Review: Playbrush Expands Gaming Into Toothbrushing

Gaming controller for brushing you teeth? Of course, we had to try it out.

Santa brought my daughter a Playbrush, a small device she can attach to a toothbrush to direct action figures in games she can play on iPhone while brushing her teeth at the same time.

Toothbrush gaming controller?! I had to try it out.

Fortunately, you can change the small device from one simple toothbrush to another relatively easily. It’s not rocket science – it’s basically a bluetooth gadget with a motion sensor.

The aim of Playbrush is beautiful – to make kids brush more and better. When I met the co-founder Paul Varga, he admitted he was partly solving his own problem when creating the device. He was a bad brusher as a child and has suffered ever since.

To get started, I downloaded Utoothia game on my iPhone and opened it. It’s the only game available so far, but more are due as the device gets into the hands of more children (and their parents). The startup is open to co-operation with other content providers and also device-makers.

Left and right movements are simple and logical, I just change the direction while brushing and feel how the teeth are becoming clean. Small knight Tarmo in the middle of the screen is shooting small monsters, which are attacking me. Clearly they are trying to come after my teeth. It takes a second to get hold of up and down movements as smoothly – you do need to brush from behind the teeth too, right? But before the monsters get me, I am shooting them down – all of them.

Next morning Utoothia reminds me to brush my teeth, trying to create a habit, which is good and could work as a habit-creating feature, but I do miss that initial adrenaline rush when you get a new cool game. It’s not like I would brush my teeth through Friday night. Or would I?

Wrapping it up – On gaming side, Playbrush does need more features and more games. On business side some partnership with a major toothbrush company could kickstart the sales much better that the 40,000 pounds Playbrush received in total from their Kickstarter campaign.

Overall, I’m pretty sure most parents would say the investment of 40-50 euros is worth a try even if their children get a tad more excited about brushing. It’s available on selected retail outlets, but on web shop its sold out – hope it’s a good sign of more brushing games.