Online oral-care startup Quip just released a new toothbrush for kids. According to Business Insider, the popular startup Quip, which has sold over 1 million of the American Dental Association-accepted electric toothbrushes, is now hoping to promote healthy dental habits in kids with its new kids’ electric toothbrush selling at $25.
Many kids toothbrushes are colorful or use music and cartoon characters to get their young consumers to use them. But Quip’s new kids’ toothbrush has the same length and look as an adult brush.
The Quip kids toothbrush has a two-minute timer that pulses every 30 seconds. This indicates that it’s time for the user to switch sides. The brush also has soft bristles and gentle vibrations which gives users several advantages over a manual toothbrush.
Why the similar look to the adult design? Quip found that kids feel empowered when they use the same oral-care products their parents use, making them more likely to brush their teeth. Considering AAPD recommends dental checkups for kids every six months, this could be a great win for pediatric dentists if it encourages better oral hygiene.
But while the kids’ toothbrush resembles the adult brush, it’s still optimized to be kid-friendly. For instance, the kids’ brush is the same length as the adult brush but has a smaller brush head for the child’s smaller teeth. It also has a rubber non-slip grip, which makes it more comfortable and easier for kids to hold.
CEO and co-founder of Quip Simon Enever says the startup spent a year working with pediatric dentists and kids to learn more about what goes into making the ideal kids’ toothbrush. Pediatric dentists said they wanted to see a toothbrush that was able to replicate and encourage regular teeth brushing.
Children often can’t brush their own teeth until the age of six and may need to be supervised until the age of 10. Also, children under the age of 2 should not use fluoride toothpaste unless their dentist specifically requests its use. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, tooth decay affects one in five kids under the age of five and 50% of those between the ages of six and 11.
Those who had tooth decay in their childhood are more likely to have cavities in adulthood. One recent study of 2,000 Americans found that, although 45% of millennials exercise regularly, three out of 10 young adults only brush their teeth once a day.
As a result, specific oral health concerns such as gum disease, TMJ, teeth grinding, bothersome sensitivity, and other problems have been affecting young adults more than older generations.
Despite these issues, dental health isn’t a priority to many Americans. Issues like crooked teeth can be managed with braces and Invisalign, which uses 3D technology, but proper dental care is limited to 64% of the U.S. population.
Quip is hoping to change that by making their kids’ toothbrush look more like a tool for dental health and less like a toy. Experts say that when toothbrushes resemble toys, kids are more likely to get bored with them and won’t use them for a long-term period.
“The most impactful finding during research was that kids would beam with pride when they were given a ‘grown-up’ electric brush,” said Enever, “and parents were relieved to see this lasting excitement, rather than the short-lived buzz a typical flashy kids brush usually had.”
“The act of brushing went from something kids would avoid at all costs, to a routine they consistently looked forward to, which was a dentist and parent’s dream,” said Enever.
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