tÜthbrush: the U-shaped  toothbrush  First prize, TREAT award winner


*First prize (2017 RESNA Student Design Competition), 2017 TREAT award winner

Zoé Lauters, Steven Erickson, Dylan DeBerardine, Justin Deithorn, Fernando Baez, Carlos Gonzalez, Jon Carlos Brezina

University of Central Florida

Oral hygiene is often taken for granted by the general population as a simple and mundane task. However, for individuals with motor function disabilities this task can become difficult both for the individual and their caregivers. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), periodontal disease is common in people with cerebral palsy due to poor oral hygiene and complications of oral habits, physical abilities, and malocclusion.  The tÜthbrush has been created to eliminate the wrist and arm movement necessary with a standard toothbrush in order to provide a better way to maintain an acceptable level of oral hygiene. The initial design of this U-shaped toothbrush is discussed in US patent #9,308,065, owned by Dr. Mark Steiner. Over the past two semesters our Senior Design team has worked to modify and advance the design of the tÜthbrush so that it can be used more easily and by a wider variety of ages. The tÜthbrush was showcased at the Abilities Tech Expo in Orlando, FL in early March where valuable feedback was received and the next plan of action became clear. The group expects that once the design can be moved into mass-manufacturing that the state of oral hygiene for individuals with any severity of disability will greatly improve thus cutting down on dental expenses and improving independence.

Design Brief

team photo








tÜthbrush won first prize in the RESNA Student Design Competition for 2017, and was also the recipient of the TREAT award to support commercialization. Judges’ comments included:

  • Well-articulated design and implementation
  • Appreciated considerations for a variety of needs
  • Potential for significant impact on oral care for individuals in residential care settings, older adults, children with special needs
  • Potential application as standard technology – not only as assistive technology

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