You might be brushing your teeth twice a day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing it in the most effective way. For some, tooth brushing can be a bit of a chore and that means doing it without really focussing on getting their teeth truly clean or not doing it for long enough. Well, as Mary Poppins would say “in every job that must be done, there is an element of fun” and Japanese company Sunstar are taking that approach to dental hygiene with their product G.U.M Play.
Moving past its slightly gross name, G.U.M Play is a small app-connected device that fits onto the end of your toothbrush to turn it into what is essentially a videogame controller. The device on your toothbrush connects via Bluetooth to one of three available Android and iOS supported game apps.
The apps available are Mouth Monster, where you must defeat monsters based on actual oral bacteria as they invade your mouth by brushing at a steady beat in key areas around your gum line; Mouth Band, where you choose a song and brush along to the tempo of the music in different parts of your mouth; and finally, Mouth News, which is less of a game and more of a news reader which plays 3-minute news reports on subjects of your choice through your toothbrush to keep you brushing for the right length of time.
This is all made possible by the sensors in the device attached to the end of your toothbrush, which are able to monitor the speed and angle at which you’re brushing, as well as where in your mouth the brush is. This data is not only used to play the games, it’s also stored in the Mouth Log feature that comes with each of the apps. The Mouth Log aims to help you brush more effectively by comparing your brushing data with that of oral hygienists to rate your accuracy, giving you scores and instructions on how to get your teeth as clean as possible.
G.U.M Play seems like a great way to smarten up the manual toothbrush and ensure that adults and kids are developing the best dental hygiene habits possible; we’ve definitely seen worse uses of app connection. It’s available from today in Japan in both adult and kids sizes for ¥5000 (£32) from Sunstar’s online shop. Availability in the UK is not yet known but we will update with announcements.