Monday, March 20, 2023

Capsule Considers: Can a $400 Toothbrush Possibly Be Worth It? We Review the Oral-B iO 8

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Kelly Bertrand tests out Oral-B’s new i0 8 and she has some THOUGHTS.

If you’ve read this headline and you’ve come down here just to scoff and say ‘Of COURSE no toothbrush can be worth that much money don’t be bloody ridiculous’, I hear you. And just a few months ago, I was with you.

When I saw the price tag of the new Oral B iO8, I admit I smirked and looked forward to writing a spectacular, smug piece that trumpeted the benefits of the trusty normal toothbrush while suggesting fun, irresponsible other ways of spending $400 like bags, boots and drunk K-Mart shopping.

I’m actually a little annoyed to report that this toothbrush is, in fact, worth it, because that must mean I’m getting old if I can actually see myself parting with that much money for the sake of my teeth.

But just as I’m discovering that a good skincare regime is the best thing you can do for your face, looking after your teeth as best you can is something we should be trying our best at, especially if you’re like me and have a fear of the dentist.

(It’s a long story but it involves a traumatic braces experience that led to my very angry mother shouting at my orthodontist to ‘get these f***ing things off my daughter’s teeth NOW’ so loudly I swear most of Howick had to hear her, and I’m eternally grateful.)

So, actually onto the product at hand. The Oral-B iO8 claims to do a whole lot of things on the box – namely a ‘best ever clean’ with the aid of smart pressure sensors that tell when you’re brushing too hard or too light (or just right), AI recognition that links up to an app that lets you know when one tooth has been brushed properly, a two-minute quadrant timer so you know you haven’t missed anything, and six different modes to focus on whitening, gum care, as well as intense and sensitive options.

It’s a lot to get your head – or mouth – around, but does it actually work?

The Oral-B iO Series 8

Well, trust me when I say after using the Oral-B for the first time, my teeth felt clean. Like, just-been-to-the-dentist clean, and it was glorious. I couldn’t stop running my tongue over my front teeth for hours and must have looked like a right idiot during the meetings I had that day, but I couldn’t help it.

I’ve been using it for the last two months, and can say definitely that my teeth are whiter, and my gums feel healthier (although they do say that the first time you use it, you’ll experience some bleeding just because of the sheer power of the toothbrush, so don’t panic when it looks like a tiny person has been murdered in your mouth).

The magnetic charger is super-fast – you can chuck it on there for five minutes and get a clean out of it from a dead battery, although the brush does last around 10 days without one) –

She’s a powerful wee thing, that’s for sure, but is super light (although is a bit noisier than you would expect from a smart toothbrush.) The novelty of the app does wear off even with the little smiles and ‘good job!’ awards it gives you when you’ve done your two minutes properly (God I’m like a five-year-old getting a certificate for sitting still on the mat) and it’s hard to remember to open it every time you’re brushing your teeth. But the results don’t lie – since I started using the Oral-B, I’ve had at least four people ask me if I’ve whitened my teeth (bloody coffee and red wine will get you every time).

But more importantly, I feel like my overall teeth and gum health have improved drastically, and if anything can help keep me away from the dentist, in my mind, it’s worth it.

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