​The free Brush DJ app, which uses music to engage and motivate users to have an effective oral hygiene routine has kicked off 2020 by receiving its 400,000th download.

The app has also reached people in 204 countries and remains the only dental app in the NHS App Library.

Each year over 50,000 children in England have a general anaesthetic to remove decayed teeth making it the most common reason for children aged between 5-9 to be admitted to hospital [1]. The operation is traumatic and expensive.

Despite tooth decay being preventable, the NHS spends £50.5 million extracting decayed teeth from children under general anaesthesia every year [2], with a total annual dentistry spend of £3.4 billion. The direct and indirect global economic impact of oral conditions in children and adults has been estimated to be over US$442 billion [3].

Tooth decay can be prevented with an effective oral hygiene routine and a healthy diet. Unfortunately, basic oral hygiene messages are not reaching, or being acted on by all. The Brush DJ app is a low-cost part of the solution and can be used with any toothbrush. This makes it sustainable and helps to reduce inequalities.

Founder and CEO of Brush DJ Ltd Ben Underwood, who is also a dentist said ‘this fantastic milestone would not have been possible without all the people who have helped build, test and champion the app. There is still a long way to go to reach the billions of people around the world who have a smartphone and would benefit from improved oral health, but we are getting there!”.

Following SBRI Healthcare funding in 2019 the Brush DJ team have investigated the feasibility, opportunity for commercialisation and end user acceptance of enhancing the established Brush DJ app, by evaluating several potential new features. Patient, carer and stakeholder feedback was gained to determine the three most desired, technically feasible and commercially viable features. The team are now raising funding to build the enhanced version and help more people around the world to have a healthy smile.