I was asked by the team behind a brand new product for kids to get the family involved in a review. Deeno, the electric toothbrush for kids sounded the kind of thing we’d buy into as a family. After all, our six and three year old daughters aren’t exactly over the moon about dental hygiene routines, so any help is welcome!
Unlike other reviews I’ve worked on before, the product wasn’t 100% successful, but what I love about Deeno is that they genuinely wanted to hear our honest thoughts, warts and all so they can improve the product ready for the next generation roll out – the Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign is going live on 28th August 4pm (BST).
The toothbrush itself was a massive success. Everything from packaging, design and functionality was a top rated performance. The girls were desperate to get the toothbrushes out and in use, which believe me is a parenting win in our home! Within the box is two heads, the battery operated brush, a power adaptor and a mains outlet pug adaptor.
The purple dinosaur character face on the handle was enough to get them interested and brushing happily, whilst the built in two minute timer ensured there were no corners cut. We are still encouraging brushing for 30 seconds per quadrant as the toothbrush gives an indicator when each 30 seconds is up, and Tigs has almost got that. The Mouse needs a little help!
The brush has two intensity settings and one pulsing motion (See update point 1) which are accessed by pressing through the power button. Function is simple and seamless and for the brush alone we are won over.
The digital side of the Deeno product is perhaps where things became a little complicated (not what you want before bedtime!). The idea as I understand is that the brush links to your smart phone via Bluetooth, and allows tracking and rewards for regular brushing through the Deeno app. The little character Deeno can be fed and cared for using the coins earnt with regular brushing and is exactly the kids of game the girls love to play.
I found the instruction guide a little lacking in how to connect the brush to the app and even how they worked or what to expect (see update point 3), and it’s tricky as there are two Deeno apps – one ‘Deeno’ and one ‘Deeno game’ (see update point 2). Eventually after fiddling around for ages with bluetooth settings and recruiting Dad Muddling Through, we worked out how to connect the first brush to the Deeno app successfully.
Things then took a step back when we created a second profile for our other daughter and tried to connect it to her brush – the app didn’t recognise two separate brushes (see update point 4) and as such kept disconnecting the other brush-profile. We thought we had found a way around it by setting up the second brush on Dad’s work phone, but far from ideal as we needed two phones running (and both phones at home).
Sadly, only one of the set ups successfully synced and registered the brushing, leaving the other daughter distraught that her two minutes brushing had failed to be rewarded with Deeno coins or even showing on the graph, whilst her little sister at bedtime was happily playing away feeding the dinosaur with the earnt coins. Awkward.
In fact you could describe the mood in the household as a little bit…
We aren’t really sure if there was a fault with the hardware of one brush or if it’s the multiple connectivity issue, but after loads of trial combinations we gave up. I’m also still a little confused about the relationship between the Deeno game and the Deeno app – do they link at all? Or are they two independent entities?
Subsequently, I have questioned whether all these screens and phones around at bedtime, plus the hassle that came with it in our experience is actually valuable? Perhaps the next generation if working smoothly might improve the overall experience, but for now, our Deeno toothbrushes are just going to have to be used without phones to hand. After all, we spend enough time doing that, don’t we? I guess ideally the rewards could be played with at an assigned time in the day, but we never established how to sync the brushing effectively to test if that could be done.
Ultimately, there is no denying we are all over the moon with a fun electric toothbrush that emphasises and encourages brushing for two minutes twice a day, and for that reason alone, Deeno and his Deeno-saur Toothbrushes will be a welcome permanent resident in our bathroom. I really hope the team can iron out the ‘teething problems’ as this is for sure going to be a brilliant product when it’s in it’s perfected state.
UPDATE FROM DEENO
In respect to some of the issues highlighted by this review, Deeno have offered the following feedback.
Disclosure: We were provided two Deeno-saur toothbrushes in exchange for an honest review