Grush: A Million Dollar Toothbrush
Grush, a high-tech toothbrush for kids, has just won the $1 million grand prize on the America’s Greatest Makers television show. 24 teams competed for the grand prize of $1 million, but Grush was deemed the most innovative product.
Team Grush aimed to design a toothbrush that makes brushing fun, so that kids will brush for the full two minutes advised by dental hygienists.
Their toothbrush, which is priced at $59 (Currently there’s a special sale to commemorate the win, get 20% off with the code GrushBuddy), connects to an iOS or Android smartphone via Bluetooth. Using on-board sensors and other proprietary technology, Grush can calculate and map the brush’s motion and position, and knows which teeth have been brushed and which need a little more attention.
But here’s the fun part: the motion and position data are fed into a game app on the smartphone. To complete actions in the game, kids need to brush properly. And over time they can earn game power-ups for consistent, careful brushing.
Grush games include Monster Chase, where kids get to “chase and brush away baddies hiding in the teeth.” Toothy Orchestra enables kids to make beautiful music as they brush. And in Brush-a-Pet, they can care for a pet giraffe named Gavin.
Parents can log into the app to check on their kids’ dental hygiene habits. Grush is also developing dental care interactive software to help adults become better brushers and flossers, and make dental self-care fun even for those grownups who hate brushing their teeth.
Grush was created by a team that includes pediatric dentist Anubha Sacheti, futurist Ethan Schur and inventor Yongjing Wang. America’s Best Makers show celebrates people who tinker with tech and build cool things. Backed by Intel, the show aims to encourage innovation globally. To qualify for a place on the show, makers need to include Intel components into their projects.
Grush – the company – was founded in 2014. According to VentureBeat, it “now has more than 10 employees, and it is getting a lot of help from Intel as it ramps up the manufacturing. It raised about $800,000 beyond the $1 million prize…”
Brush Smart, Even If Your Toothbrush Is Dumb
Techie toothbrushes make it easier and more entertaining to invest time into brushing your teeth. But no matter what type of toothbrush you use, you need to devote 2 minutes or more to brushing at least twice a day.
Brushing is the most effective way for you to control the more than 500 species of microscopic living organisms that live in your mouth. Some of these creatures are helpful to your oral health, others are neutral, and a sizable percentage seem bent on destruction of your teeth and gums.
Bacteria are amazingly adept at developing survival strategies. They produce a substance called dextran which works like a glue and enables your bacterial buddies to cling to the surface of teeth. They can also snack on the dextran, and any simple carbohydrates (particularly sugar) that you consume. Carb-fueled bacteria multiply super-fast and cling to each other, creating a “biofilm” that’s commonly referred to as plaque.
Bacterial plaque is the primary cause of 90% of all dental disease. Bacteria secrete acidic waste products. This creates an acidic environment in your mouth that weakens teeth and leads to decay. Over time, without proper oral hygiene and dental care, the plaque clinging to teeth works its way under the gums, resulting in oral infections.
Your best daily defense against dental decay is consistent removal of the bacterial plaque. If its left alone for about 48 hours, it begins to harden – this is called tartar – and is extremely difficult to remove by simple brushing and flossing. You need professional cleanings to remove tartar. Even if you do brush regularly, it’s easy to miss tartar that can be lurking between your teeth, in tiny chips and cracks, or just under the gum line.
There is no need to skip preventative dental care such as cleanings and checkups due to budget reasons. Dental savings plans are an affordable alternative to dental insurance, providing plan members with discounts on most dental services. As an example, the majority of plans you’ll find on dentalplans.com offer savings of 10%-60% at the dentist.
With advances such as Grush, 3D printing for fabricating replacement teeth, nano-machines, fillings that fight oral bacteria, and other innovative processes dental care is leading the way in healthcare technology. And at :DentalPlans, we aim to offer innovative ways that ensure everyone can afford quality dental care.
Find out more about dental savings plans at dentalplans.com, or by calling 1-800-238-5163.