A better brush

Written by: Eureka! | Published:

Show me that smile! Show me those pearly whites! For many of us, keeping our teeth clean is a routine that happens twice a day without really ever thinking about it. The trouble is, for many others, brushing teeth is a hassle. It’s time consuming, meaning if you are running late or feeling particularly tired, you may feel more inclined to rush, spending 20 or 30 seconds brushing rather than the recommended three minutes.

Although electric tooth brushes have improved things, they are still not quite ideal and leave a great deal of room for variability in where exactly you place the brush. For example, while you might concentrate on the front teeth for maximum white dazzle, the rear molars might not get the same attention.

As such, it’s estimated that up to 90% of all dental and gum disease is caused by incorrect brushing.

The Challenge

The challenge this month is to therefore come up with an alternative to the toothbrush. Think about how all the teeth can be cleaned in a much more uniform manner, rather than relying on your own wits when you might not be 100% compos mentis first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Many dental problems are actually a result of people not brushing correctly, such as too hard, too soft or using longer slower strokes rather than shorter faster ones.

The other problem we’d like you to overcome is the need to hold a device in the hands. Many people would prefer to go hands free when it comes to cleaning their teeth, so think about how that might be achieved.

The idea we have in mind will be revealed in the March issue of Eureka! Until then see what you can come up with. Submit ideas by leaving a comment on the Coffee Time Challenge section of the Eureka! website or emailing the editor: justin.cunningham@markallengroup.com


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Coffee Time Challenge is just a bit of fun, but it is based on a real engineering solution. If you send in your ideas by using the comment button below, we can add your solution as an alternative – perhaps something funny, practical, cheap or, of course, innovative.

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