Willo is now available to purchase, but we have yet to test it. We do intend to review it at some point.
We have intentionally delayed our testing in the hope that it will soon be marketed towards adults as well as children.
Willo is different from many similar products we have tested, but those alternatives haven't yet proven themselves to be replacements to a regular manual or electric brush as documented here.
Willo is a slightly different take on the concept of the mouthpiece toothbrush, which I have been covering for some time here at Electric Teeth.
It was due to begin shipping in September 2020, but was delayed.
It finally began shipping in February 2021 with the key focus shifting to this being for kids only.
In the sections below I give my initial thoughts and reactions based on previous testing of similar products, and explain in detail what Willo is and how it works.
Willo is an interesting looking product. It takes a very different approach to the mouthpiece toothbrushes I have seen and handled so far. And it addresses some concerns I have.
The use of nylon bristles and brush head that fits around just 1 row of teeth rather than both is a wise design choice. As is the offering of differently sized mouthpieces.
There has been no disclosure as yet as to how well it actually cleans the teeth. It would be great to see some plaque disclosing tests.
The size and lack of portability bring with it restrictions for some.
I am not entirely sure whether it is necessary to have made this a 'smart' product with an application for your phone, but I am open to being proved wrong.
Price and the subscription-only plan is currently prohibitive for this to become a product with mass-market appeal. But, if it works, I could cut it some slack.
Naturally I have some reservations, but it is one of the products I am most keen to try given it is so different. It could be just the solution to quicker and more efficient toothbrushing that we want.
Timeline of updates
At the moment Willo is taking a different launch approach after initially suggesting 1000 units would be made available.
We will update this section of the page as time goes on with any further news on availability.
- Spring 2021 - Available to order without delay - promoted for kids only.
- 18th February 2021 - Majority of pre-orders cancelled.
- Priority is being given to those with children aged 6+ or those with disabilities. All others excluded.
- Willo believes these users can benefit most, hence their focus on these groups. Willo have focused most testing time here to date.
- Not stated in their communication, but suspect the initial units send to eligible customers will be closely monitored like a Beta testing program.
- Willo is refunding customers who pre-ordered and do not meet the criteria.
- Availability for early backers and the general public to be confirmed.
- We will go hands-on when we can.
- 24th September 2020 - First shipment delayed - No confirmed shipping date given although expectations are early 2021.
- September 2020 - first 1000 units expected to ship.
- 24th June 2020 - Electric Teeth order Willo.
- 24th June 2020 - 1000 Willo units are made available to order.
Willo reimages the concept of the mouthpiece toothbrush.
Whilst the mouthpiece brush head is very similar to other products that already exist, the wider system and the way it works is different.
Willo is an automated brushing system that is designed to safely and consistently clean the teeth for anyone who uses it.
Whether we use a manual or electric toothbrush, failing to correctly move and position the toothbrush when cleaning our teeth, will leave plaque behind.
Plaque is the very reason we brush our teeth, left in place it can lead to gum disease, so we really want to remove it.
Willo is specifically designed to do away with the most common errors you and I have when brushing our teeth, notably this incorrect brushing technique.
The result of many years of work by the company's founders Hugo, Jean Marie and Ilan, they suggest that “whether you’re a 6-year-old girl, a busy professional or a senior adult with low dexterity, you’ll finally be able to achieve the same great results for your oral hygiene with Willo”.
Designed from the ground up, Willo could potentially revolutionize the way you and me clean our teeth.
How I hear you ask?
Well it is best summarised in this promotional video Willo has created.
On first glance it looks a bit like a Waterpik water flosser with a reservoir and handle that connects to the main unit via a hose.
However, unlike a Waterpik, this is not designed to clean in between the teeth. This has been designed to clean the tooth surfaces, front, top and back.
This oral care appliance features a mouthpiece style brush head that fits around all the teeth in an arch (upper or lower jaw).
With a single push of a button, Willo brushes all of those teeth in the arch at the same time.
Perfectly placed nylon bristles and pressure driven cycles make sure all the teeth are cleaned as best as possible, and it does this all in less time that it would if using a manual or regular electric toothbrush.
As the mouthpiece is in use, Willo pumps in and out of the mouth a special toothpaste/oral rinse to help with the cleaning process.
Mouthpiece toothbrushes have for the last few years been designed to achieve this, but as yet none have really mastered it.
Although everyone's mouth is different there are many similarities and the reality is that a custom mouthpiece is not necessarily required or feasible.
However, my own hands-on testing has proved that a one size fits all approach does not work.
Willo recognize this and have 4 different sized mouthpieces available, to ensure any user gets the best clean. Those sizes are Small (S), Medium (M), Large (L) and Extra Large (XL). The small mouthpiece is mainly for children and young adults.
What is particularly special is that they are sending out special kits called ‘Fit Finder Kits’ in advance of the main appliance so you can make sure you get the right sized mouthpiece for you.
You basically test and pick the right one for you, enter the details on Willo’s website and once you have your unit will be sent and the subscription begins.
Designed primarily to sit on the countertop (although wall mounting will be possible), Willo is not a small unit. It measures in at 9.4 x 4.3 x 4.3 inches and weighs 3.3 lbs with an empty rinse pod.
White is the color of the main body of Willo, but on the top of the unit are 2 compartments. The translucent compartment is the water tank with a 6.76 oz (200ml) capacity, whilst the other is blue in color. This is the rinse pod that has an 8.28 oz (245ml) capacity.
To use Willo it must be connected to power. It has a 2 pin US power supply that supports 120-230v.
A little like a water flosser, water is taken from the on board water tank and then mixed with Willo’s own rinse formula and this is delivered to the mouthpiece brush head via the hose that connects them.
For those wondering, you should not use regular toothpaste with Willo. The unit is designed to deliver toothpaste in an automated and controlled way, so that the liquid is consistently injected into the mouthpiece, contained around your dental arch and automatically sucked back into the evacuation hose system. So, it is a no to regular paste.
A toothpaste cartridge (rinse pod) lasts 45 days, if you brush twice a day with the basic Willo cycle.
When running the unit product a noise of anywhere between 41-55.6 decibels.
This is a new and relatively untested product. Although the team behind Willo have been designing this for many years and carried out initial tests to ensure it works.
$199.99 $149.99 for the unit, the principle is that you then buy the replacement mouth rinses and mouthpieces when you need them.
Willo did intend to launch a subscription plan, but this has been scrapped. subscribe to Willo’s brush head and rinse pod replacement scheme.
Rinse pod refills cost $9.99 as does the mouthpiece.
A neat feature is that Willo can be shared with up to 5 people.
The device has been designed to prevent cross contamination and bacterial growth as much as possible, particularly when regularly cleaned with the Willo disinfecting solution.
Willo offers Smart Rings, which are colored rings that fit to the mouthpiece to identify whose brush head is whose. These smart rings also do a bit more than just identify mouthpieces, they actually form the unique connection to the smartphone app that exists for Willo.
Yes, it is the 2020's, so an oral care appliance has to be smart and Bluetooth enabled.
From the app you will be able to control certain settings for each user.
What is good to see is that Willo hasn't forgotten about the environment and they are implementing a recycling programme innovatively named ‘Re-Willo-Cycle’ to make sure empty cartridges and used mouthpieces can be responsibly recycled. They will include a prepaid shipping labels.
As yet, Willo is not approved by the American Dental Association, but the company is keen to get this approval when they can. There is a bit more work to be done, including a clinical trial which is coming soon thanks to a partnership with a leading university.
This is definitely an interesting take on the automatic toothbrush that has proven so popular in the last few years.