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03/23/2021 | Intelligent Embedded Systems

Press Release Brushalyze

Would you have guessed that while over 90% of the population brushes their teeth daily, inflammation of the gums or periodontium is still observed in over 70%? In other words, everyone knows that it is important to brush their teeth, but almost no one does it properly. Surprisingly, the tooth brushing process is largely not scientifically understood due to the lack of research equipment that can be used to describe and analyze it in detail. Dentistry, psychology, and exercise science are highly interested in a better understanding of tooth brushing. So far, the most accurate analysis of the toothbrushing process is provided by video analysis by personnel trained in observation methods. Training them and then conducting the observations is extremely time-consuming. The analysis of a single toothbrushing process lasting a few minutes requires several hours. At the same time, important details are not accessible to purely visual observation. Therefore, scientists at the University of Giessen (Medical Psychology), the Technical University of Central Hesse (Medical Technology), and the University of Kassel (Intelligent Embedded Systems) have set themselves the goal of developing a new research device that performs a detailed analysis of the toothbrushing process in an automated manner. Thus, enabling a more detailed study. A manual toothbrush is equipped with appropriate sensor technology that measures, for example, the direction of movement, force, and other physical quantities. An algorithm using machine learning techniques is being developed and researched in studies that will enable the precise determination of brushing location (Which tooth surface is being brushed?), brushing motion (Is the brush moved in a circular or horizontal motion, for example?), brushing pressure and ultimately brushing success (Was plaque successfully removed?). The device developed by Prof. Deinzer, Prof. Sohrabi, Prof. Sick, and their colleagues will provide important impulses for basic research, especially in dentistry but not only there. Therefore, the project called "Brushalyze" is financed by the German Research Foundation for three years and accompanied by a high-ranking scientific advisory board with 16 members from dentistry, psychology, and computer science.