We’ve gotten used to high-tech innovations that help us take care of our health. Wearable fitness trackers that sync with data-driven apps have become pretty common, for example. But did you know there are also tech tools to help you take better care of your teeth? Advances in technology have made dental care more effective and convenient, as well as, in some cases, more fun.
“Technology is ever-evolving and a great benefit to patients in the office and at home,” said New York dentist Dr. Edward Alvarez.
Whether it’s getting kids to brush longer or giving you a dentist-eye view of your mouth, advances in technology are changing dental care. Check out these five tech tools that can help you take better care of your teeth.
Connect to Your Toothbrush Via Bluetooth
You might be wondering why your toothbrush needs Bluetooth, but it turns out that’s a pretty efficient way to communicate with your phone, opening up access to a variety of apps that can help you manage your dental hygiene.
“The best tool that I have seen is the Bluetooth version of the Sonicare toothbrush,” Alvarez said. Combined with an associated app, the brush lets patients see how well they’re brushing thanks to a location sensor. “It will alert patients if they are missing any teeth or not hitting them well enough.”
In addition, these brushes can help determine if you’re brushing effectively in other ways.
“It lets a patient know if they are brushing too hard, which can decrease an electric toothbrush’s efficacy,” Alvarez said. “It will even tell you if your brush heads need changing. For patients who have difficulty brushing, who unknowingly may not be brushing long enough or for those who want a healthier mouth, this technology has made the experience more user-friendly and effective.”
Subscribe to a Healthier Mouth
Picking the best toothbrush subscriptions might be a challenge, as the market is fielding a lot of them. Companies such as BrusherClub, Quip and Goby provide an electric toothbrush and a subscription for replacement heads. And companies such as Boka and Morgans offer dental tools and accessories such as specialty flosses, toothpastes and mouthwashes.
Track Yourself With a Timer
It can be a challenge to brush long enough, especially for kids. Oral-B has partnered with Disney to produce the Magic Timer to get children to brush longer. As they brush, the app gradually reveals a Disney picture. Another app, Brush DJ, provides music to brush along with, while Aquafresh Brush Time gamifies brushing by awarding points and letting kids customize the display.
Get a Closer Look With a Camera
Prophix is a “video toothbrush” in development that syncs to an app and can give you a better view of your mouth. It lets you take and store photos to share with your dentist to track any changes in gum health. In addition, it tracks brushing performance and displays brushing trends over time.
Engineer a Better Bite Through CAD/CAM
Computer-assisted design and manufacturing have made it easier for dentists to build crowns, bridges and other implants. Not only is CAD more precise, it’s also less invasive—no more trays of modeling compound to bite into and gag on, so patients are more comfortable throughout the procedure.
There’s an App for That
These days, there’s a smart device application for just about everything, and oral health is no exception. As it turns out, there’s a dental insurance mobile app that enables you find dentists, call to make appointments, track claims and more: AlwaysAssist.
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