Oral-B Troubleshooting & Common Issues

Electric Toothbrush Parts

We are not Oral-B, nor are we affiliated with them.  

We are not a service centre and do not repair or replace toothbrushes.

Whilst we will offer what support we can, we cannot provide answers to all problems.

Contacting Oral-B directly will always be your best option.

Oral-B contact number:
1800 614 820

9am-6pm (Mon – Fri)

Or email here.

Has your Braun Oral-B electric toothbrush stopped working?

Is it not behaving as you would expect?

Perhaps it is making more noise than normal.

Maybe it is not charging.

This article offers answers to the more commonly experienced issues with Oral-B electric toothbrushes.

All being well you will find the answer you need to resolve the issue.

If consulting this page or the user manual for your product does not resolve the issue, or you determine the brush requires repair or replacement, contact Oral-B on 1800 614 820.

Most products come with a 2 year warranty from Oral-B with the option of extending to 3 years. Providing the fault falls under warranty terms, this should be resolved for you. In most cases this will be a free of charge repair or replacement.

Products outside of the warranty period will not be eligible for repair or replacement by Oral-B, but their customer support team may still be able to provide some assistance depending on the fault.

My brush head is stuck/won’t come off the handle

  • Run the top of the handle under warm water for a minute or so, to loosen the brush head. Make another attempt to remove it, it should come off with ease.
  • It is recommended to remove and rinse the brush head after each use before placing it back on the handle.

Oral-B toothbrush won’t stop blinking/flashing

  • Green or white blinking/flashing light.
    • The battery is in the process of charging.
    • The light will turn a solid green or go out when complete.
  • Red blinking/flashing light.
    • The battery power is very low and requires charging.

Toothbrush has stopped working the first time I used it

  • The battery of the brush only comes charged to last a few minutes. To maximise the capacity and life of the rechargeable batteries, the power handle should be placed on the charging stand for several hours before the first use.

Handle not turning on/does not work at all

  • The power button is stuck.
    • Toothpaste residue can build-up around the power button. This can cause the button to get stuck and not function correctly.
    • Rinse the handle under warm water for about 10 seconds.
    • Clean the power button and surrounding area with a damp cloth to ensure it is clean and free of debris.
  • Correct button used?
    • If the handle has 2 buttons, ensure the correct button is being pushed.
    • The mode button will not turn the toothbrush on, only the power button.
  • Is the toothbrush charged?
    • If the battery icon indicates that the battery is flat or low on power, it may require charging before it will turn on.
  • Any noise coming from the handle?
    • Turn on the toothbrush with a brush head attached and place the handle near your ear. If you hear a soft humming sound, it is likely that a fault has occurred that will require you to contact Oral-B for warranty support
  • Is the metal shaft in place?
    • With the brush head removed check if the metal shaft that extends from inside the handle. Is it loose or does it come out of the handle? If it does contact Oral-B for warranty support.
  • Has it been dropped?
    • If a toothbrush has been dropped or taken a very hard knock, it is possible that the battery connection inside the handle has been damaged.
    • The connection is usually a small solder connection between the +/- terminals of the battery that connects this to the main printed circuit board.
    • Cracked solder joints can, in theory, be repaired. However, the Oral-B handles are not designed to be opened up by users. Doing so will invalidate your warranty and may even render the brush broken for good.
  • Has it gotten wet?
    • Whilst the brush is designed to resist water prolonged exposure or submersion in water may lead to water ingress inside the handle.
    • Any physical damage to the handle will likely increase the likelihood of any water having impacted the internal electronics.
    • Water can cause corrosion, staining and crystal formation on the circuit board rendering the brush no longer functional.
Oral-B Troubleshooting & Common Issues 1

