We’ve now had hands-on with Brushette heads and created a video for you to watch:
Update 14/09/2018 (original article below): The brushette campaign has moved to Indiegogo.
Previously a Kickstarter campaign as of September brushette has moved funding to Indiegogo.
The reason for this is explained by Mihran Papazian the CEO, in this video. Fundamentally it comes down to the team feeling that they over complicated the sales message and ended up not focusing on the core goal of delivering fresh bristles to your door.
You cannot fault their enthusiasm and whilst this is a little disappointing, it is perhaps best in the long run.
Originally the funding goal was $100,000 of which $67,000 had been raised when the campaign was cancelled.
The new target is just $5,000 on Indiegogo and the good news, is the project will go ahead, even if the goal is not met.
The products will begin shipping October 2018, with Sonicare options expected in late 2018 or early 2019.
Learn more and back the campaign here.
Kickstarter is a fantastic platform that allows for all sorts of useful as well as weird and wacky products to potentially be made a reality.
Today, I am introducing you to another, Brushette.
Right from the outset, I have to be honest and say I am a big fan of this concept and this could well be a revolutionary product for the dental industry.
So what is Brushette?
This is a snap on and off style brush head that replaces only the bristles of an electric toothbrush head.
It does not require the whole neck of the head to be replaced, meaning approximately only a sixth of the waste each time the head is replaced.
The heads clip into Brushette’s own ‘neck’ that with adapters can fit to a Sonicare, Oral-B, Colgate and other brands of electric toothbrush.
Essentially, it is a brush head that works with different brands of electric toothbrush, is more environmentally friendly and more hygenic too, whilst also potentially being a lot cheaper.
You can learn more by reading on or watching the following video:
Why would you want it?
Brushette give a number of reasons why this is a product you should invest in.
New electric toothbrush heads, particularly those made by leading brands can be expensive. Brushette quote as much as $10 per head (Brushette is an American startup).
Whilst savvy shoppers can save a few dollars, this price is very common and here in the UK too we regularly see prices higher than most of us might like.
Brushette aim to have the cost of the brush head at just $1, so 10x less than that of leading brands.
90x more hygenic
The average brush head should be replaced every 3 months if you follow the guidelines of leading dental bodies and dental professionals, so that is approximately every 90 days.
During this time bacteria exists on the brush head and can multiply, in the right conditions, meaning 30 months of continually reusing a bacteria covered head.
If you replace the head every day, as is the suggestion with Brushette, the whole process is 90x more hygenic.
6x more eco friendly
By replacing just the bristles each time the brush head is replaced means that approximately 1g of waste is created, as opposed to the 6g when you dispose of the brush head and neck.
Less waste means less landfill and better for the environment. Brushette say, assuming 30% of the EU/US population uses electric toothbrushes it’s about 1500 tons of waste every time people change their bristles in those countries.
Every brushette will come in a food grade, sealed pack that is filled with nitrogen to keep the head sterile and clean. Compare this to most other brush heads, that come in cardboard or plastic wrap packaging and there is the potential that the head is already dirty, before its even out of the packaging.
Different heads and bristle configurations
Brushette are proposing different bristle designs to help achieve different oral healthcare goals, from whitening to massaging the gums to everyday cleaning.
There are to be a variety of different bristle stiffness, no less than 6 in fact, from soft to firm, so you can get the bristle setup that is ideally suited to you.
The range includes:
Compatible with multiple brands of electric toothbrush
Designed not to work with just 1 brand of electric toothbrush this clip on and off brush head system means you don’t need to buy a different brand of head if you switch the brand of toothbrush.
With the use of special adapters, you can fit it to Oral-B, Sonicare and many more (coming soon).
Various accessories are to be made available too, these include:
- 2 mode rotary toothbrush
- 5 mode sonic toothbrush
- Holdette – a holder for up to 4 ‘in-use’ brush heads
- Dispensette – a bulk dispenser for brush heads
- Bowlette – a bowl for storing all your brush heads in
- Sterilette – a commercial grade sterilising tool for use killing bacteria on a toothbrush
Who are Brushette – about the founders
Brushette is headed up by Mihran Papazian and David Becker.
David and Mihran relationships turned from neighbors to friends, soccer team-mates, business partners and eventually brother-in-law when David proposed to Mihran’s sister. The beginning of a long business journey started 15 years ago until 2013 when they joined forces in developing Prodental as a robust dental consumer brand distributed worldwide.
Brushette is born from one vertical reinventing the replacement heads and is part of a family mission to improve dental hygiene for all.
Brushette is a Kickstarter campaign. What this means is that David & Mihran, the founders are looking for the public’s money to make Brushette a commercial reality.
Launched on 15th July, the goal of the campaign is $100,000 by the time it ends at 8pm on August 20th.
Much of the hard work has been done, but to go into mass production, the team require the funding.
Unlike many campaigns that are many months away from shipping when backed, if successful, the expectation is that, the heads will begin shipping as early as September, but being realistic they suggest this could extend through to December. In part it depends on what option you chose, should you back their campaign.
At the time of writing there are 17 different options to choose from! Refer to the image below to see all the choices you have available.
Learn more and back the campaign here.
