Inter~Floss – the World’s first single-handed combined interdental brush & dental floss(rotary head)

At a time when preventive dentistry has been a part of nearly every advice from Dentists, innovation in abrasive-action interdental cavity cleaning devices has been very slow. The need to combine interdental brushes and dental floss for various reasons cannot be over-emphasized. To consumers using the right-sized interdental brush and still bleeding, we have a good news for you. Inter~Floss, the single-handed combined interdental brush and dental floss solution is here. No more gum stabbing!

Inter~Floss! Your Partner to Better Dental Health

We are John and LJ (father and son), Co-Inventors of a revolutionary interdental brush and dental floss solution. I (John) work full time as Project Planning and Controls Specialist, hold a Masters in Advanced Engineering and an LLM in Construction Law and Arbitration. LJ is a Year 8 student in a prestigious college here in Sydney, Australia.

The idea of this invention was conceived in 2015 following an intervention from LJ advising me to stop using an interdental brush which was making me bleed. He also advised that I get a dental device that would save time on interdental brushing and flossing as I was spending way too much time using both devices. It turned out there was no ONE device which satisfied LJ’s thought process and we leveraged on this opportunity to create one that would alleviate the pain points of consumers in regards to interdental brushing and flossing, and we called it ‘Inter~Floss’.

Inter-Floss is the first idea we both started working on, and as at December 2017 we have come up with six other ideas, including design for a more effective Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask (to make sleeping more comfortable for sleep apnoea sufferers).

The success of this campaign on Indiegogo is very crucial to the development of the other ideas we are currently working on. As a father, I believe the success of this campaign will boost LJ’s interest and confidence as a young inventor and entrepreneur.  And lastly, we will finally feel that our “burning desires” to contribute humankind (general health and comfort of in this instance) has been achieved.

We are looking to raise an amount of USD$150,000 to make Inter-Floss available to those who need it. All designs (including 3d models and working prototypes) have been finalised and the mould is currently being manufactured. We have budgeted $80,000 towards mould fabrication cost, manufacturing, tooling, inventory and other manufacturing-related costs. We have budgeted $35,000 towards advertisement, education and promotion of Inter~Floss and paying off the balance of design cost. The remaining budget will be spent on travel, accommodation and other unforeseen costs from home-base to manufacturing and distribution locations.

We have been lucky to have our family and friends supporting us on this journey right from the beginning. In a situation where we are not able to meet our financial goal on Indiegogo, we will fall back on our family and friends for the remaining part of the total amount needed. Another option we have in place is to partner with a major Pharmaceutical company we have been talking to here in Australia. The Pharmaceutical company has expressed their willingness to put Inter-Floss on their shelves pending a successful manufacture.

Inter-Floss will be manufactured with a maximum interdental brush length of 11mm and a minimum floss length of 17mm (depending on interdental brush length). Overall head width will be 34mm. For this campaign, Inter~Floss will come in a 0.5mm twisted wire diameter. Various sizes will be introduced including smaller and larger twisted wire diameters with time. A pack of Inter~Floss will comprise of a handle and 12 heads.

Interdental brush and dental floss are devices for cleaning interdental cavities (same) but both devices are used separately by users. Any innovations (though very minimal) happening only happen on individual devices, making any chance of having a combined interdental brush and floss a thing that may only happen in the distant future. It is important to note that, the remaining enamel not reached after using a toothbrush (twice a day in most User cases) is hidden in the interdental cavity. With many similarities to a toothbrush, the interdental brush has proper bristles to clean the interdental cavity and this cannot be replaced by air or water flossing; which is the new trend in interdental brush and floss innovation. However, where two teeth touch each other, floss may be needed (although it has no bristles) to unclog the adjoining teeth.  This means Users need the use of both devices for a good interdental cavity cleaning.

Apart from selecting the right-sized interdental brush, a good angle of entry of interdental brushes into the interdental cavity is also needed to prevent bleeding. At the wrong angles, an interdental brush may “stab” the gum causing bleeding and sore gums.  As far as users continue using a conventional interdental brush, bleeding related to the wrong angle of entry of interdental brushes may always be present. What is needed is a reconsideration of the design of conventional interdental brush and floss.

Inter~Floss addresses the wrong angle of entry and its bleeding-related issue by guiding the interdental brush into the interdental cavity through conventional floss’ entry into the interdental cavity.  And by guiding the interdental brush into the interdental cavity, the process of flossing has been accomplished as well. By Inter~Floss’ design, the following benefits can be realised:

  1. Inter~Floss eliminates bleeding gums related to the wrong angle of entry of interdental brush 
  2. Interdental brushing and flossing which are needed for a better interdental hygiene are now combined into one process saving time and cost in some instances;
  3. Interdental brushing and flossing will become a more effective and enjoyable process.
  4. Through the inclusion of a rotary head, floss and interdental brush getting stuck in between teeth due to restricted angles may be reduced if not completely eliminated.

With Inter~Floss, combined interdental brushing and flossing is as simple as:

  • IN -through floss;
  • GLIDE – 1,2,3 and 4 for the interdental brush to clean the interdental cavity; and
  • OUT-through floss – done.

As with many new revolutionary inventions and innovative products, Inter-Floss has its risks and challenges as well. Unlike existing interdental brushes and floss that have been used over the years, Inter-Floss does not yet have a full market validation. We have, however, been working with dental professionals in Australia and abroad for their assessment of the overall suitability and functionality of Inter-Floss’ design and how consumers will likely receive the product. We have an agreement in place with a Chinese trading company to market Inter-Floss on Platforms such as Alibaba on our behalf. We have also spoken to two Dentist here in Sydney, who will be displaying Inter~Floss in their Practices. We recently opened up talks with a company in Ghana and a Pharmaceutical company here in Australia to distribute Inter~Floss. Finally, we are working on a website where Inter-Floss can be ordered online for delivery to various parts of the world.

Another challenge we foresee is the frequency at which people dispose of their dental floss. To make Inter-Floss cost-effective, the brush can be used a few times before the head is disposed and replaced. We are considering using other materials such as Teflon as the floss material in the future as opposed to the fibrous strings used in conventional interdental brushes (Teflon is easier to clean). We are also in talks with a UV Toothbrush Sanitiser manufacturing company to customise a UV Sanitiser for Inter-Floss. Our intention is to make effective, affordable and hygienic interdental cleaning device available to all humanity.

We encourage everyone to join us on this journey to make interdental brushing and flossing an enjoyable, effective and pain-free experience. Please feel free to make contributions or critique the product even if you are not in a position to support this campaign financially. And if you like what you see, inform your friends, acquaintances and family members about this campaign using Indiegogo share tools. Thanks for the time and your anticipated support.

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