Internet-Connected Toothbrush Debuts

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Brush smarter. That's the message from the makers of what is billed as the world's first Internet-connected toothbrush.

Unveiled Sunday at a preview event for the Consumer Electronics Show, the device from French-based startup Kolibree aims "to reinvent oral care," according to co-founder Loic Cessot.

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"The technology in the industry has not evolved for years," Cessot told AFP. "The idea is not to brush stronger, but smarter."

The Kolibree toothbrush includes a sensor which detects how much tartar is being removed in a brushing. It also records brushing activity so users can maintain a consistent cleaning each time.

The device conveys the information wirelessly to a smartphone app -- a particularly useful aid for parents who want to monitor the teeth cleaning efforts of small children, according to Cessot.

"When you use a normal toothbrush you never really know what you've cleaned. It might be 30 percent. The only person who really knows is the dentist."

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But the app can tell users if they have missed hard-to-clean areas or are not getting a thorough brushing. The app, which is open for developers to add on other programs, aims to increase motivation and make the experience more fun, said Cessot.

The self-funded startup created by Cessot and former Microsoft and Google executive Thomas Serval plans to release the toothbrush worldwide in the third quarter, getting a boost from a crowdsourcing effort.

Orders will be available initially through Kickstarter from $99 to $200, depending on the model and will include a free mobile app.

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