Oral-B toothbrush does not charge

  • Handle is not fully charged
    • After a total discharge it is possible for the charge indicator to take up to 15 minutes to begin flashing.
    • If you see the battery indicator light blinking it means it is charging.
    • Fully charge the Oral-B handle for up to 22 hours.
  • Not using the original charger
    • Make sure that you use the original charger that came with your Oral-B toothbrush.
  • The socket is not working
    • Try another appliance in the same power outlet/socket and see if that works. If that is also not working the issue might be with that socket. Try an alternative outlet.
  • Has it been dropped?
    • If a toothbrush has been dropped or taken a very hard knock, it is possible that the battery connection inside the handle has been damaged.
    • The connection is usually a small solder connection between the +/- terminals of the battery that connects this to the main printed circuit board.
    • Cracked solder joints can, in theory, be repaired. However, the Oral-B handles are not designed to be opened up by users. Doing so will invalidate your warranty and may even render the brush broken for good.
  • Has it gotten wet?
    • Whilst the brush is designed to resist water prolonged exposure or submersion in water may lead to water ingress inside the handle.
    • Any physical damage to the handle will likely increase the likelihood of any water having impacted the internal electronics.
    • Water can cause corrosion, staining and crystal formation on the circuit board rendering the brush no longer functional.

My Oral-B toothbrush charger isn’t working

  • Any lights on the handle?
    • When a brush handle is placed on the charging stand do any lights flash/blink?
    • If yes, this would suggest the charging stand is functioning correctly.
    • If no, leave the handle on the charger for at least 1 hour and see if the lights are now flashing/blinking.
    • After a total discharge it is possible for the charge indicator to take up to 15 minutes to begin flashing.
  • Handle warmth
    • Is the base of the handle slightly warm after having been sat on the charging stand for a few hours. If so, this is usually a sign it is functioning correctly.
  • Power outlet/socket
    • Try another appliance in the same power outlet/socket and see if that works. If that is also not working the issue might be with that socket. Try an alternative outlet.
  • Cables & damage
    • Check the power lead cable to see if there are any cuts or damage. If so stop using for your own safety.
    • Has the charger recently gotten wet or been damaged in some way? If so, stop using for your own safety.
  • Try an alternative charger
    • Does a friend or family member have an Oral-B toothbrush. If so use their charger to confirm if your brush charges on theirs.
    • If so, it will likely confirm your charger is at fault.
Oral-B Troubleshooting & Common Issues 2

What do the battery status lights mean?

Your Oral-B toothbrush has smart ways of telling you when it is time for a recharge. The lights and beeps of your toothbrush indicate the charging behaviour.  

Some toothbrushes have only one indicator light, while others have three. Below, you can find what the indicator lights mean for each of these models. 

  • Toothbrushes with 1 indicator light
    • Toothbrush on charger
      • No lights – Fully charged and on sleep mode
      • Green or white light flashing – Charging
      • Solid green light – Fully charged
    • Toothbrush not on charger
      • Solid green light – Fully charged
      • Flashing red light – Battery empty
  • Toothbrushes with 3 indicator lights
    • Toothbrush on charger
      • No lights – Fully charged and on sleep mode
      • 1, 2 or 3 lights flashing – Charging
      • 3 solid white/green lights – Fully charged
    • Toothbrush not on the charger
      • 3 solid white/green lights – Fully charged
      • 2 solid white/green lights – Moderately charged
      • 1 solid white/green light – Low battery
      • 1 flashing red light – Battery empty

Note that some toothbrushes like the Vitality series do not have a battery light indicator. In this case, just follow the normal charging advice as specified in the user manual. 

Toothbrush takes a long time to charge

  • Depending on the model of toothbrush it can take anything up to 22 hours to charge an Oral-B toothbrush battery.
  • Most models are fully charged within 12-15 hours.
  • If you are charging your toothbrush on a metal surface, this can cause the charge time to be longer.
  • The tooth brush charger works by electromagnetic induction.
  • Using the inductive tooth brush charger on a metal surface influences the electric flux and reduces the induced power of about 15-20% compared to a non-metal surface. This leads to an increased charging time.

The handle is very loud/noisy

  • Are you familiar with an Oral-B toothbrush?
    • The sound and vibration may appear odd because you are not familiar with the sound that it makes, particularly if this is your first electric toothbrush.
    • Oral-B toothbrushes are louder than Sonicare and other sonic toothbrushes, producing a more mechanical sound.
  • Check that the brush head is attached correctly.
    • A loose brush head may result in increased noise being generated.
    • If no brush head is attached it will likely sound louder.
  • If certain modes the toothbrush will sound louder, and if the highest level of brushing intensity has been set, this will increase the pitch of the sound.

