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With the introduction of the LOOP toothbrush, Swiss brand megasmile has added another world first to its' product portfolio. The handle, which is shaped like a loop, was specifically designed to absorb harmful pressure on the teeth and gums. LOOP weighs only 12g and is thus probably the lightest toothbrush available. The LOOP brush head contains integrated charcoal particles that gently polish and whiten the teeth. The brush handle was developed by Swiss design company AIM studio, under the supervision of product designers Fabienne Meyer and Urban Würsch.
“LOOP is much more than just a design object,” the designers commented. “Very often, the pressure of the brush damages teeth and gums. Patients who brush too hard risk enamel wear, as well as permanent gum damage , resulting in sensitive teeth that are more prone to caries. We found a solution to this problem through a special design. The LOOP toothbrush handle functions like a buffer. The loop shape absorbs the tension from the hand during brushing. Moreover, the LOOP brush head is relatively small and easily reaches every corner of the mouth during brushing.”
Since January, the LOOP toothbrush has been available for € 8.90. It can be purchased through selected suppliers of oral health and beauty products in China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland, Ukraine and the US, plus online from the megasmile shop at www.megasmile.com.
5200 products registered for the Red Dot Award
Participants from 57 nations had registered about 5,200 products and innovations for the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2016. Only products which set themselves apart considerably through their excellent design receive the sought-after quality seal from the international Red Dot jury.
The independent expert panel assesses each entry strictly and fairly, live and on site, according to criteria such as degree of innovation, formal quality, functionality and ecological compatibility. Professor Dr. Peter Zec, founder and president of the Red Dot Award: “With their performances, the Red Dot winners not only demonstrated an extraordinary design quality, but they also showed that design is an integral part of innovative product solutions.”
In practical terms how does one design a toothbrush?
AIM studio: The customers play an important role, they explain their basic ideas and tell us the specific requirements they are looking for in the product. The drawing is an intuitive and dynamic process, where ideas can flow without restraints. Secondly, we place the sketches side by side to see which one has the greatest potential.
Then we create the first models on the computer, and make tests with our 3D printer. The customer, in this case megasmile then decides which model has a future. A company for injection molds produces the first prototypes. If everything fits and the toothbrush has passed daily tests, the industrial production can start.
What inspires you?
AIM studio: The toothbrush itself inspires us! It is a fascinating product. An incredibly large number of people hold toothbrushes several times a day in their hand, without even thinking further about them. Especially with this everyday object, it is a big challenge for us to develop a functioning interaction of shapes, colors, and textures. In short, to create a product that is enjoyable to use.
We collect toothbrushes from all around the world. This way we get an overview on the international oral care market. After all, we are allowed to create new models frequently, that stand out from one another. Our collection inspires us, but at the same time shows us what already exists. We don’t want to copy anything, but create something of our own.
You have already won several design awards. What is your secret to success?
AIM studio: It is very important to us to keep up with our process of continuing improvement. We design a prototype and improve the details, then design another prototype and improve those details... We continue this process until the product has a nice touch and is visually appealing. Technological progress offers us new opportunities for experimentation. Working on a 3D printer allows us to test many models. Often we make around 30 printouts, until we reach an aesthetic and ergonomic perfection that meets our requirements.
Especially with the development of a toothbrush, a product which is maintained in the hand daily, this process plays an important role. Good design should never be anything to chance! It is based on a systematic approach and years of experience.
In your opinion, what makes a good design?
AIM studio: Good design must fulfill a task, and solve a problem. It also must combine function and aesthetics. For example with the LOOP, we chose the color black, because the bristles of the toothbrush contain charcoal particles that remove stains from teeth. The color is related to the function, the same applies to the handle. The form of the LOOP is not just to look cool, it helps relieve high pressure while brushing, which can often be excessive and therefore damaging on your teeth and gums. In megasmile, the medical aspect always comes first. In other words, what good is a toothbrush if it harms the teeth?
What is special about the manual toothbrush LOOP?
AIM studio: The LOOP only weighs 12 grams, which makes it one of the lightest toothbrushes in the world. The brush head contains activated charcoal particles that gently removes stains, and restores the natural whiteness of the teeth. The head of the toothbrush is also small, so it is able to reach the remote spots of the mouth.
The most striking feature of the LOOP is of course the handle which is in the shape of a loop. The LOOP handle fits comfortably in the hand and also serves as a spring element to absorb excess pressure, which is often too strong and harmful on teeth and gums. In other words, the design fulfills an important task. Design without function is not a design for us!
The Swiss brand megasmile develops innovative clinically proven oral care products. The brand combines clear design and high functionality with Swiss quality. megasmile was founded by dentist Dr. Roland Zettel in 2007. megasmile invented the Black Whitening manual toothbrush and the first sonic whitening toothbrush SONIC Black Whitening, two world firsts that brighten the teeth. 2013 megasmile's Black Whitening manual toothbrush won the internationally renowned GOOD DESIGN award. 2015 the Black Whitening won gold by the German Design Council. 2015 megasmile SONIC Black Whitening won the GOOD DESIGN award and was honored by the German Design Council with the Special Mention Award. In addition, the SONIC Black Whitening won the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2015. The megasmile LOOP Black Whitening won the Red Dot Award : Product Design 2016.
About the Red Dot Design Award
In order to appraise the wide scope of design in a professional manner, the Red Dot Design Award is broken down into the three distinct disciplines: the Red Dot Award: Product Design, Red Dot Award: Communication Design and Red Dot Award: Design Concept. The Red Dot Award is organised by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany. With more than 17,000 entries in 2015 alone, it is one of the largest competitions in the world. It was in 1955 that a jury convened for the first time to assess the best designs of the day. The name and brand of the award were developed in the 1990s by Red Dot CEO, Professor Dr. Peter Zec. Since then the sought-after “Red Dot” is the revered international seal of outstanding design quality.
Also available in German (see above under Press material)