The Genius 9000 is Oral-B’s latest premium toothbrush that offers a state-of-the-art app that connects to your smart phone via Bluetooth.
The app attempts to resolve the 3 big issues when it comes to effective dental care; not brushing long enough, brushing too hard and failing to brush all your teeth evenly.
Before moving on to how the 9000 deals with the above issues it’s important to discuss the SmartRing, as it plays a central role in ensuring we are brushing correctly.
With all round visibility, the SmartRing provides visual and audible feedback from the brushing timer and pressure sensor. If also has a status indicator for your Bluetooth connection.
The default colour settings of the SmartRing are:
- the visual timer is illuminated white
- the pressure sensor alert illuminates red
- Bluetooth connectivity is indicated by blue illumination
It’s easy to choose your own colour setting with the smart phone app.
While colour customising the SmartRing isn’t exactly a must have feature, it’s a neat enough touch and is simple to setup.
The Visual Timer
One of the biggest benefits of going electric is that it encourages you to brush longer.
Data gathered from the Oral-B app shows a typical brushing time of two minutes 27 seconds. Studies have shown that the typical manual brushing session lasts less than one minute.
It’s pretty clear that people who use an electric brush are spending more time brushing and are likely to have healthier teeth and gums as a result.
It’s very easy to rush brushing your teeth, two minutes can seem an age when you have a toothbrush stuck in your mouth.
The timer helps you to not only brush for at least two minutes; but that you also spend an equal amount of time cleaning each section of your teeth. This is where the build in quadpacer does its magic.
The quadpacer is based on the principle that mouth is made up of four quadrants, the idea is that you spend 30 seconds cleaning each of the four quadrants. If you recall from earlier in this piece, brushing evenly across all four quadrants is one of the three most important elements of brushing effectively.
The Smart Ring starts flashing at 30 second intervals and you also get an audible alert the brush emits a stuttering sound; both these alerts are tell you it’s time to move onto the next brushing zone.
A long stuttering sound and flashing light signals you have completed all four quadrants.
The timer memorises the elapsed brushing time, even when the handle is briefly switched off during brushing.
Switch the brush off for more than 30 seconds and the timer resets. If you switch off for less than 30 seconds the timer will remember where you left off and complete the remaining brushing time.
Triple Pressure Sensor Technology
Excessive brushing can damage your gums and over long periods can wear away tooth enamel. There are many features of a modern electric toothbrush that can be seen as overkill but a pressure sensor should be on your must-have feature list.
Apply to much pressure on your teeth or gums and the Genius SmartRing will start flashing red. You should also be able to detect the noise of the brush head change as the speed of the brushing action is reduced.
Position Detection Technology
It’s easy to slip into bad brushing habits. It’s not enough to brush twice a day, even if you brush for the recommended two minutes. You need to brush each quadrant of your mouth for an equal amount of time.
The Position-Detection Technology tracks brush position, and shows the user how to brush all zones in the mouth equally and evenly.
Data gathered from the smart phone app shows 80% of people spent insufficient time brushing in at least one zone in their mouth. The data also revealed that 60% of people either didn’t brush their back molars at all, or didn’t brush evenly across the four zones.
Independent scientific research suggests that it is more important to brush all zones in the mouth evenly, rather than brushing longer. People using the Oral-B App brush on average 2 minutes and 27 seconds, whereas manual brush users brush on average less than one minute.
Despite over 1 million downloads of the app, I’m not convinced by the need for this extra layer of technology. Don’t get me wrong, you should pay equal attention to all corners of your mouth but a quadrant timer is already built into the brush handle and this timer doesn’t require the app at all.
My biggest gripe about this system is you have to attach your smart phone to the bathroom mirror. While it’s actually less complex to setup than it looks; it’s just a step too far for me.
It’s apparent from user feedback that many people either ignore the app altogether or ditch it after a few days.
While I’ve been quite dismissive about the need for the app, many will find it useful in the short term. Users of the app brush for an average of 2 minutes 27 seconds compared to the often quoted “less than a minute” brushing time of manual brush users.
While the position detection system is heavily used in the marketing of this model, the stand out reason for choosing this model is the brilliant clean this brush provides.
Premium Travel Case
The travel case has a soft-touch, leathery feel to it and matches the colour of the brush itself. The inside is very thoughtfully designed to carry the toothbrush and two brush heads.
When open, there’s a rest for your smartphone. The hinge of the case is formed from a flexible mesh so even when it’s closed, there’s enough ventilation for the brush heads to dry out.
The case can be connected to the mains charger so that your tooth brush can be charged while in the case. The mesh hinge means you can see the LED indicator that indicates when the brush is fully charged.
The cleaning modes available on the 9000 are:
- Daily Clean – the standard mode for daily brushing
- Gum Care – suitable for those with sore or inflamed and even bleeding gums. It offers a gentle massage of gums to stimulate blood flow and strengthen and nurture the gum tissue.
- Sensitive – A gentle, yet thorough cleaning for sensitive areas of the mouth, this mode is also recommended by some dentists as a better option than the Daily Clean as it is not so powerful.
- Whitening – Aims to polish teeth to give that dentist clean look and feel for brighter teeth.
Suitable as on occasional or everyday cleaning mode.
The cleaning cycle lasts for 2 minutes and 20 seconds normally.
The first 2 minutes are for completing the normal cleaning and the additional 20 seconds for focusing on the front teeth
- Pro-Clean (known as Deep Clean mode in earlier models). This is cleaning mode is the same as the Daily Clean but pre-programmed to last for an extra 60 seconds longer.
- Tongue Cleaner – Used for cleaning the tongue or inside of the cheeks.
More gentle than a conventional cleaning mode.
Suitable for daily or occasional use.
All these modes, with the exception of Pro Clean are standard cleaning modes found on previous/other Oral-B models, although not all have every mode.
Oral-B Compatible Brush Heads
This Genius 9000 is supplied with the following four brush heads:
Cross Action brush head
The bristles of the cross action head are set at a 16 degree angle; this is the optimum angle for clearing the plaque that builds up between each tooth.
The small toothbrush head surrounds each tooth and the dynamic movement of the 3D cleaning action adapts to your teeth as it oscillates, rotates and pulsates to break up and remove any plaque.
Sensitive Clean brush head
This is a round and small brush head that has extra-soft bristles. It’s aimed at those who have sensitive teeth and gums. You don’t need a lot of pressure or hard bristles to remove plaque everyday with regular brushing.
3D White brush head
The 3D white it’s unique in that it has a rubber polishing cup at its centre; rather than bristles. The idea has been taken from the equipment used by your dentist to polish your teeth.
Floss Action brush head
This is an oval, rotary-style brush head. Despite the name, this is doesn’t mean you can give up flossing.
Which brush head should you use on a daily basis?
For general day to day brushing, you should be using the Cross Action brush as it the most effective brush head for removing plaque. Having said that, different people have different requirements so you’ll have to decide what brush heads are the most suitable for your own specific needs.
While the above brush heads come with your purchase, there are other brush head options you can buy separately.
This is a smaller, rounder brush head than the Floss Action. The size and shape allows for a more precise clean of each tooth surface.
This is the Oral-B’s best selling replacement brush head, despite the fact the Floss Action brush heads are reported to be the most effective at plaque removal.
The large choice of brush head options available is yet another reason why Oral-B electric toothbrushes are so popular.