Updated: June 4, 2015

Braun Oral-B Triumph Professional Care 9900 Toothbrush Review

If you've been to a dentist office recently, you probably know that almost all dentists recommend brushing with an electric toothbrush (and they are usually happy to sell you one as well..). Tests have shown that electric toothbrushes really do clean better than a manual brush. But what's the best electric toothbrush? How much should you spend on one? What's the best brand of electric toothbrush? One of the newest and most technologically advanced electric toothbrushes on the market is the Braun Oral-B Triumph Professional Care 9900 with Smart Guide. It sells for around $100 (I've seen it as cheap as $85 at a hugely discounted Christmas sale) which makes it a pretty expensive toothbrush. What does it do? Is it worth the money? Apart from checking all the online and print reviews of the Oral-B Triumph Professional Care 9900, we also bit the bullet and brought one home to really put it through it's paces (you can't evaluate a toothbrush without putting it in your mouth, right?) and we've put it all together into one big review. So here you go -- a hands-on, firsthand account of this very fancy toothbrush...




oral-b triumph electric toothbrush The picture at the right shows what you get when you open the box. The brush sits in the base unit that also contains the brush head holder. We haven't assembled the charger yet -- you need to snap open the bottom of the base unit, then put the charger ring (far right side, connected to plug) inside and route the power cable out the back. Behind the plug is the Smart Guide screen. You also get a plastic carrying case and 2 brush heads (2nd photo). The third photo shows the size of the brush -- it is comparable to other electric toothbrushes.

Let's start with the technical stuff first. What makes this brush different from other electric toothbrushes is the wireless Smart Guide, pressure sensors built into the brush heads, and special chips in the different brush heads that control how they work. The unit comes with 2 brush heads - the FlossAction (left brush head in picture 2) and the ProWhite (used to be called the PowerPolisher). The FlossAction has 4 rubber nubs mixed in with the regular bristles (see photo at right), designed to dig between teeth as you brush. The ProWhite has a yellow rubber center piece that looks like a polishing/buffing brush you'd see at your dentist's office, and it is supposed to polish your teeth more than normal bristles (though it is surrounded by regular bristles). This brush also fits all other Braun Oral-B brush heads - if you have old ones, they will work here as well (though only special brushheads take advantage of the special features built into the Triumph). oral b 9900 triumph brush heads

The Smart Guide is a little digital display unit about the size of an iPhone. The toothbrush actually has a built-in radio transmitter that sends information to the Smart Guide. When not in use, the Smart Guide displays a digital clock (actually not a bad addition to my bathroom). When you start brushing, the Smart Guide interacts with your Triumph toothbrush and shows what brushing mode you are using, how many seconds you are into your 2 minute brushing cycle (when you finish your 2 minutes, a smiley face appears), and what quadrant of your mouth you should be working on. The pressure sensor built into the brush heads makes a red light show up on the Smart Guide if you are pushing too hard (see the last photo - it shows you are 19 seconds into the brushing cycle, working in the upper right quadrant, and the red warning triangle is indicating too much pressure on the brush). It also will show a warning notice when it is time to replace your brush head. The Smart Guide comes with a double-sided stick pad so you can hang in on your mirror or wall if you choose to (one note on the Smart Guide -- it comes with a protective plastic shell on the back when you take it out of the box; the shell is meant for the sticky pad, and it comes off the actual Smart Guide.

From the instructions, it looks like you are supposed to slide the shell off to open up the battery compartment, but it's impossible to slide. The trick is to first pry off the shell, then you can slide off the actual battery cover that is underneath - so don't worry about pulling or prying off that piece of plastic from the back of the Smart Guide - it is supposed to come off). So think of the Smart Guide as a mini wireless computer screen that shows you what is going on with your brush. I think kids would really get a kick out of it, but if it wasn't for the clock feature, I would consider getting rid of it -- I know if I am brushing too hard and I know how to brush for 2 minutes, so it seems excessive. UPDATE: After using this 2 more weeks, I find that the timer actually does help a bit -- when I would normally be about to quit, I find myself about 30 seconds short of the 2 minute mark, so continue on. Maybe not such a bad idea afterall. If you don't want the Smart Guide, you can save about $25 by buying the Oral-B Triumph Professional Care 9400 Power Toothbrush for about $85 -- same brush and brush-heads, just no Smart Guide.

