Tooth decay for children has increased to epidemic proportions with 42% of children already having had cavities in their baby teeth (NIH). Inventor Rob Malen experienced firsthand how tough it is to encourage kids to brush. “I saw four things that my daughter needed most as she learned to brush: Motivation to come to the sink, fascination to keep her rapid fire attention span engaged, simple demonstration to remind day after day, and specific guidance to brush all teeth and tooth surfaces.“ However, the world is now only one step away from cleaner teeth. Rob Malen has worked almost five years in the development of a Toothbrush Training Coach called BrushyBall. Utilizing timed musical sessions of 2 minutes and a follow-the-leader game, BrushyBall uses a pattern of lit up teeth to guide children through brushing techniques.
From sketches of the concept to the first production run, Rob Malen was able to bring his idea to reality. One particular step for Rob was to create a more serious prototype. He worked with the 3D lab to develop his second prototype in color. In fact, the colors in the plaster printer are almost identical to final project design! “Having the 3D model to set on a sink top was a turning point for the project because now I could experiment and focus group with face and color variations.” The 3D printed prototype helped bring his idea to the physical world and provided an object to demonstrate to others. Rob used the plaster prototype to show focus groups around 30 different face designs, and was able to get clear feedback. However, Rob Malen has big plans for BrushyBall with the planned addition of new character versions like a Shark, Hippo, Kitty, and Dinosaur; each with their own voice!
Think It’s a Cool Idea and Want to Help?
If you are looking for your children to decrease their cavity count, wish you had a BrushyBall as a kid yourself, or simply think this product deserves to be shared, you can literally help launch the BrushyBall company by supporting Rob Malen’s campaign on Kickstarter.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)> National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)