Fully robotic toothbrush for patients with disabilities

Samba is a new robotic toothbrush for people with disabilities that cleans teeth automatically.

Fully robotic toothbrush for patients with disabilities

According to the World Health Organization, almost 45% of the world's population suffers from some form of oral disease. For people with disabilities this figure doubles. To make oral health support more accessible to people with limited mobility, Curaprox launched the Samba toothbrush. The launch of the all-robotic Samba, named one of Time magazine's best inventions of 2023, marks the first time a global oral care brand has addressed the issue of brushing teeth for people with disabilities.

The long-awaited decision

For those dealing with physical or mental disabilities, brushing your teeth effectively can be a challenge. They often have to rely on a caregiver or family member to brush their teeth for them, or they brush their teeth themselves using poor quality equipment. Either option ultimately compromises the oral health of these patients, which is exacerbated by a lack of understanding of proper brushing techniques and areas to focus on, especially in the case of implants or orthodontic appliances. Exact numbers are difficult to come by, but according to one study, 88% of people with disabilities suffer from dental problems. More than anything else, this staggering figure reflects the need for a customized solution.

Israeli startup DentFreak developed the Samba brush specifically to solve this problem. After eight years of intensive development, the manufacturer Curaprox brought it to market. “Samba was developed with the belief that everyone should have a healthy mouth, and that disability should not interfere with oral hygiene,” explained Samba inventor Eran Eyal, founder and CEO of DentFreak.

“Disability should not interfere with oral hygiene” – Eran Eyal, founder and CEO of DentFreak.

The innovative design of the brush means that even without manual dexterity, people with disabilities can take care of their oral health on their own. “They don't need any more help,” said Swiss dentist and co-developer Dr. Michael Keller. “They just need this tool and then they can take care of their oral health effortlessly,” he explained.

Ideal cleaning, both for people with and without disabilities

The secret of Samba is to perfectly replicate brushing teeth using superior technique. This technique compensates for various problems that people with disabilities face, such as fatigue and impaired motor abilities, which affect grip, pressure and control. The Samba has a large handle that is easy to hold and contains brush heads that move in a dynamic motion at a given pressure. The bristles wrap around the teeth in a U shape and move along the teeth and along the gum line thanks to an ingenious mechanics. Biofilm removal is achieved through an innovative combination of low and high frequency vibrations.

The main difference between Samba and regular teeth brushing is the short time required for Samba to clean all teeth. It cleans quickly: 30 seconds per arc. While a traditional toothbrush can only clean one tooth surface at a time, Samba can clean 36 surfaces at once. The brush has 12,900 soft bristles, mostly grouped into 17 micro-brushes that clean every tooth surface and groove at once. The deep clean achieved is something few patients are likely to achieve and makes the brush an essential tool for any patient, whether they have a disability or not. However, for patients with disabilities, this brush can be life-changing.