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Medically Reviewed
Published: 10 March 2023

Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024

Author: Jon Love (4 Comments)
Medical reviewer: Dr Gemma Wheeler, BDS
Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 1

Our verdict

Best all-round: CrossAction / Amazon, Shaver Shop / ~$9.99

Best for a gentler clean: Gum Care / Amazon, Shaver Shop / ~$14.8

Best for whitening: 3D White / Amazon / ~$9.99

Best for braces: Ortho Care Essentials / Amazon / ~$69.77

Quick summary

We recommend the CrossAction and Gum Care as the best Oral-B toothbrush heads.

Both provide a great clean. The Gum Care (also known as the Sensi UltraThin) offers the softer bristles for a more gentle brushing experience.

Do be aware that you will get more benefit from brushing twice a day for 2 minutes each time with the right technique than you will worrying about which brush head style to choose.

If you want to know more about each brush head or the other choices you have, this guide tells you all you need to know.

Our Choice
Oral-B CrossAction Brush Heads - 2pk - White
Oral-B CrossAction Brush Heads - 2pk - White
Our Choice
Oral-B Gum Care Brush Heads - 2pk - White
Oral-B Gum Care Brush Heads - 2pk - White
Amazon $16.95 $14.8
Shaver Shop $9.99 $17.99

Best all-round Oral-B brush head

The CrossAction or Gum Care are the best brush heads to go for — both excellent choices.

The CrossAction is the brush head most commonly supplied with a new Oral-B toothbrush.  The bristles are firmer than the Gum Care (also called the Sensi UltraThin), which is another very popular option for those looking for softer bristles.

Oral-B CrossAction Brush Heads – 2pk – White
Oral-B CrossAction Brush Heads – 2pk – White
Oral-B Gum Care Brush Heads – 2pk – White
Oral-B Gum Care Brush Heads – 2pk – White

Best for sensitive teeth

If you have sensitive teeth or gums, perhaps inflammation or even bleeding the best brush head in this instance for cleaning your teeth will be the Gum Care.

The softer bristles move over the teeth and gum surfaces with a motion less abrasive than some other brush heads, reducing the sensitivity on the teeth.

If you regularly experience sensitive teeth and gums, you should seek further advice from a dentist as you may need to consider a change in diet, specialist toothpastes or even dental work.

Oral-B Gum Care Brush Heads – 2pk – White
Oral-B Gum Care Brush Heads – 2pk – White

Best for whitening teeth

Whilst the Oral-B 3D White brush head will not achieve the same results as professional whitening at the dentist, it can help to remove surface stains from your teeth. 

The polishing cup in the centre of the brush head is designed to replicate the motion and effect of professional dental tools.

To enhance the effect of the whitening head it is best, although not essential, to use it with an Oral-B brush that has a Whitening Mode

The Whitening Mode lasts for 2 minutes 20 seconds — the first 2 minutes are for your normal clean, and the last 20 seconds can be used to focus on any particularly stained areas. 

It's worth noting that this brush head won't work miracles — it's worth trying if you have some light staining you want to remove, but if the desired results are not achieved, you will likely need professional cleaning or bleaching.  

Oral-B 3D White Brush Heads – 2pk – White
Oral-B 3D White Brush Heads – 2pk – White

Best for braces

The complex design of braces and the small food particles that can get caught on the teeth and gums and around the dental work may make brushing your teeth and leaving them fresh and clean more difficult.

All Oral-B brush heads can technically be used on braces and should provide a good clean.

However, Oral-B does have a more specialised solution known as the Ortho Brush Heads.

These heads are not widely sold in Australia, but you can source them online.

The unique design looks to reach in between the brace and around fittings to clean as effectively as if you had no braces at all.

When buying the Ortho brush head included will be a Power/Interspace Tip which is a second brush head with another style of bristle design that is specifically designed to clean in between teeth in hard to reach areas.

Oral-B Ortho Care Essentials Brush Heads – 2pk – White
Oral-B Ortho Care Essentials Brush Heads – 2pk – White
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Which brush head should I use?

Don't panic or worry too much about which style of brush head to pick.

For the vast majority, the CrossAction or Gum Care brush head I have recommended will be an ideal choice.

