People across the world can’t get enough of their smartphones. Of the roughly 7.4 billion people on the planet, 4.8 billion have a cell phone, while only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush. If you own both (and we hope you do), you might be interested to hear that recent research tells us these 2 necessities can be mutually beneficial. But how?
First, a selfie.
As the 2013 word of the year and nearly 300 million hashtag uses on Instagram alone, the “selfie” puts you in control—as both photographer and subject. Selfies can make you aware of your best angle on camera and with your toothbrush.
In a 2016 study, researchers wanted to see if filming brush sessions via smartphone selfies would have any impact on technique. Over the span of a few weeks, participants recorded 5 toothbrushing selfies in the comfort of their own homes.
Here’s what the researchers found:
• Participants seemed to have fun while filming themselves, thus making an otherwise mundane task more enjoyable.
• Because they could see themselves brushing, participants were more self-conscious about their toothbrushing “form.”
• Though their brushing duration didn’t change, researchers saw an overall increase in number of strokes and an 8% improvement in skill.
Though this study was the first of its kind, the authors predict selfie-style brushing may have the power to teach an old dental routine, well, new tricks. How about a video-based app that records brushing and then sends it to dental professionals for feedback? For now, try sharing a selfie at your next appointment to see if your dental team has any constructive criticism.