When Did Brushing Your Teeth Start Requiring Extra Smarts?
The practice of brushing one’s teeth has been around for millennia. Human beings have used all sorts of things to keep their teeth clean. But apparently, time-tested techniques and common sense passed down for thousands of years is no longer enough to prevent tooth decay, gingivitis, et al. We now require smart toothbrushes.
That’s right, you read that correctly. The smart toothbrush has arrived. If you don’t know what a smart toothbrush is, it is a safe bet you don’t own one. Rest assured that a toothbrush isn’t smart just because it’s electric. And by no means is a manual toothbrush smart.
Smart Batteries for Smart Toothbrushes
Common sense suggests that a smart toothbrush would run on smart batteries. What are smart batteries? According to Salt Lake City’s Pale Blue Earth, they are USB rechargeable batteries with built-in circuitry to monitor charge level. Smart batteries are so named because it is virtually impossible to overcharge them.
Be that as it may, let us get back to smart toothbrushes. What can you expect from a modern toothbrush with a brain? Here are some of the possibilities, compliments of Digital Trends’ Patrick Hearn:
- Pressure Sensors – Smart toothbrushes come with built-in sensors capable of detecting pressure. Why? Because you and I apparently don’t know how much pressure to apply when brushing. Toothbrush manufacturers have figured it out, though. On-board sensors are there to let us know if we are pressing too hard or not hard enough.
- Angle Sensors – The angle of attack is just as important as the amount of pressure you use. So guess what? Smart toothbrushes rely on gyroscopes to measure the angle of attack. If you are not getting it right, your toothbrush will let you know.
- Vibrating Bristles – For the longest time, we all assumed rotating bristles were good enough. Apparently, they are not. A smart toothbrush is more likely to offer vibrating bristles instead. Vibrations are better at dislodging food particles and plaque. Who knew?
- Replaceable Heads – Smart toothbrushes almost always come with replaceable heads. That way, you do not have to buy a new toothbrush when the head wears out. Just replace it. All kidding aside, this is actually a smart idea.
Among all the smart features, the icing on the cake is the rewards program. We kid you not. Hearn reviewed one particular company that offers customers a reward program to encourage them to brush properly. Please your toothbrush and you can earn reward points that can be redeemed for tote bags, gift cards, and more.
The company will reward you for brushing twice per day. Earn extra points by making sure your brushing sessions last at least two minutes. Keep it going for seven days straight and you can earn still more points.
A Way to Sell Toothbrushes
The cynical among us are likely to suspect that smart toothbrushes have been developed solely for the purpose of selling more toothbrushes. Really, let’s be serious. Billions of people have successfully brushed their teeth for thousands of years without toothbrushes that reward them with points.
It is easy to make the case for smart batteries. A smart USB rechargeable battery from Pale Blue Earth will not overcharge. It is less likely to overheat while being charged. In short, there are tangible benefits to using smart batteries. Can we say the same about smart toothbrushes?
Will pressure and angle sensors really make us better brushers? Will reward programs lead to less tooth decay and gingivitis? The whole thing is highly suspicious. But as with most things of this nature, to each his own.