A company claims to have revolutionized the humble toothbrush, with a new design that apparently cleans teeth completely in six seconds flat. While many are decrying it as a new high (or low) in laziness, I think it’s awesome.
The brush is Blizzident, and you bite into it like a football mouth guard. The makers say that by biting into it quickly 10-15 times, users can brush all their teeth (and in between all their teeth) all at once.
The brushes are customized for each person using a 3-D printer. Although at $299 they do cost wayyyyy more than a traditional toothbrush, they last for a year. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends replacing traditional toothbrushes every three to four months. Updating the Blizzident costs $199.
Comments on an ABC News piece about Blizzident questioned the need for such a device. And I agree that most people don’t need a $299 toothbrush. But I can think of a ton of advantages to a brush like this, especially for parents.
First of all, very few kids probably brush their teeth for a full two minutes, which is what the ADA recommends. My kids do, but only because we got them the toothbrushes that light up and stop blinking when your two minutes is up. Even with that two minutes of brushing, though, I’m not convinced they’re brushing their teeth well.
Also, getting my youngest, who has autism, to brush his teeth is a major hassle. I don’t know if it’s a sensory problem, or a motor planning problem, or what, but it’s a problem. I’m not sure if the Blizzident’s design would overwhelm him from a sensory perspective, but I think the fact that it’s only six seconds would still make it a better option for him.
I also have friends whose children are profoundly disabled. One of my friends, who writes the blog Special Needs Reality TV, has a son with Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, and a seizure disorder. He moves constantly. He is only still when he’s sleeping, and even then, he’s not all that still. You know what? Brushing his teeth is hard. Brushing his teeth can be, at times, dangerous. I’m pretty sure that his mom would choose moving his jaw for him for six seconds over trying not to jam him in the throat with a toothbrush for two minutes.
Dr. Mark S. Wolff, a dentist and associate dean for pre-doctoral clinical education at the New York University College of Dentistry, told ABC News he approached Blizzident with some skepticism and said he needs more evidence to show that the device works effectively, and over a long period of time.
Dr. Wolff said the reason people are supposed to spend two minutes brushing their teeth isn’t just to get the crud off your teeth (I may be paraphrasing here), it’s because it takes two minutes for the fluoride in the toothpaste to work effectively.
At this stage of the game, the Blizzident is well out of the reach most families’ budgets, including mine. To outfit all six of us would cost $1,800, which just isn’t an option for us. But if we had the money, and our dentist thought the brush was okay? I’d buy them in a heartbeat. Removing even a tiny piece of stress from our morning and bedtime routines would totally be worth it.
Another commenter points out that at $299, the two minutes a day you’re saving would end up costing you about $25 an hour. Pricey? Yes. But on the other hand, you can’t put a price on Mom’s sanity.
Here’s a video of how the brush works:
(Photo Credit: iStockphoto)