The idea for quip was conceived during a routine dental checkup back in 2012. My dentist at the time scolded me for (once again!) ignoring the basics that had been hammered into me (and everyone) since
childhood. You know the drill: brush well, for 2 minutes, twice a day, changing your brush regularly and visiting the dentist on time. However, unlike in previous years, I was starting to show signs of irreversible damage, and the fact that
this could have been prevented by simply sticking to such basic good habits, struck home. That was when the idea for quip was born.
How did things get this bad?!
As my dentist passionately explained, I was far from alone! With most of us brushing too hard, for closer to 1 minute than 2, over 75%
of us not replacing our brush heads on time, 40% not visiting the dentist even once a year, and 50%
not even brushing twice a day, the statistics are worrying. His answer as to why was more worrying. He felt that dentists stood no chance trying to get across the huge impact that simple good habits have on your oral health, when only
communicating with patients once a year (at most!). Worse still, he discussed how the problems are amplified by daily bombardment by advertisements claiming that certain product features and ingredients were somehow magic shortcuts for these
basics. We are being convinced every day that buying this year’s hottest gadget with “1,000 more rotations “or “10,000 more vibrations” will somehow guarantee better oral care when the truth is, it may make little to no difference at all. Even more worrying is that these features were not only glossing over the importance of the basics, but in many cases amplifying bad habits, feeding misconceptions like “the more power” or “the harder I brush,” the better the clean. Or that by simply using these products, it somehow allows us to brush with less care, less often, and go
to the dentist a little less. Simply put, he felt this type of marketing was compounding already damaging misconceptions, and the dental message didn't stand a chance against it.
How are we trying to help?
I took this insight to my friend, fellow designer and now co-founder Bill May, and we set out building quip to do the exact opposite of what was happening elsewhere in the industry! Instead of focusing on small, rarely proven, percentage point gains from complex technology, we wanted to make fundamentally larger gains by cutting through the marketing myths and tackling big problems with simple, affordable solutions. To bring
focus back on guiding the basics that make a real difference using good design, not gimmicks. To do this, it became clear we needed to do three things: 1) Enlighten everyone, as we had been, to the
technique tips that make a real difference to your oral health. 2) Elevate the brushing routine from hated (and avoided!) chore to a more enjoyable ritual that you might actually want to do twice
a day! 3) Engage people more with dental professionals and services to make the industry a lot less intimidating in an attempt to encourage regular maintenance. We launched last year by first focusing on elevating the routine, with our
simply designed, guidance focused, affordable electric toothbrush and brush head delivery service. This year we want to put more focus on enlightening the basics and engaging you with the dental community, and this blog and newsletter is the
first of several upcoming launches aimed at doing so!
How can you (and this blog) help?
The reaction to our honest dental advice has been incredible and eye-opening, but so far, it has been restricted to social media posts, comment answers, and customer support exchanges. We’re in a unique position to be exposed to hundreds of
thousands of people’s intimate brushing habits every day and it is clear that the worries of dentists are warranted. We see so many smashed up bristles (from hard
brushing!), hear from so many people who can’t believe how short they were previously brushing for (now that they use our 2-minute timer!) and those who have only started brushing twice a day now that they have a brush they actually
using! So we think that now is the time to be more proactive with our mission, and we believe this blog is going to be one of the key vessels for doing so! This blog is a place where enlightening dental advice can be heard more than just
year, where we can team up with you to make brushing a more enjoyable part of your routine, and somewhere to build trust by interacting with us, the community, and the industry. As a young, flexible company, we have felt privileged to be
use our community to constantly improve our website, products, and services and this blog is going to be no different. Nothing is more powerful than listening to or reading something shared by a peer, and so we want to call on you to help us
make this as insightful, engaging, and (hopefully!) enjoyable as possible, and here are a few ways you can help us do so!