The small round heads do a fantastic job of cleaning the teeth and gums.

Arguably just as, if not more important than the actual brush head is the way in which you clean your teeth. This includes how long you brush for, how frequently and the brushing technique.

Our video guide here explains the correct way to brush your teeth. A poor tooth cleaning routine is more damaging than the incorrect brush head.

However, for those looking to achieve specific results or have special brushing requirements, Oral-B does offer a little more choice.

If you want to get into the details, you first need to consider the brush head style.

Do you want the small round brush head, which Oral-B are famed for, and that is clinically proven to offer a superior clean?

Or, would you like the sweeping action of the TriZone/Deep Sweep brush head which is more aligned with a manual toothbrush?

A TriZone brush head reaches over 2-3 teeth at any one time compared to the one tooth approach of the small professional inspired heads.

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Both will offer a better clean removing more plaque than a manual brush.

Seeing as the small round heads are clinically better and more popular, I will presume you want the small round brush head.

With that covered you have another slight consideration to make. What bristle configuration do you want?

The options include:

  • CrossAction
  • FlossAction
  • 3D White
  • Gum Care
  • Precision Clean
  • Sensitive

Each of these have potential advantages based on your specific needs. CrossAction is a good general clean option whilst the FlossAction is advantageous if you particularly suffer with plaque build up in between teeth.

3D White is best used if you are trying to remove stains from the teeth and get more of a polished shine.

Gum Care is best suited if there is inflammation in the mouth or you have particularly soft gums whilst Precision clean attacks the gum line removing up to 5x more plaque.

There are of course the more specialised Ortho and Power Tip/Interspace brush heads which should ideally be used by those with braces, teeth implants or dental crowns.

All give the teeth a good general clean, do not be worried that you will lose out by selecting one over the other, but it can be good to change brush heads if your needs change over time.

brushing teeth with electric toothbrush

Oral-B brush heads explained

CrossAction vs Precision Clean vs FlossAction vs Gum Care vs...the other 5 Oral-B brush heads available to buy.

You may be wondering what the difference is between these and how they compare.

I explain all the different heads in detail below to make it easy for you to understand which one to opt for.

I've also created a comparison table to help summarise the key differences.

Comparison table

The brush heads shown in the table below will work with any Oral-B brush handle, apart from the Stages Power Kids and the Oral-B iO series.

There are specific brush heads for the iO series, as noted in the table.

CrossActionFlossActionGum Care3D WhitePrecision CleanTriZone/Deep Sweep**Ortho Care**Interspace**Ultimate CleanGentle CareKids
Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 4Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 5Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 6Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 7Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 8Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 9Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 10Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 11Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 12Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 13Best Oral-B toothbrush heads 2024 14
DescriptionBest all-roundBest for sensitive teethBest for whiteningBest for bracesBest for crowns, bridges & implantsBest all-round - iO SeriesBest for sensitive teeth -iO SeriesBest for kids
Everyday brushing solution?YesYesYesNoYesYesYesNoYesYesYes
Speciality brushing solution?NoNoYesYesNoNoYesYesNoYesYes
Compatible with all handles?*YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesiO Series OnlyiO Series OnlyYes
Cleaning modes best suitedDaily Clean, Gum Care, Pro CleanDaily Clean, Gum Care, Pro CleanSensitiveWhiteningDaily Clean, Gum Care, Pro CleanDaily Clean, Gum Care, Pro CleanDaily CleanDaily CleanDaily Clean, Whitening, IntenseSensitive, Super Sensitive, Gum Care
Daily Clean
*Not compatible with Oral-B iO Series / **Not widely sold in Australia - May be imported

Fitting Oral-B brush heads

To replace a brush head, you pull off the existing brush head and push on the replacement. The heads will require a small amount of force to push on and pull off, they are designed to be a snug fit.

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Compatibility - Oral-B brush heads are interchangeable

All of the Oral-B brush heads will fit to and work with any of the current and many older Oral-B electric toothbrushes. They are designed to be interchangeable*.

All brush heads work on any Oral-B brush handle and cleaning mode.

So if you have Pro 2 2000 or a Genius AI you can use any of the previously mentioned brush heads.

