Robot Gives Kids an Alternative to Brushing Their Teeth

Dentistry Today


Willo’s oral-care robot is designed to help children do a better job of safely and consistently cleaning their teeth while developing lifetime oral hygiene habits. According to the company, the device presents an alternative to brushing, which many children struggle with due to a lack of dexterity.

When tested in-home with real families, children rated the device 4.7 out of a possible 5, while eight out of 10 parents said it improved their daily lives, Willo said. Also, Time magazine named the device one of the best inventions of 2020.

“Willo’s innovative approach to oral care will immensely benefit parents and children, our initial focus,” said Joel Berg, DDS, chief dental officer and former president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

“Parents see oral hygiene as a struggle for two main reasons: compliance, making sure kids actually brush, and efficacy, since kids aren’t always good at brushing their own teeth,” Berg said.

“Willo addresses these challenges and more, by offering an automated experience that optimizes efficiency and gives parents access to their children’s brushing data through the Willo app,” Berg said.

The device was intended to help children improve their brushing experiences and develop healthy routines, Willo said, but they can share it with their siblings too. Each user has a personal “smart ring” that attaches to the device’s handle. The ring syncs with the user’s profile on Willo’s app, recording brushing data and preferences.

When it’s time to clean, one touch of a button causes water and mint-flavored rinse solution to flow through the gently vibrating mouthpiece, reaching every tooth, Willo said. It’s fun for children, the company said, while parents can track their children’s progress through the app.

“Willo is a completely new take on oral care that’s changing the way people around the world clean their teeth,” said Ilan Abehassera, Willo’s cofounder and president.

“We’re on a mission to bring the same level of repeatable teeth cleaning to everyone,” said Hugo de Gentile, cofounder and CEO of Willo. “I’m proud of the results we’ve helped families achieve, and I’m excited to give people access to the best way to clean your teeth at home.”

The device is available for $199 with a $13 per month subscription that includes a new mouthpiece and rinse pods, progress tracking via a mobile app for parents, and customized onboarding from one of Willo’s in-house dental hygienists.

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