Brushing your teeth isn’t generally the most exciting part of the day for most people. But suppose you could visibly brush away monster germs that are threatening to erode your enamel?

Voila! Suddenly a daily chore—more than daily, if you’re doing it right—has become a game for you or your child. And somewhere the founders of Grush are smiling big pearly white smiles.

Grush, as you might have guessed, is a startup that’s making an eponymous Bluetooth-equipped toothbrush, one that connects to a smartphone so you can make like the dental Delta Force while performing your everyday ablutions. (If your violent impulses are more restrained, you can also use your brush to conduct a kind of oral orchestra or groom a giraffe.)

Don’t Grush Me Off

The Grush might sound like something you’d find in the B story of a Simpsons episode, but it’s a serious product. The goal, of course, is primarily to help kids develop better brushing habits via Grush-specific games that coax them into brushing in the right areas for the right amount of time. (Disclosure: ReadWrite’s parent company, Wearable World, owns a small equity stake in Grush as a result of its participation in the Wearable World Labs program.)

Here’s how it works. You put the smartphone connected to the Grush in a holder you can stick to a mirror (the holder comes with the brush) and queue up one of the games. Start brushing, and the motions of the Grush should take care of the rest.  

While its name could use work—”Grush,” derived from “gaming toothbrush,” sounds more like a cartoon villain than a weapon of dental hygiene—the product sells for an approachable $59. That’s way more than you’d pay for a plastic-and-bristles children’s toothbrush, but way less than super high-end electric brushes.

According to Ethan Schur, a Grush co-founder and COO, the brush heads are designed to last three months; Grush will sell you replacements for $5 apiece. Grush will also periodically release new games. 

Schur, who worked at Electronic Arts and other game companies before founding Grush with his partner, Yong-Jing Wang, said the toothbrush will ship within the next two weeks. After that, it’ll also be available at select retail locations like Fry’s Electronics.

Grush In A Rush

Grush comes with a “parental dashboard” that tracks your brushing “scores.” Schur said the software is designed to send more extensive data directly to dentists that opt into the Grush program, although he was exceedingly vague on how exactly that would work or whether any dentists are yet signed up.

Anubha Sacheti, a pediatric dentist and the company’s “chief dental officer,” likewise insisted that Grush has tested its data-to-dentists program, but couldn’t offer any details. Sacheti, however, did say that Grush wants to start clinical trials for the product that would show whether or not it helps improve kids’ dental health. (Hard data might also help it win a seal of approval from the American Dental Association similar to the one that probably graces your toothpaste tube.)

In the meantime, Schur said the company is also developing a version of the Grush marketed towards adults, as well as an attachment that encourages better flossing through phone games. 

Lead image courtesy of Grush

richard procter