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This toothbrush ditches the bristles

Brazilian industrial designer Fabio Dabori has replaced the standard bristles with a sponge that he says is easier on the mouth.

Giro Sponge
Fabio Dabori

In the evolution of the toothbrush, will the standard bristle model end up being the Australopithecus afarensis of the tooth-cleaning species? With a new concept device that replaces bristles with sponges, Fabio Dabori seems to suggest that today's brushes could one day go the way of that early human ancestor.

Monkey brush
Fabio Dabori

The Brazilian industrial designer says his patent-pending Giro Sponge can carry water, massage gums, and polish teeth at the same time. It's especially suited to babies, the elderly, denture wearers, and people with gum disease, he says, and can even be used for pets.

He's made two models of the electric toothbrush: one for adults and one for children. The latter comes with cute little animal-embossed sponges--monkey (pictured), pig, koala, dog, and lion--to liven up the brushing experience (or possibly make it more frightening, if you're a pet).

Dabori says he hopes to get his Giro Sponge to market soon. Once he does, we bet kids will get a kick out of it, but we'll be curious to see if dentists feel the same.