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45: Brush DJ, the smartphone app helping to beat dental cavities with Ben Underwood

Ben Underwood - Brush DJ - 15MWTD
Ben is a family dentist, and the founder of the Brush DJ app. Inspired in his early career, he created an app bringing together music and the simplicity of brushing teeth for two minutes into an app downloaded almost half a million times. He shares how he created it from mockups using a ruler and compass, how he has hundreds of 5-star reviews with almost no marketing spend, and his ongoing passion for improving oral health.

What you will learn in this episode:

What is Brush DJ?

Brush DJ is a free smartphone app developed by dentist Ben Underwood that plays two-minute music from the user’s streaming device to make brushing teeth fun. It also has features wherein you can set reminders for brushing twice a day, flossing, and even a reminder on when to see a dentist, hygienist, and many more.

Where did the idea of Brush DJ come from?

The idea started in the 90s when Ben was a dental student. He had a patient who wasn’t cleaning their teeth very well, so they tried different methods for motivation. Finally, they came up with the idea of listening to a song while brushing their teeth.

What’s the scale of the problem?

There is a huge problem for children who require general anaesthetic due to the removal of teeth due to decay. It’s a global problem affecting adults too.

What was the design process for Brush DJ?

When it comes to its user interface, he wanted to make it accessible. Ben drew the design personally using a ruler and a compass, creating a variety of mockups. The app was built for both Android and iOS devices.

How is Brush DJ funded?

Ben personally invested money into building the application, and he also had the opportunity to get a grant from NHS Innovation Accelerator Program and SBRI. In addition, they recently did some work with Health Innovation Manchester, where they built an e-learning package for non-dental health care professionals.

What is Brush DJ’s current performance?

Brush DJ has reached approx. half a million downloads. The app also had the opportunity to reach about 270 countries and is extremely popular, with users leaving very positive reviews.

Are there any plans to incorporate other features?

Ben mentioned that he wants to add more about behaviour change techniques. They want the app to have behavioural techniques. He also wants to improve the design and improve the app for the better.

Get to know more about Brush DJ Platform better by visiting their website at
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