Blizzident 'six-second toothbrush' created by dentists
- 2 October 2013
- From the section Technology
A team of dentists has created a toothbrush they say can clean teeth thoroughly in less than six seconds.
Manufacturer Blizzident uses the same scans dentists use to fit braces and an extremely precise 3D printer to create a brush for each individual customer.
Each brush contains about 400 soft bristles and requires the wearer to grind their teeth in order to clean.
Its makers say it eliminates brushing errors that people typically make, but experts say more research is needed.
The technology comes at a price - a customer's first brush, which will last for a year, costs 299 euros ($405; £250).
Subsequent brushes are cheaper, and old ones can be reconditioned for less than 100 euros, the company says.
"Because you are brushing all your teeth at the same time, you are brushing extremely quickly," the company says.
"You brush all the difficult-to-reach and interdental regions without even having to think about it."
The typical toothbrush has long been considered fit for purpose by most people - but there have been several attempts to reinvent its design.
One recent example, from a former student of New York's School of Visual Arts, took inspiration from the traditional miswak stick, a "tooth-cleaning twig" used mainly in the Middle East and parts of Asia.
The miswak stick - which grows on a Salvadora persica tree - is used by biting off a small part of the stick for each use, exposing a fresh set of bristles.
But speaking about the Blizzident concept, Prof Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser to the British Dental Association, said the key concern must always be safety.
"It's something out of the ordinary, a different approach," he told the BBC.
"It's not what you use, it's how you brush, it's your technique. It needs to be checked that it's completely safe."