Brushy Blog

20 Genius Gifts for Kids That Acutally Make Mom's Life Easier

BrushyBall is very proud to make the list at Romper.com! <Read More>

No matter how obnoxious, loud, or downright terrible some toys can be, there are others that are complete lifesavers. Case in point: the clever gifts for kids that actually make mom's life easier. Don't be fooled by the exterior of these products. They may look cute and playful, but they're secret weapons to help you out with this whole parenting thing.

LinkedIn ProFinder for Small Business

I invented BrushyBall – The Toothbrush Training Coach. The massive individual liberty delivered by today’s connective technology allowed me to patent, prototype, focus group, manufacture, find funding, market and retail by myself. This project would not have been possible for me 20 years ago. I put everything I had, over seven years, into launching a revolutionary product that helps children have fun while learning to brush their teeth completely. BrushyBall was finally launched in July 2016 on Amazon.com and on www.brushyball.com.

BrushyBall began as a eureka moment while brushing with my daughter.  She did not always want to brush and when she did she never brushed all of her teeth.  The truth is, those two challenges follow many of us into adulthood. I imagined that she could own this task and maybe learn it more thoroughly with a little coach sitting on the sink. Lighted teeth could glow in sequence as music played, and a cute voice could guide her to brush inside, outside and chewing surfaces of all teeth for two minutes each time she brushed.

This project has intertwined with the Metro-Detroit community in a few wonderful and sometimes unexpected ways. Great things can be envisioned alone, guided and managed alone, but no great thing is ever truly done alone. Over the last seven years the project has employed the local talents of a laid off CAD designer from the auto industry, three students from College for Creative Studies, The University of Michigan 3-D lab, and a website developer.  The support from Detroit and greater Michigan was in full swing after Brandon Roux of WDIV - NBC covered BrushyBall and shared an inspiring facet of the entrepreneur's journey; the struggle and sacrifice to make an idea real. As an entrepreneur, I hope to profit from my work, however the most rewarding part of this journey has been the ability to engage with customers and hear that the intentions I designed into BrushyBall are validated, valued and appreciated by parents and brushers.  Through email, text and social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest I can engage with my customers and a global community of parents.  Their feedback confirms what is remarkable about my product and has also helped me to make improvements. The relationships with parents, dental hygienists, dentists and educators all over the U.S. and in other countries have helped to share the story.

LinkedIn has been the most effective tool for connecting with my audience and engaging them in meaningful relationships. I found funding to manufacture directly through LinkedIn. I connected and developed relationships with 4,000+ dentists and hygienists through LinkedIn. Many of them contributed advice, constructive criticism, encouragement and support that propelled the project forward.

The #ProFinderContest is a timely opportunity that caught my attention because my number one challenge today is copywriting and marketing.  I now need to rapidly reach the widest national audience of parents as possible.  Using LinkedIn and ProFinder, my focus more recently has shifted to finding talent and alliances that can effectively help spread the BrushyBall story. I am looking for effective copy and tag expertise that deeply leverages social media engagement.


Coaching is the New Benefit among Children’s Toothbrush Products

Kid’s toothbrushes and timers have been glowing, beeping, and singing for years to help motivate brushers and measure a two-minute brushing session, but there seems to be a powerful new benefit emerging in children’s oral care products: Coaching goes the extra s’mile to help children brush completely. Parent-invented BrushyBall, The Toothbrush Training Coach, is a new type of toothbrush holder that delivers real-time coaching to young brushers each time they brush.

Inventor Rob Malen explains, “BrushyBall was inspired by the experiences my daughter and I shared as she was learning to brush on her own. She loved mimicking games like Simon Says and Follow-the-Leader, so I wanted to build that same sense of fun, simplicity and intuitiveness into her own personal toothbrushing coach. The sounds coming from the toothbrushes seemed to offer little assistance to the brusher, but I thought if the communication could be put in front of the brusher then a new world of visual benefit opens up.”

BrushyBall was designed to sit on the bathroom sink as a cute toothbrush holder, but when the mouth is opened BrushyBall speaks and marshmallow shaped teeth light up in sections to make brushing completely into a Follow-the-Leader game. The combination of voice, lighted teeth and music are intended to help motivate young brushers, captivate short attention spans and coach kids to brush the inside, outside and chewing surfaces of all teeth for two minutes.

The BrushyBall voice and song were chosen to connect with brushers aged three to nine and to help captivate short attention spans for two minutes, “It took a few months of searching to find a voice that sounded like a friend and a song so likeable that brushers (and parents) would want to whistle it later in the day,” says Malen. A selector switch on each BrushyBall can be toggled to hear BrushyBall in English, Spanish or with just Music.

Parents and kids alike are seeing the benefits, as BrushyBall launched in July on Amazon.com and has repeatedly hit the #1 New Release in category.

BrushyBall was also quickly awarded the 2016 Parent Tested, Parent Approved Seal of Approval.


