Monday, October 8, 2012

Toothbrush Recorder

Tooth Brushing Accountability

No matter how many times we visit the dentist, it seems we are repeatedly asked the same questions.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman ask: Do you brush at least twice a day? Do you floss regularly?  As much as our patients want to say yes to these questions, it is not shocking to think some people may be slightly fibbing.  To help remind and keep patients more accountable, a new toothbrush has been invented that can keep tabs on brushing frequency which will be a big help to Periodontal Associates and our patients.  This inventive brush is called the Beam Toothbrush.  As you brush, it connects to your phone through an app.  

The Beam CEO Alex Frommeyer states, "The Beam toothbrush is the first app-connected toothbrush.  Nothing about how you brush your teeth changes at all, but what we can do while you’re brushing your teeth does change." 

How exactly does this work?  The brush contains a sensor in the handle, making the brush look larger, almost like an electric toothbrush.  The body’s bioelectricity is sensed when the brush is placed within the mouth.  As soon as this sensor begins, it is able to record how long the brush is being used or placed inside the mouth.  When the brushing is finished, the data is automatically uploaded to the user’s Beam smartphone app.  As time passes, each user can gauge how long and often they brush.  It also alerts when the head needs to be replaced.  Not changing out brushes regularly is a common problem and important to do for proper use.  

There are benefits for both the users and doctors, like Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman, in recording this information.   Each user can change their brushing goals for better oral health.  This is also great as the user’s information can then be sent to their dentists or providers through the phone app.  By allowing the doctor access to a patient's brushing journal, each patient can be monitored and have individual plans and brushing goals set for them.  This way when Drs. Versman, Heller, or Beckman asked those routine questions, accurate information can be passed along.   

There is only one set beck to this sophisticated brush; although it can sense the amount of time spent brushing, it has no way of identifying the quality of brushing from each individual. It can only be hoped that the brush will continue to be updated and increase in functionality to better calculate the quality of brushing in the future.

So if you are excited about this new brush and want to send your results over to Periodontal Associates for our hygienists and Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman to see, it will become available in November, 2012.  "This is a manual toothbrush. There could be an electric toothbrush in the future. Flossing is just as big of a compliance problem, so there’s a lot to be quantified and there are multiple streams of data there. We want to be a leader in the hardware space of digital health," says Frommeyer.

If you are unsure about what your dental goals or routines should be, do not hesitate to give Periodontal Associates a call.  Our doctors pride themselves in providing individual attention.  All of our patients need different treatments at both the office and home depending on gum disease present, dental implants needed, or even age of patient. For more information, please browse our website at or call at (303) 455-7500.  We are more than happy to set up an appointment for a free consultation or a regular hygiene appointment.

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