3D printing has allowed high-tech corporations to create cheap prototypes, NASA to create parts for the International space station and, now, to create a 3D-printed toothbrush.
While admittedly not as sexy as say a 3D-printed exoskeleton or motor scooter, the new toothbrush from Blizzident is innovative. And, it does remove the drudgery of standing in front of a mirror brushing back and forth for 2 minutes, as the American Dental Association recommends.
Looking a bit like a set of dentures for Spiderman villain Venom's mouth, the new toothbrush packs 400 bristles into a mold of a person's mouth. By biting down on the mouthpiece, and grinding on it, the 45-degree angled bristles can provide a spotless set of pearly whites in seconds.
Because there are roughly 10 times more bristles than in a typical toothbrush, the Blizzident brush lasts as long as a year, according to the company.
"The bristles are tailored and positioned on every single tooth in a way so they are brushing with the "Modified Bass and Fones" techniques simply by biting and grinding for a few seconds," Blizzident explained. "Modified 'Bass"' and 'Fones' techniques are recommended by dentists and prophylaxis assistants worldwide."
Along with the 45-degree angled bristles, there are interdental bristles that get between teeth, performing the job of dental floss. The Blizzident also comes with slits where dental floss can be inserted in just the right position to clean between teeth, the company said.
The handle of the Blizzident serves as a container for a dental floss role.
The toothbrush is tailored to a person's mouth through either a dental impression or a scan of your teeth performed by a dentist.
According to Blizzident, any dentist can direct scan or make an impression of your teeth for between $75 and $200. The digital 3D model can then be uploaded to Blizzident's site, where it's used to make the toothbrush through a 3D printer.
The first Blizzident brush costs $299 and annual replacement brushes sell for $159. The company also offers to refurbish a brush by replacing the bristles for $89.
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.