Bluetooth toothbrushes take the boredom out of brushing

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Toothbrush technology has come to your mobile. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Oral-B's app takes some of the guesswork, and the tedium, out of brushing your teeth. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
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LAS VEGAS — Want to avoid gingivitis and tooth decay? There’s an app for that. More than one, actually, and they work with Bluetooth-equipped toothbrushes to help ensure you’re properly cleaning your choppers.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015 The app for Oral-B’s electric Bluetooth toothbrushes is designed to develop good brushing habits and keep your teeth healthy.

“We have a product that will work — if you use it,” Oral-B rep Kris Parlett told Cult of Mac during International CES.

A timer in the app encourages the user to pay the proper amount of attention to each area of the mouth and gamifies oral hygiene. Utilizing data from pressure sensors in the brush, the app tells you if you’re brushing too hard. It also tracks your progress so you can share your accomplishments with others.

“The dentist wants to know, did you brush your tongue today?” Parlett said. “Did you floss?”

The app, available for iOS and Android, also delivers news of the day, so the two minutes you spend with the brush in your mouth won’t get too boring. And Oral-B has a Disney app for kids as well.

The 5000 model brush, which is available now for $159, has five brushing modes; the 7000 model, coming in six weeks, will cost $219 and add a tongue-cleaning mode and travel case.

Kolibree's 3-D-sensing Bluetooth toothbrush lets kids play a game called Go Pirate. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Kolibree’s motion-sensing Bluetooth toothbrush lets kids play a game called Go! Pirate. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Kolibree electric toothbrush with 3-D motion sensors

Kolibree’s Bluetooth toothbrush adds an extra layer of technology: It boasts 3-D motion sensors that track where the brush is, like “GPS in your mouth,” according to Kolibree executive VP Christophe Dissaux.

That spatial data feeds several apps, including one with a game for kids called Go! Pirate, in which the toothbrush’s placement around the mouth controls a character that’s collecting rewards as he runs down a pier.

“I can tell you it changed my life,” said Dissaux, who previously had trouble getting his daughter to brush. “Before, it was, ‘Go brush your teeth.’ Now, she’s asking to brush her teeth every night.”

They are beta testing the toothbrush now, with plans to start mass production and shipping after CES. It will retail for $199, but your dentist might have a discount for you. Kolibree is also partnering with Dentegra, a U.S. dental insurance company, to provide discounts and reward good-brushing habits based on data gleaned from the connected toothbrush. The Dentegra Smile Club will be piloted early this year in San Francisco and Austin, Texas.