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You can really take advantage of this feature if you wish to achieve certain oral hygiene goals, if your needs change over time or if you share a toothbrush handle with someone else. Just swap the head of the brush to suit the user's needs.

No longer does one person in a household need to have a different brush to another. Share the same handle, just swap the brush head.

It is advised to only use Oral-B brush heads with the brush handles as performance and wear on the brush using other brush heads cannot be guaranteed.

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*This does not apply to the iO Series. Other odd exceptions may apply. The OxyJet nozzle will not fit to electric toothbrushes.

Pro Series V TriZone/Deep Sweep Series

Please note: The TriZone style brush heads also known as Deep Sweep are not technically ranged in Australia.

You may be wondering what is the difference between the Pro and TriZone/Deep Sweep series. 

The motion of the TriZone brush head is different to the other Pro series brush heads. TriZone is more like a traditional manual brush compared to the more advanced and arguably better oscillating rotating brush head.

In the animations below you can see the different motions of the brush heads.

TriZone/Deep Sweep brush head:

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Pro Oscillating Rotating brush head:

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It is the Pro series brush heads with the 3D oscillating, rotating and pulsating technology that tends to be most popular.

Coloured brush heads

Oral-B might make a range of different coloured brush handles such as white, black, pink, purple, rose gold and, but sadly the choices of a colour matched brush head are limited.

The vast majority of brush heads are available in a white colour only.

There is a black coloured CrossAction head, or for iO toothbrush owners, the Ultimate Clean head is available in black.

These are the only alternative choices from white that are available.

A look at the different types of brush head

I have tested all of these different brush heads and my personal favourites are the CrossAction and Sensitive brush heads.

Being able to actually tell the difference between each and how well they clean is very difficult.

Personal opinion is most certainly going to influence the thought about each. You might get different feelings and results when compared to my everyday use.

Oral-B make many claims about the efficiency of plaque removal and how well each head cleans in combination with their brush handles. I am not here to judge or make comment specifically on how well they remove plaque, this is not a scientific test.

Having tried each, here are a few of my thoughts.

CrossAction heads

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Probably the most common of all the brush heads, the CrossAction toothbrush head has a CrissCross bristle configuration set at a 16 degree angle to effectively clean teeth, along the gumline and reach deep in between teeth to loosen and remove up to 100% more plaque than a manual toothbrush.

The CrossAction brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Braun Oral-B CrossAction brush head review

This is my brush head of choice, that I use on a daily basis.

I feel like it cleans well and I always feel like my mouth is always fresh after use.

It sounds extreme, but the best way I can describe this head is that it is more aggressive than the others. What I mean by this is that I can feel the bristles working, particularly along the gumline.

Some might find it a little too harsh, the bristles are fairly stiff, particularly if you compare it to the sensitive head.

If you have sore, swollen or inflamed gums it might be a bit rough on these.

The bristles are bunched into 26 smaller clusters.

Right in the centre you have 2 clusters of short white bristles

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Around this is a ring of 8 bristle clusters that are a dark blue and green in colour.

The green bristles are the same height as the inner white bristles and the dark blue sit slightly taller. All of these bristles are angled at 16 degrees.

There is then the final outer ring of bristles. 16 clusters all of which are angled at 16 degrees. There are shorter white bristles and then taller light blue bristles.

It is the light blue bristles that are the ‘indicator bristles that fade over time as the brush head is used.

Over the many months I have used this style of head, I have not found the bristles to fray or split and have been very pleased with the performance with no desire to change to another brush head, other than perhaps the sensitive brush head.

Floss Action heads

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Unique MicroPulse bristles are designed to reach and clean deep between the teeth to give a floss like clean whilst other bristles focus on the tooth surfaces and the gum line to help lift and remove plaque.

The Floss Action brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Braun Oral-B FlossAction brush head review

A round Oral-B brush head, the FlossAction configuration is a bit unique in the fittings within the head itself.

Yes, you have the normal clusters of bristles, but there are 4 tall rubber pieces that are tapered in their design and fairly flexible with a lot more movement than the fairly stiff bristles on the brush head.

In the centre of the brush head are 7 clusters of shorter mint green bristles.

