Oral-B has poured a whole lot of tech into its latest top-of-the-range toothbrush. The sensible reaction may be to smirk at the gimmicks and baulk at the price, but I must admit that I’ve been won over by charms of the Genius 9000.
Bluetooth is the star attraction, and the companion app for Android and iOS devices is stuffed with features to liven up your brushing experience. It times how long you brush for to encourage you do two minutes twice a day, and reminds you to floss, clean your tongue and use mouthwash. All of these appear in a record of your brushing history, along with warnings of how many seconds you applied too much pressure for. The app will issue a gentle ticking off for misdemeanours and appears in the Android notifications if it hasn’t heard from you for a couple of days.
There’s also a Position Detection mode that uses the front-facing camera to make sure you’re brushing all of your teeth. It divides the mouth up into six zones — left, middle and right for the top and bottom rows. The camera tracking isn’t hugely accurate, though. It was fun watching the animated graphics as I brushed, along with the achievements and trophies that encourage good habits, but the novelty soon wore off. Still, if the good habits persist after you stop using the app on a regular basis, it has served a useful purpose.
There’s a phone holder that clamps onto the bathroom mirror using suction to keep the phone level with your face when using the app. I highly suspect the app’s appeal will wear off before the phone holder loses its grip on the mirror and sends your phone plummeting towards the sink.
Multiple brush heads
There are four brush heads included in the box, and each one is different. There are actually nine Oral-B brush heads in the range, and these four serve as a useful taster pack. I particularly like the 3D White brush head with its plastic “polishing cup” and the FlossAction head that’s designed to give a deep clean between teeth. Meanwhile, the handle has a mode selection button that cycles through six modes: Daily Clean, Pro-Clean, Sensitive, Whitening, Massage, Tongue Cleaning. There doesn’t seem to be a huge benefit to these. Pro-Clean spins the brush a little faster, while Sensitive is a little slower. Whitening and Massage undulate the speed up and down. Even so, it’s fair to say that the choice of brush heads and speeds should have all tastes covered, and the brushing experience is top notch.
It’s a smart-looking toothbrush with its black colour scheme and assortment of lights for brushing mode, battery life, Bluetooth and an illuminated ring that turns from blue to red when you’re applying too much pressure. The back of the brush has a rubber texture for a secure grip. The travel case is the most handsome part of the package with its minimalist matt black appearance. It doubles as a charger and comes with its own two-pin travel adapter. There’s also a USB socket to provide power for another device — most likely your phone — and an integrated phone holder on the inside of the case. The toothbrush warned of a low battery after 27 brushes and lasted for four more before running out. Unlike other Oral-B electric brushes, this one uses a lithium ion battery so you can charge it whenever you like without risk of diminishing the battery life.
Paying over £100 for an electric toothbrush might seem ludicrous, but Oral B has done enough here to justify splashing out. The lithium ion battery should bode well for long-term battery performance, and the brushing experience is second to none.