I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you brushed your teeth this morning. But how long did it take? On average, Americans don’t brush their teeth for the full two minutes recommended by dentists.
My electric toothbrush automatically shuts off after two minutes, but Beam Technologies makes a smart version that actually tracks all your oral hygiene stats … and uses that information to support a dental insurance plan. Beam sends you notices and encouragement if your brushing habits are falling short, and hopes this will result in improved dental hygiene — and reduced premiums. The company’s insurance plan gives away a toothbrush to each member, and hopes to reduce the cost of premiums by up to 25 percent, according to Fortune.
With the plan, your x-rays and fillings are covered, and you also get coverage for orthodontia and toothpaste and floss shipped to your door. And if head out on a business trip and forget your toothbrush at home, you won’t get charged more for skipping a few days. Instead, the connected device and accompanying app are meant to help promote better brushing habits. Beam has over 100,000 dentists in its network.
The plan has been in trials for just the last couple months, and CEO Alex Frommeyer isn’t yet sure if having the data from all those connected toothbrushes is allowing premiums to be lowered.
The $49 toothbrush connects to iPhone devices via Bluetooth. Like other electric toothbrushes, it’s battery-operated, has auto-shutoff, and buzzes when it’s time to move from the back of your teeth to the front. A forthcoming software update will help give you advice about how you could be brushing better, based on your pressure and duration of brushing. Don’t neglect those molars! If you sign up for Beam Perks, you’ll get replacement heads, floss, and toothpaste delivered every three months.
Users don’t have privacy concerns, according to what Frommeyer tells Fortune. Presumably Beam will keep your stats anonymous, so your dentist will have no idea if your claim that you brush three times a day is turning his office into a house of lies.