Brush Barry Brush by Linda Valderrama, RDH with Illustrations by Sudi Memarzadeh

Dental Health impacts overall health. Help your child to maintain a bright and healthy smile with this wonderful story book. Encouraging children to develop a daily routine of brushing their teeth is made easier when the idea becomes fun and enjoyable. This is the kind of colorful picture book that children will want to hear or read over and over again. They will love to use the chart and stickers to track their progress. A bright and healthy smile should be prized by families. This read aloud picture book reinforces the positive message that brushing helps a person feel and look better. Check it out at Linda's site (click here) or buy it today on Amazon! (Click here)


U.S. Cavity Epidemic? | BrushyBall to the Rescue!

A recent study by the U.S. Center for Disease Control has been getting some attention in the press over the last year. It shows a disturbing uptick in the number of cavities among children aged 5 to 19 yrs old and within that group the largest uptick is in the three to five-year-old age group.

Surely the last twenty years show a dramatic shift in drinking water consumption from fluoridated public water systems to filtered non-fluoridated bottled water. Less fluoride equals less mineralization of tooth enamel.

Other causes are likely to be simple behavioral shifts and this is where BrushyBall can play a helpful role. Busy, faster paced lifestyles are encroaching on the historical twice-per-day ritual of teeth brushing. Typically, the beginning of the day and the end of the day are critical chore filled fast-paced moments for parents and children with demanding schedules.

Motivating our children to brush easily becomes a daily challenge requiring countless negotiating tactics and the well-known plea, “Brush your teeth!” Then, the training job comes in, and let me be clear; preparing my daughter for the big and small challenges in life is one of the most fulfilling parts of being a parent. I have to admit the toothbrush routine can get a little stale and frustrating, particularly on the busy mornings and at the end of long days. I remember watching my daughter, then five years old, happily brushing one side of her lower right set of teeth for about 30 seconds.…..and that was it. She spent the rest of her toothbrush time looking in the mirror, making faces, singing songs and pushing the drain stop down to watch the sink fill up. I’m pretty sure she swallowed the toothpaste too K

Problems Solved! With BrushyBall waiting on the sink top, “Time to brush your teeth!” is easily transformed into your child’s ‘follow-the-leader’ game time. The personal brushing coach is designed to help engage your child’s attention visually and audibly to guide the brushing routine through all teeth. BrushyBall actually speaks to focus brushers on the inside, outside and chewing surfaces as teeth light up in six sections. BrushyBall was invented to bring a little relief to parents and a lot of benefit to children as they form this healthy habit.


Kids’ Teeth and Contagious Cavities

It’s true! Cavities are contagious and you can unintentionally infect your kids teeth with the bacteria that causes them. A common misunderstanding is that cavities are simply caused when sugar is directly exposed to teeth. Unfortunately, it's a little more gross and just like a case of strep throat, it is very easy to pass cavity causing bacteria on to our children.

In fact, three strains of bacteria are responsible for human tooth decay; Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sobrinus, and Lactobacilli. Once the bacteria take up residence in a mouth they metabolize the simple sugars from chewed food. Their metabolic waste product is lactic acid, and that is what eats away at tooth enamel eventually causing cavities.

You can lower the potential for passing along cavity producing bacteria to your child by not sharing your toothbrushes and eating utensils.

Brushing teeth at least twice per day helps to fight the bacteria:
1 Removes the plaque where bacteria thrive
2 Removes the presence of sugar on our teeth so it cannot feed the bacteria
3 Using fluoridated toothpaste supports the rebuilding of the acid eroded enamel
4 Studies also show that fluoride may have direct anti-bacterial properties that kill bacteria

P.S. Brushing with BrushyBall may help too : )


What is Xylitol? | A Sweet Cavity Fighter!

Xylitol is a naturally occurring substance found in most fruits and vegetables as well as plant and tree fibers. Surprisingly, our bodies even produce Xylitol in small quantities as part of normal metabolic processes. Since the 1970s, it has been distilled from corn husks and trees like Birch. So, despite its chemically charged name, keep in mind that Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol, not an artificial sweetener.

So, let's get to the toothy stuff....Xylitol is an ingredient in many food products as a sweetener, and in many oral care products like gum, mints, toothpaste, and mouthwash. Xylitol is a bit of paradox because it is used like sugar while it maintains some powerful anti-cavity properties. Check out Xylitol's special cavity fighting strengths:

1 Cannot be digested by bacteria in our mouths, so it does not produce acids which cause cavities

2 Has unique physical properties which prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth

3 Boosts saliva's alkaline properties which enhances saliva to rebuild enamel on your teeth

Two negatives: 1) In larger amounts, Xylitol can cause stomach aches in some people and 2) Xylitol is toxic for dogs…possible cat conspiracy.

The best course of dental hygiene use seems to be using Xylitol often, so chewing xylitol gum makes sense. In large amounts Xylitol can make your stomach queasy, and this may be an issue in the consumption of food products. However, you can look at product ingredients to see that very small quantities of Xylitol are used to make effective dental care products.