Grush | Gamifying Good Brushing Habits for Kids

Jun 06, 2014 • Gadgets, Gaming, Startups
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grushAs a child, brushing my teeth felt like a chore – like taking out the trash or washing dishes.  I know how difficult it was for my parents to get me brushing my teeth and in the end, I paid the price with a few painful trips to the dentist’s office.  The lack of child obedience – when it comes to dental care – could create future problems and an expensive bill for many parents.  Dr. Yong-Jing Wang, founder of Grush, saw the importance of children needing to build an early and healthy dental habit.  To succeed, Dr. Wang built Grush.

“Dr. Wang, got a dental bill for over $2,000 when his son had his first cavity.  He started to think about some ways to improve on toothbrush technology.  Grush is short for gaming toothbrush.  Grush is a motion-sensing brush that can sense any type of movement when a kid’s brushing, so it knows exactly where it is in the mouth.  It wirelessly connects to a cellphone which mounts on the bathroom mirror, so that the kids can play games and have a fun and interactive way to guide their brushing” says Ethan Daniel Schur, co-founder of Grush.  “When they’re done brushing, their results are uploaded to a cloud storage and the parents can track the kid’s brushing and reward them accordingly for proper brushing.”

Grush looks to offer parents an easier way of teaching their kids the importance of brushing their teeth.  The toothbrush also gives kids a way to learn how to brush their teeth more effectively and consistently.  By using games, kids can have an interactive and fun learning experience while they brush their teeth.

toothbrushAll the games offered are about two minutes long – the length of time dentists’ recommend people to brush their teeth for.  There are a variety of games offered such as Monster Chase, where kids eliminate monsters hiding in their teeth or Toothy Orchestra where the toothbrush becomes a conductor’s wand.  Each game offers a child a simple, but smart way of strategically guiding the child on where to brush next.

Parents benefit from the toothbrush thanks to the ability to monitor their child’s progress.  The Grush Cloud, a cloud service, helps monitor the child’s brushing.  The games score and helps parents determine on how well their child are brushing their teeth.  Using the information stored on the cloud, parents can also send the information to their dentist to further help with the child’s dental health.

One question does arise from the gaming brush.  Young kids may be entertained at the fact they can play games while brushing their teeth.  However, how long will the kids be entertained?  Once the kids stop playing, Grush becomes nothing more than an overpriced toothbrush.  However, the success they had for crowdfunding Grush at Indiegogo does confirm that people believe on what Grush could offer parents.

The goals of Dr. Wang and Schur is to provide a learning experience for kids and a peace of mind for parents knowing their kids are brushing their teeth.  Plus, the bills at the dentist’s office will be a lot cheaper.  Now, only if there was a way to get people to floss daily…

Alex Bae

A University of California, Santa Barbara graduate. Has a love relationship with photography, technology, and writing. Always looking forward to new creative innovations and writing.

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