This project was inspired by a visit to my dentist. I have always found it hard to remember to floss on a regular basis. I did some in-depth research talking to dentists in my local area and asking people their thoughts on flossing and came away with some great insight.
What I learned was that most people (50 percent) do floss on a regular basis (which confirms the statistics from the American Dental Association). About 10 percent of those surveyed hated the idea of flossing (in particular, having floss between their teeth) and didn't think any new device would ever get them to floss.
I decided that for this project, it was best to focus my attention on the remaining surveyed respondents (the 40 percent) who actually didn't mind flossing.
I wanted to learn why this group, in particular, didn't floss regularly and what could be done to get them to do so. I then let my intuition and insight lead me to a final solution that was fun, playful and functional.
"Out of sight, out of mind"
I quickly learned that the process of flossing wasn't that different from other tasks that involved "habit development". From personal experience and the experiences of those I talked to who were involved in a daily vitamin or pill-regimen, it became obvious to me that despite placing the pill bottles in close visual proximity, we were failing to notice them... and failing to take them regularly.
I knew instinctively that the more I routinely took the vitamins or meds, the habit would eventually "stick". This was confirmed by the research I had done speaking to others who felt they needed some prodding or constant reminding. I felt this was worth looking into.
A playful yet sophisticated design that looks great in any bathroom.
This device wears many hats as an automatic floss dispenser,
toothbrush holder and most importantly, as a flossing reminder.
Floss dispenses through the center groove upwards.
An extra feature exists for programming the unit; which is entirely optional. The option was given to increase the chances of success in helping users maintain a consistent flossing schedule. If the user feels that they need the extra assistance, they can choose their preferred times and set them to go off at their desired times.
The idea for allowing the option to pair a mobile device to the flossing unit came to me through mere intuition. If we spend most of our waking hours on our portable electronic devices and they seem to be on us at all times (or within our reach), why not increase the chances of being able to reach the user in more ways?
Giving the user a bit of flexibility is key in the habit development process.
Some good habits start out slow.
The toothbrush tray comes off for easy clean up.
Up to 4 users can program the unit to remember their daily flossing schedule.