Having the right toothbrush is key to successful oral hygiene. But actually, a toothbrush is only has good as the person using the brush. No matter if patients use electric or manual toothbrushes, dental professionals should help coach their patients in their effective use. A recent development in this sector has been the use of interconnected apps which directly link with electric toothbrushes. They can monitor the frequency, duration and coverage of brushing which can all help dental professionals understand how a patient might be able to improve their oral hygiene.
A study published in the Journal of Dental Research compares the benefits of brushing with and without the connected app. They found that people brushing with the connected app had significantly lower levels of plaque overall, interproximal plaque and gingivitis after 6 weeks.
Using these apps can be a great way to instill good oral hygiene behaviors in younger patients, and the use of connected toothbrushes can also provide benefits for adult patients too. Gamification in healthcare is becoming increasingly popular in helping to improve healthy habits and incentivizing good health outcomes for children and teenagers - oral health is no exception and these apps can help make learning how to brush correctly fun!
The American Dental Association recently updated their Teledentistry policy to include apps that monitor brushing or other home care. For example, the Hum Kids is a great demonstration of how brushing can be transformed from a chore to a fun activity: using augmented reality suitable for kids ages 5-10, the Magik Connector and the free app help children learn good brushing habits. There are other connected toothbrushes on the market, such as the hum. The hum brush is a great example of an affordable connected toothbrush. As well as gamification, these toothbrushes can also have reminders set to motivate and nudge your patients into good oral health habits.
These next generation toothbrushes are a great way to help connect the dots of good at home oral health care.