Ticking sound coming from my Oral-B toothbrush

  • On some toothbrush handles you might hear a low ticking sound coming from inside the body. The sound may be heard even if the body is not on the charging station. The sound comes from the working frequency of the voltage converter and can be heard in very quiet environments.
  • This ticking sound doesn’t necessarily indicate any malfunction of the brush.

Toothbrush stutters regularly/pauses briefly

  • This is part of the professional timer, also known as the pacer/quadpacer/30 second timer.
  • A short, stuttering noise reminds you at 30 second intervals to clean all four areas of your jaw (upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left) for the same amount of time (30 seconds).
  • A long spluttering noise tells you that you have reached the end of the two-minute cleaning time recommended by dentists.

Oral-B toothbrush power cycles on/off

  • If the Oral-B toothbrush is turning itself on and off very quickly, and then continues to run this likely normal. This is the professional timer, also known as the pacer/quadpacer/30 second timer.
  • A short, stuttering noise reminds you at 30 second intervals to clean all four areas of your jaw (upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left) for the same amount of time (30 seconds).
  • A long spluttering noise tells you that you have reached the end of the two-minute cleaning time recommended by dentists.
  • If an Oral-B toothbrush is turning itself on or off regularly without input from yourself and not during a typical brushing cycle, the brush requires inspection by Oral-B.

Oral-B toothbrush handle turns itself on

  • If the toothbrush is turning itself on, without any interaction from you, then there is a fault with the handle that requires repair. Contact Oral-B.

Oral-B electric toothbrush head has stopped moving

  • If the brush head is not moving, and the toothbrush is definitely switched on (because you can hear it), try removing and replacing the brush head. It may not be seated correctly.
  • If this does not resolve the issue, use another replacement brush head. This rules out that the brush head itself is the issue.
  • Next, have a look at the metal shaft under the brush head. When the toothbrush is switched on, does it move? It should spin around in a circle. If it does not, there may be something wrong with the handle and it will require service from Oral-B.
Oral-B Troubleshooting & Common Issues 3

Pressure sensor light not working

  • Not all brushes have pressure sensors. Those that do have a red panel on the neck of the brush head or a clear ring around the top of the head that will light up.
  • To function, a certain amount of pressure must be applied.
  • A method to test it:
    • Attach the brush head to the handle.
    • Turn the toothbrush on.
    • With the toothbrush out of the mouth, use your hand/fingers to push on the long neck of the brush head, starting gently, gradually increasing the force.
    • With a light-medium pressure, you should hear the sound of the motor in the handle slowing/straining a little and the light should come on.
    • If the light does not come on, apply a little more pressure, not too much as it does not require lots of pressure.
    • If the light still does not come on, contact Oral-B for a repair.

Water dripping from Oral-B handle

  • Water can build up within or be retained within the brush head attached to the handle. This can exit the brush head over time. This is normally very safe and will cause no issue. It is advised to remove and rinse the brush head after each use. To help it dry, keep it detached from the handle.
  • If water appears to be dripping from inside the handle, look for any signs of possible damage. Consider whether this has happened before and whether this could be moisture that has collected/built-up on the handle.
  • Should you have any doubts bout the safety of your device or you suspect that it is faulty, please do not continue to use it.

Oral-B toothbrush gets warm

  • A rise in temperature during charging is normal.
  • An increase of 40°C above the ambient temperature of the device is acceptable.
  • If the device, the power cable or the power adaptor are damaged or if you have any doubts about the safety of your device or you suspect that it is faulty, please do not continue to use it.

Toothbrush get very hot and parts are melting

  • Please do not use the device.
  • If the device, the power cable or the power adaptor are damaged or if you have any doubts about the safety of your device or you suspect that it is faulty, please do not continue to use it and detach it from the power outlet.

Burning smell/smoke coming from toothbrush

  • Please do not use the device.
  • If the device, the power cable or the power adaptor are damaged or if you have any doubts about the safety of your device or you suspect that it is faulty, please do not continue to use it and detach it from the power outlet.

Oral-B toothbrush smells

  • If it is producing a burning smell, please do not use the device.
  • It is however more likely that the smell is related to residual moisture.
  • It is important to keep the toothbrush clean and allow the toothbrush to air dry.
  • If the toothbrush is unclean or is in a wet environment, damp and mould can form.
  • Store the toothbrush in a dry place with a good airflow and see if it improves.
  • This guide to cleaning a toothbrush may help.