Above and below this are 2 light blue bristle clusters with a further 2 clusters above them. The outer bristle formation is slightly thinner, but wider in formation and are positioned to form a slight arc or curvature to the edge of the brush head. The very outer bristles are the tallest on the head.

To the right and left of the brush head is a single cluster of white bristles in a circles, with then a single taller but not so thick formation on the very edge. These are the same height as the inner mint green bristles.

Imagine the brush head to be a clock face and at 8, 10, 2 and 4 are these unique MicroPulse bristles.

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Yellow in colour, a third of the way down they have a blue banding around them, which is slightly thicker and gives strength to the bristle. Whilst securely fitted within the head, they have much more flex and a wider degree of movement than any other bristles.

The tapered design helps them get deep within the gaps of the teeth to remove plaque and food debris and give a floss like clean.

Watching the movement of the brush head in slow motion, shows how these bristles flop side to side.

I can’t say that I can actually feel these MicroPulse bristles getting in between the teeth. If I really try to analyse the clean of the head it feels different but actually explaining it or to say it is giving that deep floss like clean is hard.

That said, I have very tight gaps between my teeth and sometimes even getting regular string or tape floss in can be difficult. Others may feel or see the difference more than I can.

Gum Care (Sensi UltraThin) heads

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Engineered to be softer on the teeth and gums, the bristles are softer and formed into a petal shapes for a more gentle movement along the gumline, tooth surface, in and around sensitive and inflamed areas.

The Gum Care brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Braun Oral-B Gum Care review

Sensi UltraThin brush heads or Gum Care heads as they otherwise known, are the new and improved brush head that is designed to replace the Sensitive brush head that has been available for many years.

The brush head is round in shape made up of a number of bristle clusters.

These clusters are called ‘petals’ by Oral-B. They are made and positioned in such a way that there is a slight sweep and curve to the bristle clusters on the outer ring.

There are 8 clusters on the outer ring that are white in colour and have fading blue tips.

There is the inner ring with a further 8 bristle clusters. These are all white in colour

Right in the centre is a tight cluster of blue bristles.

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Shortest are the inner blue bristles, with the inner ring of white bristles slightly taller. The height of the bristles on the very outer ring, vary in height. For the most part they are the same height as the inner ring of bristles, but quite a few of the outer bristles are fractionally taller.

Oral-B have designed the bristles to be much softer on the teeth and gums and whilst there is a certain firmness to the bristles they do feel soft.

During cleaning, the head seems to do a good job and I enjoy the clean it offers.

It does feel softer and many dental professionals will advise opting for a soft bristles head on your toothbrush.

In comparison to the older style Sensitive brush head style, which is still sold in places the new head has less bristles. The older style has bristles of all of the same height. On the outer edge are a number of tightly clustered bristles that essentially form a ring around a much denser array of centre bristles.

3D White heads

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Offering a specially designed, dentist inspired polishing cup this brush head is for a tooth by tooth clean that works to remove surface stains to whiten teeth while the bristles clean away plaque.

The 3D White brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Braun Oral-B 3D White brush head review

More unique looking than your regular style of round brush head, the 3D White head looks similar to other Oral-B heads in that it is round with a number of bristle clusters, but what makes this head stand out from the others is the round rubber polishing cup that is in the middle of the brush head.

This is a Pinky/Purple coloured piece of rubber, that sits lower than all the other bristles of the brush. Inside the polishing cup are 4 thin bristles/upright rubber pieces that help give the cup strength. These are positioned at 9, 12, 3 and 6 o’clock, if you imagined the circle being that of a clock face. In between each of these are even smaller ridges inside the polishing cup, there are 3 between each larger support/bristles.

To the outer left and right of this polishing cup are 3 clusters of bristles that form the outer ring of the brush head if you like. These are rich blue colour and are the shortest bristles on the head.

Above and below the polishing cup are 3 clusters of white bristles.

Out from the white bristles are 2 clusters of very dark blue coloured bristles. The formation of these bristles are wider and slightly thinner than a normal cluster and are positioned in such a way that there is a gentle arc to them.

The tallest bristles these sit right at the top and bottom of the brush head.

