Clean as a Whistle

Guaranteed that there are no parents out there that haven’t stressed over their kids’ teeth.  Whether it’s teaching them how to brush or reminding them to brush or checking to make sure that they really have brushed and not just wet the brush – sneaky little devils, aren’t they?- oral health is important.  But those of us with adult sons and daughters with developmental disabilities and poor motor control face real challenges.  Who wants to nag an adult to do a better job of brushing their teeth, especially if they really can’t?  Who wants to have to brush an adult’s teeth for them?  It’s one more thing that erodes their dignity and independence.

Trust some clever engineering students to come up with a design.  These Georgia Tech students entered a “Dare to Care” competition to solve a social problem through a design concept.  Their toothbrush includes slanted sides of the brush head and long, angled bristles to clean the sides of teeth without the need for fine motor control.  Plus it has a handle that’s easier to grip.  AND it plays a song that guides users where to brush and for how long.

How on earth did these students stumble on a problem that was crying out for a solution, you may wonder?  Turns out that one of the team members heard about it at her gym.  So my big take-away is you never know when a seemingly aimless chat leads to something really special.

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