Brush Up

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in America. One in four Americans today has untreated dental caries. Even though this problem is largely preventable with proper toothbrushing habits, many children lack parental, dentist, and hygienist support in developing them.

Brush Up addresses dental disease by training healthy habits from a young age. The 3D visuals depict the mouth’s physical structure, particularly helping children shift their perspective and become aware of the lingual (interior) surface of their teeth, not just the part they can see in the mirror. The music helps the child think about and focus more on the duration for each surface. And the feedback encourages the child to focus on trying to improve technique.

A virtual avatar guides a child through the toothbrushing process using song, emphasizing proper technique as the child matches the beats of the brush strokes. Wireless motion-tracking technology monitors the brush’s orientation and provides immediate feedback to the child if his toothbrush is angled incorrectly. As the game progresses, gunk is cleaned off the virtual avatar’s teeth, rewarding the child with the aesthetic satisfaction of a clean mouth.

Initial tests show immediate behavior change in children. The more times Children experience Brush Up, the more their toothbrushing technique improves by multiple metrics. For example, Brush Up test participants spent more time brushing each tooth than they did at the beginning of the study, especially the lingual surface, which most children had completely ignored.