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The polishing cup is designed to mimic the dentist tools that buff the tooth surface, and remove stains, to be bright and white, whilst the bristles brush away plaque on the tooth surfaces, in interdental spaces and along the gumline.

How effective this brush head is at whitening your teeth is dependent upon your teeth and the level of staining. When used with a good toothpaste it can remove extrinsic staining, i.e. the staining that builds up due to use of tobacco, drinking coffee or red wine. But, the effects and change in tooth colour may be little if you already have good oral hygiene and little tooth staining and the overall colour of the tooth will not be whitened.

Whilst it happily cleans the teeth well, for me the clean is not as invigorating as the CrossAction or the Precision clean brush heads.

You should be aware that whilst the actual style of the 3D white brush head has not changed, the colours of the bristles have. The reason for this I am not sure. The older style 3D White brush head has a yellow polishing cup, green and light blue outer bristles.

Precision Clean heads

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Capable of removing up to 5x more plaque than a manual toothbrush the precision clean head leaves your whole mouth feeling cleaner thanks to an arc trim that cups each tooth as you brush it.

The Precision Clean brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Braun Oral-B Precision Clean brush head review

This was the brush head of choice and the default brush head supplied with most brushes from Oral-B, before they introduced the CrossAction brush head.

The brush head is circular in shape, and there are clusters of bristles that are different lengths. When looked at side on you can see how the bristles essentially cup around the tooth.

Whilst not as soft as the Sensitive brush head, the bristles have more movement and are not as stiff as the CrossAction head.

In the centre are 4 clusters of white bristles, with 3 clusters of bristles on the right and left side. These left and right clusters arc slightly around the centre bristles.

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On the very edge of the right and left side of the brush head and forming an outer wall of bristles are 4 clusters of dark blue bristles. 2 clusters are closer together to provide a thicker and more oval shaped formation.

Above and below the central white bristles are 2 clusters of lighter blue bristles and then out from these is a much wider arcing cluster that forms the upper and lower edge of the brush head. These are the taller bristles.

The head offers to me a good clean. It does not feel quite as invigorating as the CrossAction head, but effective and certainly my teeth feel clean after use.

TriZone/Deep Sweep heads

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Most like a manual toothbrush head the TriZone interchangeable head features 3 bristle zones.

A power tip reaches the back teeth whilst shorter bristles clean the tooth surface and longer sweeping bristles that reach up to 2X deeper between teeth compared to a manual brush to deliver a more superior clean.

It is also worth noting that the TriZone brush head is larger than the oscillating rotating brush heads like Cross Action, Floss Action etc.

The TriZone/Deep Sweep brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Braun Oral-B TriZone brush head review

Having spent many years using the small round brush heads, the TriZone is much larger and bulkier in the mouth and is much more reminiscent to a regular manual toothbrush.

There are essentially 7 rows of bristles that run horizontally across the brush head.

The brush head shape is longer and more oval than the round brush heads.

At the very top of the brush head are a 3 clusters of light blue bristles. You have one cluster in the top centre with a cluster below and slightly to one side of that.

These top bristles move left to right when connected to the brush handle and do so in perfect harmony with the 3 rows of white bristles on the head.

Longest are the white and light blue bristles.

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Not obvious until you look side on at the brush head, the bristles at the tip are angled back slightly and I understand them to help clean deeper between teeth

There are 3 rows of shorter dark blue bristles. Made up of 3 bristle clusters running horizontally, they are fixed into the head and do not move left to right like the other bristles do. They clean the teeth via the sonic vibrations that pass into the bristles from the brush motor.

In the mouth the cleaning action feels different, not quite as intense in my opinion and you get a slower, sweep like motion.

The effectiveness of the brush head is good, but for me I prefer the other round head styles and this is what Oral-B tend to recommend.

The smaller heads are easier to manipulate and move around the mouth, particularly if there is not a lot of room to move. It also felt to me more awkward when cleaning the backs of teeth with the larger head.

Deep Sweep is an option for those transitioning or who like the bigger head style.

Ortho heads

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Designed to suit those who are undergoing orthodontic treatment the brush head makes for easier and simpler cleaning of braces.