Since the toothbrush has built-in radio functions, you are supposed to disable it when you take it on a plane (and it has warnings about use around a pacemaker) -- you do this by pushing the on/off and the mode buttons on the front at the same time for 3 seconds (repeat to turn wireless radio functions back on). The toothbrush comes with 4 different brush modes, selected by pushing the dark triangular button below the on/off button when you are brushing. There is Clean mode, Sensitive mode, Massage mode, and Polish mode. When you turn the brush off, it will reset to the Clean mode next time it starts.

As mentioned above, the Oral-B comes with a docking station that you assemble. There is a base unit, a brush head storage container, and charger ring. The charger ring is connected to the power cord, and can be used independently or taken with you when you travel -- it looks like a small plastic ring that the toothbrush sits in when it charges (if you are a minimalist, you can use it, all by itself, as your brush stand and charger). For normal bathroom counter use, you open up the bottom of the base unit and slide the charger ring inside, making sure the wire lines up with the slot in back. Close it up, put the brush head container on the back, and you have a nice-looking toothbrush holder for your bathroom. The Smart Guide display screen can sit anywhere nearby. Your brush will be kept fully charged when you place it in the base station. There is an LED indicator (see photo #4) on the front bottom portion of the toothbrush that shows you its charge level. It takes about 12 hours of charging time to give you a full charge (which should last for about 2 weeks of brushing). If you are like my household where the electrical outlet has to also accomodate hair dryers, electric shavers, and flat irons, it's nice to be able to charge the Oral-B and then unplug it for a week or two as you work through the charge. The brush also has a built-in 2 minute timer that double-buzzes every 30 seconds to help you know when to move to the next portion of your mouth. Like most electric toothbrushes, the Oral-B Triumph oscillates (8800 times per minute) and partially rotates as it pulses (40,000 times per minute). All that motion is much more than you could replicate with a manually powered toothbrush, and that's why these electric toothbrushes really clean your teeth better than the old fashioned types.

Best Electric Toothbrush - Oral-B Triumph Professional Care 9900

OK, so you've seen how the toothbrush looks. Now the question is, how does it work? The first thing we noticed when we retired an old Braun electric toothbrush and switched to this one -- this one was more powerful. Whether it is the new brush-heads or more power in the brush handle, you can really feel it working more against your teeth and gums. I switch between the FlossAction head (5 days per week) and the ProWhite polishing head (2 days per week). I also have two older Braun flossing heads that work fine with this unit. Truth be told, our teeth felt clean with the 5 year-old Braun, and they feel clean with this new Braun Oral-B. So is it worth it to plunk down $100 for a high-tech tooth brush? We look at it this way. Our dentist charges more than $200 for each filling -- if I can avoid a single filling in the next few years, this brush more than pays for itself. Personally, since using electronic toothbrushes, my cavity rate has fallen dramatically, so I am a believer. We've also heard commentary from a number of professional hygienists, and they all seem to love this brush and recommened it (and that's probably worth more than my opinion!). So if you are looking for a new electric toothbrush, we say go with the Oral-B Triumph. It may cost a little more, but the dentist savings make it a no-brainer. The Oral-B Triumph Professional Care 9900 comes with a 60 day money back guarantee -- if you don't think it works better than your old brush, return it for a refund. It also had a 2 year warranty to protect against breakage.

Check the lowest price on the Braun Oral-B Triumph Professional Care 9900 here - you can be brushing with it in just days. Remember, you can also buy the brush alone without the Smart Guide -- Oral-B Triumph Professional Care 9400 Power Toothbrush.