Beyond the kickstarter campaign
By all accounts the intention is that after the successful funding of the Kickstarter campaign, it will move to a subscription based model available via www.brushette.com
Different packages will be available and delivered via subscription to your door, for your convenience.
Price and subscriptions models are to be confirmed, but as a rough guide the model may look something like:
- $6 per month – 4 brushettes (the brush head) each month – $1.50 per head
- $12 per month – 12 brushettes each month – $1 per head
- $15 per month – 20 brushettes each month – $0.75 per head
Ultimately, this is a fantastic concept and could revolutionise the industry of aftermarket brush heads.
It tackles a number of different issues for users, depending on their viewpoint.
I really like the fact, although adapters are required it can be used with different brands of electric toothbrush.
The fact that just the bristles are replaceable too is also fantastic, because it helps from a hygiene and waste point of view.
But, let’s take a look from a few different viewpoints.
Taking the view of hygiene, it is certainly known that toothbrush heads can contain up to 10 million bacteria on a toothbrush (BDJ).
It has been acknowledged that changing your brush head more frequently than every 90 days can reduce the presence of bacteria on the brush heads. (American Dental Association).
However, the need for such regular changes is questionable, with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention playing down the risks and the American Dental Association, the NHS and others suggesting that on average brush heads be replaced every 3 months.
The math or replacing the brush head every day and being 90x more hygenic is indeed in theory correct, but in reality the danger this bacteria places has not been proven and whilst replacing the brush head this frequently might reduce your exposure, but by just how much?!
If the average price of a leading brand replacement brush head is as much as $10 each and Brushette aims to be just $1. This is indeed a 10x saving. However, that saving only applies if the brush head is used for the same period of time, which in many respects Brushette are suggesting not to do because of hygiene.
Therefore, if you replaced it everyday, it will be a lot more expensive, just how much more expensive really depends on the price to buy 90 Brushettes. Using their claimed $1, that would actually make for an expense of $90 every 3 months. 9 x more expensive.
Ditching just the bristles rather than the neck of the brush head is admirable and is certainly more environmentally friendly, when you consider that only a sixth of the head is being disposed.
However, yet this only applies if you change your head every 3 months. Conflicting with the hygiene issue somewhat that suggests daily replacement.
If you replaced the Brushette daily, that would be approximately 90g of waste every 3 months as opposed to just 6g with the current style of brush heads.
The sterilised packaging has to help with the hygiene matters that have been mentioned, but the implications of this extra packaging and use of nitrogen, I wonder how this affects the eco element of the product. I understand that the packaging is not recyclable.
In the defence of Brushette, they are suggesting a recycling scheme will be set up, whereby the used heads and packaging can be mailed back to them for repurposing. I like this idea a lot, but will the mailing of such counter the eco element?!
Whether different styles of Brushettes are required, I am not sure. Many brands do offer different styles, but I fear this is perhaps overcomplicating things for a new brand and making the decision process harder for customers like you and I.
The real benefits of each style of the head, even from big brands is questionable. For more a soft bristled brush head, focused on a good overall clean is generally enough. To kick off, maybe fewer would have been better, particularly when you consider all the bristle stiffnesses they mention.
What is perhaps not entirely clear in the campaign, is that the higher ticket support options include an electric toothbrush. This is as I understand it, made by a company owned by the Brushette founders, thus it is in part a win win for them.
I am not knocking it, but if as successful as they seem to be, the Kickstarter campaign may be nothing more than a PR exercise and a bit of extra funding, that they may have been able to raise privately, but all new products need some PR don’t they!
No doubt this campaign will be successfully funded, it deserves to be. But when it moves to a subscription model, it would be nice to see a quarterly, 6 monthly or even annual plan that brings cost benefits and can be more environmentally friendly with fewer deliveries needed.
A nice touch is sterilette.
Picture it now, you go into a hotel and there is an electric toothbrush in the bathroom, fitted with Brushette. As the hotel is cleaned, this unit is used to sterilise the brush handle, killing off germs, whilst the Brushette used by the last guest is disposed of. In the bathroom is a pot of Brushette bristles ready and waiting for you to clean your teeth. I wait for the day I see this.
Picking fault I may well be, but I do this with the intention of you having a better understanding of the product and to get most benefit from it.
I think this is a fantastic product and can work for different people in different ways.
The facts presented are correct, but they do not align with each other.
It will only be 10x cheaper and 6x more environmentally friendly, if Brushette is used daily for 3 months and then replaced.
It will be 90x more hygenic if the head is replaced everyday, but it will also be 90x more expensive and considerably less environmentally friendly.
For transparency, I reached out to Brushette before publishing this article, raising my concerns over these items I mention. I must give them full credit for their humble reply and confirming that indeed my logic is correct if you do direct comparisons as I have. It will ultimately depend on what is more important to you, hygiene or the environmental aspect. But, perhaps you can have both, if the team can indeed get a recycling scheme underway.
With all this said, if this was available on the shop shelves right now, I would subscribe and buy in, honest.
You can learn more and show your support by clicking here and viewing Brushettes Kickstarter campaign.
Please note: Electric toothbrush manufacturers always recommend using their official brush heads. Failing to do so may invalidate your warranty. Here at Electric Teeth, we do not actively endorse the use of alternative, aftermarket options, but realise there is a need for them and there are many benefits. You accept all risk if you chose to use such.