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Medicine Technology

Smart Toothbrush Aims For Better Brushing Habits 102

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "These days, it seems just about every imaginable thing is 'connected.' There's connected thermostats, locks, refrigerators, forks, and so many more. Now we can add toothbrushes to the list. Brandon Griggs reports at CNN that the Kolibree toothbrush syncs wirelessly with an iPhone or an Android device to track brushing habits, announce whether you have brushed thoroughly enough and reward you for good oral hygiene. 'It works just like a regular toothbrush,' says Renee Blodgett. 'The only difference is that all the data is stored on your phone so you can see how you're brushing.' Users download a mobile app and connect via Bluetooth, and the Kolibree documents every brushing via three sensors that record 1) how long you brush, 2) whether you brush all four quadrants of your mouth, and 3) whether you brush up and down (good) instead of just side to side (bad). 'Before Kolibree, the issue is that there has been no easy and quick way to monitor whether you're doing an A+ job or a C- one when you brush, so how can you improve on a habit you don't have any data about?.' There's a bit of gameplay built in, which challenges users to do better next time, and the company has created an API, hoping that third-party developers will come up with additional apps that will inspire users to brush more and more effectively writes Daniel Terdiman. 'With individual health getting more attention than ever, it's certainly possible people will see the benefit of something that keeps a close eye on how well they're treating their teeth, and which challenges them to do better.'"
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Smart Toothbrush Aims For Better Brushing Habits

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  • Re:Smart toothbrush (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @08:09AM (#45915317)

    Something like this []? The price is a bit much, but it certainly solves the problem quickly.

  • by oscrivellodds ( 1124383 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @08:46AM (#45915455)
    People are strange. Many are unable to set and target long term goals. Take brushing teeth, for example. Most (but not everyone) people know that you have to brush your teeth in order to keep them, yet many people don't do it for a lot of different reasons. I see patients every day who don't take care of their teeth and come to me only when something hurts, which is often too late to save a tooth/teeth. They often tell me about other things going on in their lives and I get the impression that they let a lot of things slide until those things demand attention one way or another. They live from one moment to the next, reacting to whatever stimulus demands the most attention. Others grow up in households with little or no parental supervision and have never had an authority figure in their lives tell them they must brush their teeth daily. None of these people - the ones who could benefit the most- are likely to buy a brush like this. While this device seems like a great idea, I think its target market is actually very small. People who are technologically sophisticated enough to understand what this device does and to want one badly enough to spend the money on it are probably already brushing their teeth adequately. I prefer the oscillating head type brushes because they reduce the manual dexterity required to get the brush tips moving in ways that get the teeth clean. With the oscillating head brush you put the head against the teeth and slowly move it across the arch. It doesn't take much manual dexterity to operate it. Sonic brushes clean OK, but you still have to move them around a lot more, similar to brushing with a manual brush. Many people, especially kids, lack the motor control to operate them properly. A power brush that beeps at 20 or 30 second intervals is really all the feedback anyone should need, but then again, knowing that your teeth are going to rot if you don't brush should be sufficient stimulus to get people to brush and it doesn't, so who knows, maybe this will turn out to be a great device. Finally, I question the value in turning everything into a game. What does it say about us that we have to have immediate rewards for every little thing we do in our lives? What about simply teaching people to think critically about their lives and what they want their distant future life to be like? Turning everything into a game keeps them focused on the moment.

Variables don't; constants aren't.