Price (RRP): $349
I’m no stranger to Oral-B electric toothbrushes and have used one form or another for about ten years. I’ve used the ‘Black’ and ‘Pro’ models, but this is the first time I’ve had my hands on the Oral-B Genius 9000. This particular model comes in rose gold, which, while not to my particular tastes, is attractive enough, with just that little bit of glamour. It’s also available in black for those who want something a little less flashy.
Priced at $349, the Genius is the dearest of Oral-B’s electric toothbrushes. Still, it comes with quite a few bits and pieces including an intelligent brushing system that connects via Bluetooth to the Oral-B App, along with a mobile phone holder, charger, 3 brush heads as well as a smart travel case.
What really sets the Genius apart from other Oral-B models, however, is its new design. The handle is more cylindrical in shape and it’s a good deal lighter too. This weight saving is due to a new Lithium Ion battery, which, while giving the brush a longer two-week charge, also makes it easier to grip and manoeuvre.
There’s also a large and bright and multi-coloured LED ‘SmartRing’ positioned near the top of the handle next to the brush head attachment, which glows to indicate different brushing and charging modes. It will also flash bright red when you’re pressing too hard, thanks to a pressure sensor.
Also, just for fun, you can choose between 12 different colours to dress things up. The LEDs are located on the other end of the handle on the Pro and other models and not as easy to see, so this is definitely an improvement.
There are different brushing modes including deep clean, sensitive, polishing, tongue cleaning and more. Each has a specific symbol that lights up on the Genius’s handle. You simply press the selection button to switch between the modes, and these will adjust the brush-head oscillation and frequency for the desired effect.
So this isn’t your ordinary toothbrush. The Genius can connect to an Oral-B app on your Android or iOS phone to control settings, provide you with brushing stats and access the ‘Intelligent Brushing System’. The app also has an on-screen timer so you can see how long you’ve brushed, and a tracker that tells you how old your brush head is and when you need to replace it.
The Intelligent Brushing System includes dental care ‘Journeys’, which are pre-programmed routines that help you reach your oral care goals. There’s Fresh Breath, Plaque Fighter, Whitening, Gum Health and Ortho Care to choose from. The Whitening journey, for example, is a 2-4 week course of daily activities and coaching that help you remove stains from your teeth. Ortho Care, on the other hand, is for people with braces.
There’s also a Focused Care function that lets you choose areas of your teeth that you want to focus on cleaning, and the app will help you do better in these areas.
The activity tracker is a handy way to look back on when you brushed, how long you brushed and average times over the weeks and months. You can also set reminders to brush your teeth, clean your tongue and floss. There’s even a Fun Zone for kids and plenty for them to do to encourage regular brushing.
Connecting to the app is as simple as a downloading it to your phone and following the instructions to connect to your Genius toothbrush via Bluetooth.
The Genius package also comes with a phone-holding cradle so you can secure your phone to your mirror to monitor the time spent brushing in each area of your mouth. While this does work OK, I found it a bit of a bother to pull the cradle out from underneath the sink and mount it to my mirror each time I wanted to brush with the app. In general use, I found that I was happy enough to brush without it, while occasionally opening the app to check my stats.
Smart travel case
The travel case that comes with the Oral-B Genius is more than just a handy way to tote around your toothbrush and brush heads. It can also charge the toothbrush while inside and there’s even a USB port to plug into your mobile phone, camera, portable battery pack or other electronic gadget and charge it as well.
This is a great idea and cuts down on the number of chargers that you’ll need to bring with you on a trip, plus you won’t need to bring the normal charging stand. The case is also decorated with rose gold accents and is a nice match for the brush handle.
Overall, I’m happy to upgrade to the Genius, as it definitely feels better than my previous Oral-B electric toothbrushes. I’ve used just about all of the features, and don’t really feel that I need all of the app-based bells and whistles, however, they may be of more value to some, as well as a handy way to get your kids to brush more often. The improved handle design and SmartRing LED are the best bits, and the new Lithium-Ion battery is a plus, along with the travel case that doubles as a charger. If you like to travel, these reasons alone are enough for an upgrade.