The twice-a-day struggle is all too real for many parents. Getting kids to brush their teeth properly can be both a headache and an anxiety-inducing dilemma because it’s hard to know whether children are brushing well on their own — until they go to the dentist and it’s already too late to avoid cavities. Enter Willo Oral Care’s tooth brushing robot ($299). It may sound too good to be true, but the dental device comes with a mouthpiece that children ages 6-17 can simply insert, press a button, and a self-cleaning cycle will clean their teeth for them.
Designed by a French dentist, Dr. Jean-Marie, Willo was created to replace tooth brushes for children to ensure their teeth are being cleaned properly at home — which is the biggest way to prevent dental decay but out of the control of dentists (or even many parents!) once children leave their offices. Used properly, the device is as or more effective than a manual toothbrush 91% of the time. It also offers new intrigue to teeth cleaning as most kids are pretty curious about any type of robot, especially one that will clean their teeth for them without them having to pick up a toothbrush.
The cleaning cycles are gentle and clean one arch at a time so no teeth get missed. Teeth are cleaned with a combination of water, a fluoride-free mouth rinse, and gentle bristle vibrations to achieve a full-mouth clean that feels even better than a manual toothbrush because no section of the mouth gets missed inadvertently. Children simply run one cycle with the mouthpiece on their top teeth and then again on the bottom.
The whole process takes only a few minutes but ensures a thorough, full brushing compared with how quickly most children brush their teeth on their own. And, with any luck, most children will likely find the process more enjoyable (and interesting!) than having to brush their teeth themselves. Just don’t forget, the device doesn’t replace flossing — but at least half the battle is won easily.
For those parents intimidated by setting up new gadgets in their house, the Willo set-up is quick and easy. Just watch a short video, snap some pieces together, and the device is ready to use. Mouthpieces come in five different sizes to fit children ages 6-17 with a helpful guide on how to pick the right mouthpiece based on age and tooth loss. The mouthpieces are made of food-grade silicon, which makes them both soft and safe to use. And, while the device is intended for children, parents can try it out with one of the larger mouthpieces to see for themselves how it works.
Perhaps best of all, Willo comes with an app so parents can monitor their kids’ tooth brushing habits. Up to five users can use each device, which is perfect for families with multiple children (each child will need his or her own mouthpiece but colored-coded rings make it easy to keep track of who uses what). Moreover, if kids miss a day of brushing, the app will adjust the cleaning cycle to still give users a complete clean. Basically, Willo is what parents have been waiting for — something that takes the guesswork out of whether children are properly cleaning their teeth each day.