Shark Tank is a show on ABC where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to millionaires to gain funding and support. Charles Michael Yim, who recently gained support on Shark Tank for his alcohol breathalyzer app, has recently launched an app called ‘Mint’ to detect the mouth’s bacteria and hydration levels. While we don’t know to what degree this will work, the potential is definitely intriguing.
The goal of ‘Mint’ is not to actually clean the teeth, but to check on how well you have cleaned your teeth. The hope would be for consumers use this after they have finished brushing and flossing to detect how well they have done. Even without knowing the efficacy of the app, I am excited that there is potential technology that will help call attention to good oral hygiene and home care. If executed properly, this could become an adjunct to other tools and products used to take care of your teeth every day.
One of the future goals would be to connect this app to an ‘e-brush’ and track how well you’re doing each day with your home care. The intention would be to become like a ‘FitBit’ or fitness tracker for your mouth. Making things like fitness and health easy to track has been shown to greatly increase awareness and make us more likely to follow through on our health goals. Hopefully ‘Mint’ can have a similar affect as other health applications.
Even though we are still in the early stages of the ‘Mint’ app, it is definitely exciting to see the potential. Even if inventions like this show some solid results and applications, it is still important not to rely solely on a device when determining your oral health. Maintaining regular dental visits is essential in early detection of any issues.
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Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc.