Brush DJ, the free and NHS approved toothbrushing app developed by NHS Innovation Accelerator Alumni and dentist Ben Underwood, has won funding support from Health Innovation Manchester Momentum Fund to improve children’s oral health

In Greater Manchester, £6 million is spent extracting multiple decayed teeth in children every year.

Seven of the area’s 10 localities are included in those with the poorest children’s oral health in England.

The Momentum Fund project will link the Brush DJ team with Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSC) and the University of Manchester to develop and evaluate a digital package to support adoption of Brush DJ in high risk communities.

‘This Momentum Fund call focused on the use of digital technologies in mental health and community care, and we were pleased to receive many high-quality applications,’ said Richard Deed, technology director at Trustech and associate director of Industry for Health Innovation Manchester.

‘This made selecting the winners quite challenging but using a panel of relevant and commercially focused experts we were able to select a small number of diverse but successful applicants with whom we look forward to working with and as in previous rounds of Health Innovation Manchester’s innovation funds, we will be recording their impact on the local healthcare system.’

Reducing the number of children suffering from tooth decay

Ben Squires, head of primary care operations at Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership, said: ‘Oral health is a key indicator of school readiness and we are committed to ensuring that we rapidly reduce the numbers of children suffering from preventable tooth decay.

‘As a system we have already implemented a regional programme of prevention in our priority areas which includes supervised toothbrushing programmes and distribution of brushing packs by our health visitors.

‘We are really excited to add Brush DJ as a digital intervention to improve the oral health of children in Greater Manchester.’

The iBrush DJ app is the only dental app in the NHS Digital Apps Library.

Its main feature is a timer that plays two minutes of music from the user’s device or streaming service, making the mundane task of brushing for an effective length of time more enjoyable, and therefore more likely to happen.

To date, the app has been downloaded over 370,000 times in 200 countries.

More information about Brush DJ is available here.