Some months ago the motor started dying on my electric toothbrush. It was over 5 years old, a geriatric by today’s technology standards.
As we shopped around for something new, I realized it might be difficult to find a replacement that only meet my basic needs: a sensitive setting (i.e., slower and gentler) and a timer. That’s it. The other fancy features are wasted on me.
Everything available was much fancier and sleeker, fortified with the latest and greatest technology. We wouldn’t be able to replace my simple two-setting model with the same thing. Almost all the new models offered fancy settings to floss or polish your teeth, in addition to regular brushing. The most significant new feature was the capability to connect the toothbrush to your smartphone.
We ended up with a new model that offers 6 specific settings and the smartphone-toothbrush connection.Admittedly, the new travel case with a built in charger will come in handy, but I’ve always been fine on vacation using a regular, manual toothbrush.
As we were setting up the new toothbrush my partner’s reaction was “cool!” He immediately downloaded the app and figured out how the special suction-cup phone holder worked on our walls. I inwardly groaned already thinking that I would never be able to get dental insurance again. It’s just a matter of time before insurance companies will want us to submit our brushing records when applying for dental coverage or before agreeing to pay their share when we do go to the dentist.
When properly connected, the smartphone tracks how often you brush and the duration of each brushing session. Oddly enough, it would only maintained one log for both of us. If you activate all the features, it will provide feedback through sensors on which areas of your mouth are being brushed too rigorously or not getting enough attention. While you’re brushing, you watch what’s happening on your smartphone, which is held tightly to the wall by the suction-cup apparatus.
After the first few trial runs, one of which resulted in the suction-cup failing causing my partner’s phone to crash onto the floor, we haven’t continued to use it. And we never fully set up all the monitors and linkages between the phone and the toothbrush. At least for now I can maintain some privacy about my body and avoid technological surveillance in my mouth.