HOW THE FITSBRUSH CAME TO LIFE
When I first became a hygienist in 2003, I just assumed people that were getting their teeth cleaned every six months, understood how to care for their teeth properly. I knew they had to have been taught by their previous hygienist at some point along the way. That is a key job of the hygiene position, education and prevention, and we take that to heart. Took an oath. Serve and protect our patients and their teeth. Till death do us part.
But, what I was seeing was the complete opposite. All my patients had numerous surfaces with plaque accumulation, inflammation and bleeding gums, tartar build-up, foul odors, and complete neglect in some areas.
I thought for sure one cleaning with me, I could change their brushing technique with my super informative teachings using
the latest visuals, periodontal disease and decay process diagrams, and chatting-up about bacteria colonies and destruction it causes.
What I had discovered at their next cleaning appointment was eye opening. Everything looked as if it had six months ago. I would read back through my clinical notes and sure enough, the exact same spots with heavy plaque, bleeding, and inflammation. How could this be!
Fast forward years later. A slight improvement with my patients overall oral hygiene, but nothing like it could be. Usually, the same spots with plaque, bleeding, and inflammation. I knew my patients cared how well they were taking care of their teeth, so what was the problem? Why weren't they doing at home what I would show and tell them to do?
Well, what I learned is, the way we brush is a habit. Done the same way, every time. I knew in order for people to brush differently, the toothbrush had to be different. It had to perform and feel different. A toothbrush that would automatically make you brush properly and effectively clean all surfaces of your teeth. That is my WHY. To help people brush their absolute best, prevent oral diseases, and educate on total overall health.
Brushing is an act that is a learned behavior, rarely taught
The feeling deep inside, knowing the possibility of something great before it's a reality, isn't easy. Telling someone your idea or vision can be a challenge, also. Statically, only a small percentage of the general population are innovative thinkers- a person who introduces new methods, ideas, or products. The forward thinkers. Optimists.
One subject that truly fascinates me, besides teeth, is the human mind. I love to read and explore the various research, philosophy, and studies focused on the capabilities of our mind. How we function. How we learn. How we differ. How we live. How we suffer. How we love.
Why do some chase after their dreams and others go a lifetime just thinking about the what if's.
What I have learned, if there is something you care deeply about and take action toward, focus your time on, study what you need to study, learn what you need to learn, it will manifest in your life. That's how it works. What you focus on, becomes your reality. You attract it.
Just taking the very first step, like drawing in my case or writing down your ideas, makes it a reality. If you can envision it, it becomes real. Everything starts with a thought. If you think a thought, it's possible or you wouldn't have thought it. Most people won't take that first step or make that first phone call toward their vision, because it is out of their comfort zone. Human beings are hardwired to seek or stay comfortable. We get comfortable with our lives and that first step will be uncomfortable, so we don't act. Or we may act on it, do the sketch drawing, but never take the next step...like finding a 3D graphic artist.
Staying with what feels comfortable, no change in routine is normal. Remember, humans are designed for routine and comfort. Honestly, moving forward with your vision is always going to be out of your comfort zone. That is why the innovators are such a small percentage. They are able to look past all the obsticles. Welcome and accept challenges of change and give cheers to being uncomfortable. You must push past your fear and doubt or you'll always be where your at. This is possible with positive self talk. Telling yourself positive things throughout the day and reciting positive affirmations daily. Opposite of fear and doubt are excitement and confidence. Tell yourself you radiate confidence and excitement and see what happens!
Taking the ideas and vision from your imagination and putting them down on paper. Priceless.
Often times we find ourselves stuck in life and can't move on to the next thing. That's how I felt when it came time to design the bristle pattern. I was envisioning a "custom fit" feeling and bristles that would wrap around our teeth, ultimately cleaning more surfaces with each stroke and giving you an overall more effective oral hygiene cleaning tool. I knew getting exact measurements of the teeth was crucial in order to make a toothbrush that would feel different and perform unlike any other toothbrush.
Periodically, your hygienist will assess your gum and bone health using an instrument with millimeter ruler markings, called a periodontal probe. The measurements we take start at your gumline and measures the depth below your gums until we touch bone. But, for my study I wanted the measurements of the tooth surfaces above the gums, the long axes of each tooth.
I first began by jotting down tooth measurements while treating my patients, if I had extra time. But that didn't happen often, so I wasn't making much progress with my data collection. I then had an aha moment and remembered the 100's of teeth molds I had accumulated over the years from making night guards and whitening trays.
I then spent countless hours measuring and graphing thousands of teeth lengths and occlusal widths (chewing surface on back teeth) to get the average length and width necessary to reach the gums, but also clean half of the chewing surface in the same stroke. From all that data collected, I created the FitsBrushes bristle lengths and pattern.
The outer rows of bristles are precisely calculated and will reach below the gums, while the center rows taper and extend the average width of our teeth. This concave tapering of the bristles automatically helps you brush at the recommended 45 degree angle to reach below the gums, not a flat 90 degrees, which is how most people position their brush.
Where there is a will, there is a way. Think outside the box to explore ideas that are creative and unusual.