Companies seem to be finding ways to link everything to our phones nowadays. At the tech conference CES, which takes place at the beginning of every year, there was a gym locker lock that you control with your iPhone, a watch that acted as a key for the newest Audi car, a tennis racket that syncs with your phone to tell you about your game, and even a smart mirror that can project mustaches onto the reflections of people gazing at it. In this mish-mosh of new ideas, your teeth have not been left out.
Mint is the first pocket device aimed at telling you when your breath stinks. The company behind it, Breathometer, first broke onto the scene with a phone operated breathalyzer used to determine a person’s blood alcohol content. Their experience with breathalyzers lends itself nicely to their new product, where they measure for Hydrogen Sulfide, Methyl Mercapthan, and Hydrogen Disulfide to find how many volatile sulfur compounds are in someone’s breath. These elements are byproducts of the bacteria that live in everyone’s mouth, and when there are too many of them it is a good indication that your breath stinks. Mint also measures the hydration level in your mouth. Having a properly hydrated mouth is one of the most important factors in keeping bad bacteria in check, so even if the volatile sulfur compounds that cause bad breath are still low when you check, if your mouth is too dry the bacteria will soon start reproducing more rapidly and your breath will go down hill.
Another nice thing about Mint is that it is not only measuring how bad your breath is, it is also measuring how healthy your mouth is. Many of the things that cause bad breath, such as too many bacteria growing or dehydration are also important factors in the overall health of your mouth, which has been linked to a person’s overall health in general. While Mint does not provide the complete picture into your mouths health, it is a great starting point and can help people be more aware of what’s going on it their mouths. Mint is currently raising money on Indiegogo, a website similar to Kickstarter. They have surpassed their fundraising goal, and they expect to ship their first products in August of this year.
A few companies have decided to come out with toothbrushes that link to your phone. Oral-B is the best known brand to show off a prototype of their toothbrush, which they expect to ship this October. It looks like a normal electric toothbrush, but when you pair it with your phone it tracks your brushing activity. It also offers a timer to make sure you brush for long enough and analysis of which areas of your mouth you are spending too much time brushing or not enough time brushing. Their competition, the beam toothbrush, is already out. Their toothbrush seems to have a heavier focus on children. It comes in a variety of colors and is able to send updates to a parent’s phone telling them when their kid has brushed their teeth. It also lets kids achieve brushing goals, and keeps track of everyone’s brushing with a leader board, turning the process into a game that might entice kids to brush more often.
Dr. Mike Malone and his team practice expert cosmetic dentistry in Lafayette, LA. Dr. Malone is the former president and current accredited member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He is also the official Cosmetic Dentist of the Miss Louisiana USA and Miss Louisiana Teen USA pageants. Check out his website for more information.