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News / May 20, 2019

Smartphone tech gives brushing a modern boost

by Siobhan Hiscott

Mobile phones are everywhere – so why not use them to improve brushing techniques?

That’s the conclusion of new research, which has found that smartphone-connected brushing aids can not only improve compliance but make brushing more effective too.

A team of researchers lead by Elizabeth Kay investigated the impact of Brushlink, a device that attaches to a toothbrush handle and gives brushing feedback through a smartphone application. Plaque scores for patients using Brushlink reduced by around 70% – almost twice that of patients in the control group.

Participants also praised the brushing education and timer included with the app.

‘By undertaking such a study, we have demonstrated that a smartphone app, in conjunction with a small toothbrushing device, is highly effective in promoting toothbrushing,’ the study noted.

‘The plaque reductions achieved were more than twice the 30% [that] systematic reviews and meta-analyses have shown are generally achieved in surgery-based toothbrushing trials.’

While the researchers praised the system, they noted a lack of similar clinical trials into health-related smartphone apps in general, and called for further research as this technology becomes more widespread.