Inner bristles focus on the brace attachment to the tooth whilst outer bristles focus on the exposed tooth surface, the gumline and in between teeth.

An ortho brush kit often contains 2 other brush heads and a Interspace/Power Tip as explained below.

The Ortho brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Interspace/Power Tip

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Referred to as either Power Tip or Interspace this brush head is specifically designed to clean between teeth and around dental work such as bridges, crowns and tiny, hard to reach areas in between teeth and implants.

The Interspace / Power Tip brush head is compatible with:

  • All Oral-B brush handles excluding iO Series

Kids (Stages Power) heads

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As the name implies this brush head is specifically designed with children or kids in mind.

It is an everyday brushing solution, that is round in shape, just like a regular Oral-B brush head, but it is marginally smaller to suit the smaller mouths of the younger generation.

The bristles are soft to ensure no damage to the teeth and gums.

Often referred to as 'Stages Power' brush heads as this is a range of brush heads designed with children in mind.

The heads come in different colours and usually have stickers applied to the shaft of the brush head. These stickers are usually Disney themed to match the brush handle.

The kids brush head is compatible with:

  • Specifically designed for Kids Stages power, but will work with all Oral-B brush handles with the exception of the iO Series.

Aquacare/OxyJet nozzle

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Not strictly a brush head, this is a special type of attachment designed for Oral-B's range of water flossing units, OxyJet and Aquacare.

It does not work with electric toothbrushes, it functions only with water flossers.

The nozzle allows the water to flow from the handle of the irrigators and pushes the water out through the tip.

A grey slider switch just under the head of the nozzle allows the jet of water exiting to be changed from either a continuous and more powerful jet of water or a softer, rotational flow of water.

The OxyJet is compatible with:

  • Oral-B OxyJet and Aquacare water flossers.

iO Series brush heads

The Oral-B iO has a different design and build to most other Oral-B electric toothbrushes.

As a result the brush heads on offer are different too.

The basic ethos behind the brush heads are the same, small and round, but the fitting and brush head styles are slightly different.

Existing brush heads from Oral-B are not compatible with the iO and the iO brush heads do not fit to or work with other Oral-B toothbrushes.

Therefore, if you have an iO Series 7, 8 or 9 electric toothbrush then you will need to ensure the heads you buy are compatible.

A new design is somewhat frustrating for existing Oral-B electric toothbrush users, but there are some benefits too.

The range of options has been significantly reduced.

The choices are:

  • Ultimate Clean
  • Gentle Care
Oral-B iO Ultimate Clean toothbrush head

To summarise, these are essentially the iO equivalents to the CrossAction and Sensi UltraThin that are our recommended choices.

Therefore the 'Best' brush head for the iO is the Ultimate Clean.

Just like the original heads, these iO specific brush heads do push onto and pull off of the iO Series brush handle. There is no need to twist or lock the heads into place.

You can fit and remove as often as you like.

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Ultimate Clean

Inspired by the CrossAction brush heads, the Ultimate Clean refill brush head has a 'Tuft-in-Tuft' structure to reach deeper in between the teeth.

These 'Tuft-in-Tuft' structures are found on the outer edge of the brush head, there are 6 in total.

Up close you can see how the tuft of bristles in the middle of the outer bristle tuft is actually slightly taller/longer to achieve this.

In the centre of the brush head, are a further 7 tufts, 6 of which are grouped around a single tuft right in the centre.

The brush head is small and round with tufts angled at 16 degrees to be most effective in the clean, but to also sweep away plaque from the gumline.

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The Ultimate Clean brush head is compatible with:

  • Oral-B iO Series 7, 8 and 9

Gentle Care

A brush head comprising of 4000 individual filaments for a gentle, but effective cleaning expereince.

The small round brush head has contouring to the bristles to help adapt to the curvature of the tooth and gumline for a deep and thorough clean.

The curved shape gives a smooth and gliding feeling when in use.

6 tufts of cushioning bristles on the outer edge of the head have the smallest diameter bristle filaments (4.5mil) of any Oral-B brush head.

Inside sit a further 7 tufts, 6 of which are grouped around a single tuft right in the centre.