Foreign (grey) susbtance on/in toothbrush

  • The use of rough / abrasive toothpaste can cause abrasion of the metallic parts inside the brush head.
  • Clean the affected brush head thoroughly under running water for a couple of seconds. Turn the device off and detach the brush head. Clean both parts separately under running water and wipe them dry. Let them dry separately.

Rust on metal shaft/metal axis

  • In rare cases it might happen that the drive axis (the metal shaft that the brush head fits to) gets rusty or discoloured.
  • This might be more apparent if you store your refill brush head permanently on the handle or if you use tap water filtered from sea water with a high residue of sodium chloride.
  • Try to keep the brush as clean as possible. After brushing, rinse the brush head for several seconds under running water with the handle switched on.
  • Switch off the handle and remove the brush head. Rinse both parts separately under running water then wipe them dry before reassembling the toothbrush.

Oral-B toothbrush handle is discolouring/changing colour

  • The Oral-B handles are designed to last and as best as possible resist discolouration.
  • In some instances, the plastics and rubber materials can dull/change colour if the handle is not regularly cleaned and dried.
  • If the handle is left in very warm conditions and in direct sunlight.
  • If the handle is used with tap water filtered from sea water with a high residue of sodium chloride.
Oral-B Troubleshooting & Common Issues 4

The metal shaft/adaptor on my handle is loose

  • Remove the brush head and see if the metal shaft on the handle is loose.
    • If yes, there is a fault with your handle. Contact Oral-B.
    • If not, check other troubleshooting advice.

Toothbrush does not vibrate as much as it did/weak vibration/has lost power

  • Make sure that your toothbrush is fully charged – give it up to 22 hours.
  • If your toothbrush has more than one mode of operation, you may have activated a different mode with a different brushing action or intensity.
    • Press the power/cleaning mode button to make relevant changes.
  • Old worn brush heads can also seem to be less effective or powerful in their rushing action.  
    • If your brush head has been in use for more than 3 months, it should be replaced with a new one.

The vibration is too powerful

  • Change the cleaning mode.
    • If your toothbrush has the option to, you may wish to change the cleaning mode selected. Different brushing modes use varying amounts of power from the brush motor causing more or less intense vibrations at the brush head.

Cleaning modes no longer available

  • You more than likely have a particular ‘journey’ set within the smartphone application.
  • If you have a smart (Bluetooth enabled) toothbrush, that has been paired to the smartphone, within the app you can set specific goals/journeys that change the brush configuration, including disabling certain cleaning modes.
  • Enter the app and modify or cancel the journey to restore particular cleaning modes.

Order of cleaning modes have changed

  • You more than likely have altered the order of the cleaning modes available on the brush from within the smartphone application.
  • If you have a smart (Bluetooth enabled) toothbrush, that has been paired to the smartphone, within the app you can change the order of the modes to suit you.
  • The default order might be Daily Clean>Gum Care>Sensitive>Whitening, but you could change this to Whitening>Daily Clean>Sensitive>GumCare.
  • Enter the app and modify the order of the modes within the settings.

Can I turn off Bluetooth?

Bluetooth can be deactivated on models that have both a power and cleaning mode button.

  • Press the on/off button and the mode button simultaneously for 3 seconds to disable Bluetooth completely.
  • Turn the toothbrush handle back on, you should now notice that the Bluetooth icon just above the power bar is now turned off, meaning your Bluetooth is deactivated.
  • You can reactive the Bluetooth anytime, by following the same steps and you will know it is back on when the icon is lit up.

With the Oral-B iO Series Bluetooth can be turned off via the settings on the display rather than via button presses.

Your Comments

Do you own an Oral-B toothbrush that has a fault? What is the problem?

Have you had problems with your toothbrush in the past? What was the problem and the solution?

Let us and others know by leaving a comment below.

About Jon Love

Jon is a leading voice on electric toothbrushes and has been quoted by mainstream media publications for his opinions and expertise.

Having handled & tested hundreds of products there really is very little he does not know about them.

Passionate about business and helping others, Jon has been involved in various online enterprises since the early 2000s.

After spending 12 years in consumer technology, it was in 2014 that he focused his attention on dental health, having experienced first-hand the challenge of choosing a new toothbrush.

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