enough to receive the new Oral-B IO powered toothbrush a while ago. It’s been three months since I started using it, and finally the time for the verdict has arrived!
‘My personal experience, so far, is extremely positive. I definitely agree that the IO offers multiple advantages and is truly Oral-B’s best brush yet.
‘My favourite feature is the innovative magnetic drive system. It translates into a very gentle micro-vibration of the bristles; this allows for a delicate and excellent clean.
‘My teeth feel absolutely cleaner and I can’t seem to have enough of that gentle massaging sensation on my teeth and gums; it’s the reason I eagerly look forward to every brushing session.
‘This gem of a brush also offers seven cleaning modes. My favourite is the super sensitive mode.
‘The combination of this mode together with the smart pressure sensor is an no brainer, especially for gum protection. I can tell if I’m brushing too hard, in which case the red ring light is activated. Or if I am brushing right, in which case the green light is activated.
‘Even as a dental professional, I was surprised at how much pressure I was applying on a few areas whilst brushing.’
‘My brush wishes me good morning every day’
‘I love that the size of the toothbrush head is ideal. It contemporarily covers both the gum line and the teeth. This allows efficient removal of plaque from both surfaces.
‘Can I also mention how much less of a noise there is with this brush? I no longer need to be cautious about waking up the entire household with my occasional cheeky late-night brushing.
‘Unfortunately, I must confess though that I have not fully explored the potential of connecting the IO to the Oral-B app and experiencing the 3D tracking and AI.
‘Although I’m not a tech savvy, I do know how to appreciate the sleek minimalist design and texture of this brush. The interactive display is also very motivating. And the goal is to get that starry-eyed smile at the end of every brushing session.
‘I appreciate that I can change the colour of the ring light to fit my mood. And that my brush wishes me good morning every day.
‘The click-in-place magnetic charger does not only contribute to the aesthetics of this brush, but also proves to be very hygienic. It is easily wipeable, hence adieu to those accumulated hard, calcified water deposits of the previous X genius model.
‘Finally, the toothbrush gets a full charge in three hours and lasts all week. It is also easily portable in its travel kit.’
‘A pleasant brushing experience’
‘So, who do I recommend the IO to?
‘Everyone of course, but I think that the following group of people may particularly benefit from it:
- Those with a high risk of receding gums; this way they can gently brush their teeth and gums without worsening the situation
- Those who tend to scrub too hard
- Tech savvies in love with AI and apps
- Those who suffer from sensitivity
- Those who use the incorrect brushing technique and tend to leave out the gum margins
- Patients who want to experience the ultimate cleaning experience
- Those who can’t tolerate loud noises and vibrations.
‘With that said, I am aware the IO is expensive and that it will take some convincing to invest in one. But I hope this personal and professional review makes that decision just a little bit easier.
‘In summary, the IO doesn’t just optimise brushing and protect gums, it transforms the classic brushing routine into a pleasant experience.’
Thank you to Sophia Morris, a clinical fellow at Oral-B for proposing and helping with the article write up.