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The Ultimate Clean brush head is compatible with:

  • Oral-B iO Series 7, 8 and 9

Different cleaning modes

Depending on which Oral-B electric toothbrush you have or are looking to opt for will depend on the cleaning modes available.

The main cleaning modes are however:

  1. Daily Clean
  2. Gum Care (Also referred to as Massage)
  3. Sensitive
  4. Super Sensitive
  5. Whitening/Whiten
  6. Pro Clean
  7. Intense
  8. Tongue Cleaner

Each of the previously mentioned brush heads can be used with any of these cleaning modes but some are better suited to particular modes — we show which brush heads are best suited to which cleaning modes in the comparison table above.

The sensitive brush head is best suited to the sensitive and gum care cleaning mode whilst the 3D white brush head is best partnered with the whitening cleaning mode.

Using the correct brush head with the most appropriate cleaning mode can result in a more thorough and suitable clean for your teeth and oral health conditions. If ever in doubt it is worth speaking to your dentist to find which is the best combination for you.

Click here to learn more about Oral-B cleaning modes.

Replacing your brush head

The recommended time period for changing an Oral-B brush head is every 3 months.

This is a general consensus among the dentistry profession.

You will find that the brush heads will normally last 3 months and whilst the intensity of the bristle colour may have changed the bristle formation should still be virtually the same as it was when new at the end of the 3 month period.

Using a brush head for longer can actually cause harm to the teeth because bristles can become damaged and less effective at how they sweep across the tooth surfaces, in between teeth and along the gum line.

Therefore it is always important to monitor your brush head and consider whether it is necessary to change your brush head sooner rather than later.

Those using a smart, Bluetooth enable toothbrush can track the brush head within the smartphone application.


Indicator bristles

On any Oral-B brush head you have what are classed as indicator bristles.

The colour of the bristles start off fuller and darker, but as time passes they become lighter and appear more worn.

It is this fade in colour that acts as a guide to tell you to change brush heads.


Bristle condition

Take a look at the bristles, are they still fairly uniform in their direction and look.

Does the bristle layout look similar to when the brush head was new?

If bristles are shorter, frayed or all over the place then it is time to change.

Brushing with too much pressure is often a cause of wearing out brush heads quicker than normal.

CleanMaximiser bristles

Oral-B have introduced a range of brush head styles with what they refer to as 'cleanmaximiser bristles'.

Essentially they do the same job as regular indicator bristles, but they have been reworked to be a little more obvious in daily use.

A new brush head will have a number of bristle tufts where all the bristles are green in colour.

What happens is that over a period of approximately 3 months, the green bristles are dyed yellow to indicate the brush head requires changing.

At the time of writing this technology has been added to Precision Clean, FlossAction, CrossAction and 3D White brush heads.

Oral-B Clean Maximiser Brush Heads

Bacteria Guard bristles

There are a select number of brush heads, notable CrossAction and FlossAction that have 'Bacteria Guard Bristles'.

It is not clear precisely what the bristles have on them but they are designed to resist bacteria build-up, inhibiting the growth of bacteria.

This will help keep your bristles clean over the days, weeks and months you use it.

It will not kill the bacteria in the mouth or protect you against disease.

Whilst a regular rinse and air drying of the brush head should be enough to prevent excessive bacteria buildup, this is another approach to help prevent bacteria developing on the brush head.

Author: Jon Love
Medical reviewer: Dr Gemma Wheeler, BDS

Leave a comment

January 8, 2023

If cross action removes 100% more plaque than a manual toothbrush wouldn't the precision head be the best choice given it removes 5x (500%) more?

Jon Love - Chief tester
January 9, 2023

Yes. But, these claims are generally based on different studies and don't necessarily tell us the whole picture. I am not aware of a study that compared the Precision Clean with the CrossAction head and a manual brush to give us a deeper understanding of how they differ. There is a reason (not sure what exactly) why the CrossAction is the default head Oral-B supplied with most brushes, compared tot eh Precision Clean.

Susan Senft
June 18, 2022

How do you change an Oral B brush head, model iO.

Jon Love - Chief tester
June 20, 2022

Hi Susan. You should be able to just pull it off and push a new one on. No need to twist etc.

Jon brushing large dental model of mouth
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