Do Your Kids Hate Brushing Their Teeth? Check Out This High-Tech Solution!

Interesting. After noting that his three young children didn't like to brush their teeth - but loved playing games on a mobile device - a dad who resides in San Francisco and Paris created a toothbrush called Kolibree that connects to a phone. A "game" steers kids towards good brushing resulting in fun for everyone at bedtime. Cool idea.


In an email exchange, creator Thomas Serval - a dad-of-three, also a technology visionary who has worked with Google and Microsoft - provided more information:

How does Kolibree work?
Kolibree is a sonic electric toothbrush that uses Bluetooth technology to connect to your phone. Several 3D sensors collect your brushing data. Kolibree’s proprietary technology turns that data into the location of your mouth – for instance, where are you brushing – and analyzes the movement of the brush so you can tell if you are underbrushing, overbrushing or totally neglecting important areas. The Go Pirate game on the free Kolibree app (on App Store and Google Play) makes brushing fun, so kids increase brushing time from the typical 45 seconds to the dentist-recommended two minutes. The goals are to prevent cavities and gum disease, and create oral care habits that will last a lifetime.

As a mom, I don't think my kids always brush their teeth well enough. Is this a widespread problem? How does your system address this?
Yes, this is a widespread problem. In the early stages of life, children find brushing their teeth to be quite boring. Kolibree is introducing a variety of games to motivate kids and keep them engaged in brushing their teeth. Kolibree games use 3D motion sensors, so parents can see if a child is making progress toward brushing for a full two minutes twice a day, and parents can also see each zone of the mouth and how well that zone is brushed. This information is stored and parents can review it at a later time, or share it with their child’s dentist.

What age range is the game for?
The initial Go Pirate game is designed for young children ages 3-6. New games in development (anticipated Fall 2015 release) are geared toward children up to age 9.

How are dentists responding to it?
Dentists have been involved in the development of the Kolibree toothbrush since the start – from the shape and length of the gentle bristles that effectively remove plaque to the lightweight ergonomic design of the brush head that easily fits into hard-to-reach areas for both children and adults. Motion sensors, data retrieval and game apps also incorporated dentist feedback to our in-house engineers and developers. Many dentists tell us that anything that gets kids to brush their teeth longer and more effectively is positive.

We moms are always telling the kids to put the video games / tablets down! But, do you think this is a positive way that technology is affecting our lives?
This is definitely a very positive use of technology. Parental control over a child’s use of electronic devices is mandatory. However, we know that the majority of dental-related diseases come from bad brushing habits, and most of the time these habits are formed during childhood. Kolibree uses technology to encourage an overall improvement in oral hygiene.

How do folks purchase the brush?
Kolibree is currently available at Kolibree.com and Hammacher Schlemmer. Kolibree’s Bluetooth sonic toothbrush comes with two interchangeable brush heads. Additional packs of color-coded brush heads are available as a three-pack for $19.99. The Kolibree toothbrush retails for $199. The Kolibree app includes the game Go Pirate for kids and the Coach feature for adults, and is free on the App Store and Google Play.


Copyright © 2018, CT Now
37°