Kolibree Bluetooth Toothbrush great for spicing up brushing routine with kids.
As a father of 3 and a family medicine physician, tooth health is incredibly important to me. I do not think that I am alone in the constant struggle to get children to brush their teeth 2x daily. “DO I have to Daddy?” “Can we skip it tonight?” I hear these types of questions all the time, to which I retort, do we ever skip this? “No….(whiny voice)” Whether it is struggling with my almost 7 year old or 4 year old or evaluating children, whose teeth are in bad need of attention, I feel like there needs to be a better way than the same boring brushing techniques of the past. Guess what? There is an app and device for that.
Kolibree believes that smart connected tech is part of our world. It is not just that the gear is connected, Kolibree wants it to serve a “vital role,” to help to modify our behavior, to ultimately improve our health. Their mission is to link user and object together, to increase the efficiency of the tech. As stated above, many of us choose to brush or not to brush our teeth based off habit and routine. We often do not realize the cost of poor dental health upon our overall health and well being. Kolibree wants to give you, the consumer, the chance to have a more efficient and enjoyable brushing experience.
Kolibree did market research in 2013, asking about 200 children questions about brushing. They found that approximately 50% of children think brushing is boring and do not want to do it. They asked dental surgeons who noted that 30% of the surface of teeth is cleaned adequately and that 1:5 American adults do not brush their teeth twice daily. This data is based on 200 children and 43 independent interviews. It is alarming to see this data. If you poll my home, 100% of my children think that this is boring and I know for certain I brush twice daily as it is part of my routine. However, I am often distracted, doing other things and thus, do I truly brush more than 30%? I do not know. This device is linked to a free app (both IOS and Google Play) that allows you to track brushing habits, patterns and in general to help you to become more aware of your brushing habits.
Kolibree is the first electric toothbrush with 3D motion sensors, sonic vibration, interchangeable heads, allowing brushing to be educational and enjoyable. These sensors are paired with an app, which will allow you to check if brushing long enough and in the correct quadrants for long enough. Gone are the days of singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat or Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star for each of the 4 quadrants in your mouth. Now you have a coach to make sure you brush adequately.
The packaging is eye catching and very professional. The packaging gives a medical/clean feeling with the white packaging and blue lettering. Removing the plastic wrapping and lifting the lid from the box, you are immediately made aware of the device inside of form fitted plastic. Beneath the plastic is the white inductive base charger, an extra brush head and the instruction manual “Get Started.” My children were super excited about this device and actually asked me to get it out and to use it. The instruction manual is well written and actually has 5 languages of instructions. Step 1 turn on the toothbrush by tapping the on/off button. The LED will bling briefly a green color before turning on. Step 2 Press and hold the button until the blue LED starts to blink. This will allow the toothbrush to be discoverable for about 60 seconds. Step 3 go to Settings on your device, Bluetooth and connect to the KLTBOO1_XXXXXX. I was able to connect but then it took me to a PIN screen. I imputed the normal 0000 that is required but it did nothing, the toothbrush flashed red LED and did nothing. It read as disconnected on my phone. I again pressed the button, blue LED flashed, connected via Bluetooth and it took me back to PIN. I tried this 3x 0000, 1111, 1234. None of these worked. Each time I was met with a red flashing LED. I went to step 4 which is download application. I searched for Kolibree on the IOS store and downloaded this onto my iPhone 6s plus (FREE APP). If you have a QR reader you can also access your device specific APP using QR code included in the manual and on the side of the packaging. This is really convenient. I downloaded the app, I imputed some basic information (Email and name) and set up separate profiles for both of my sons (Daniel 7 and Samuel 4). It took me to a page giving me the PIN of 0000. Again I tried this and was unable to sync my toothbrush and my phone. Needless to say my children were not happy.
Troubleshooting the problem, I assumed the toothbrush battery was dead. The instruction manual, on page 14, does provide a legend regarding the different LED colors. This device has been shipped, likely waited a long time in cooler temperatures and the battery has likely drained. So, before giving negative reviews and turning the toothbrush into a boomerang, I decided to charge it all night. We planned to use this device the following evening. The next morning came and went, the children were off to school/daycare and evening approached. That evening the toothbrush worked flawlessly, and thus our intuition was accurate. It synced without any issue, I was able to get into the Pirate app and my children were in love.
This app has 2 modes that both have their benefits. The coach mode teaches you how to brush each quadrant of your mouth. It will give you a set period of time, will have you brush in a given quadrant and will have a flashing green light for successful brushing and red for unsuccessful. This is geared more towards adults. My children tried this and were blah, don’t want to play that. Enter Go Pirate! Based on the running genera of game, the goal is to collect coins. Guess what, the way to do that is to brush in the right area. Day 1of brushing was a day of learning. The bottom of the screen contains a double row of teeth which will flash blue, demonstrating the quadrant you should be in. Your pirate will move left and right to collect coins. Brush in the correct zone, get coins, brush in the incorrect zone and don’t get coins. Each time that you play you move one step forward down the play mat. Collect bonus coins/treasure chests along the way. The longer you play the more coins you get. There are adages that you can collect along the way, which allow for goals and allow for continued playing of the game. The best part, while on the home screen you can select “check up” and you can see the weaker areas of brushing. As a parent I can then brush for them and hit the weaker areas.
This device has seriously revolutionized tooth brushing in our family. We have now done this every night for the past week. I will ask them who wants to play pirate and children come running. This is no joke, I cannot make this up. I really enjoy the check up feature, I really enjoy the goal of improving the quality of the brushing and the behavior modification. In just a week it has turned a boring, family fighting time task and turned it into fun time, game time. My four year old is brushing like a champ, better than he was doing previously (I let him brush for about 5 minutes then I brushed for him). However now he is brushing much better (I still brush for him).
The instruction manual has some very funny diagrams: 1. Shows to get the head of the brush wet and another shows to not to submerge the brush. 2. Replace the head at 3 months. 3. Do not submerge your tablet. 4. You should look at the removing battery diagram. It shows hitting the device with a hammer, to safely recycle the battery, with a disclaimer “Please note this process is not reversible.” If the charger is damaged, or if there is a short circuit the device needs to be replaced.
It is recommended to change the head every 3 months. If you are buying this for yourself, it does come with 2 heads which is a good 6 months of brushing. The device is very reasonably priced and there are additional brush heads, purchasable through their site (3 brush head pack). This device has really opened my eyes to look for other areas of my life that tech can work to my advantage. I rate this at 5/5 and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to spice up their brushing experience and to any family with children.
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