We had an almost 3 week long winter break, and I’m so glad I’m finally back. This week is the beginning of my Advanced Biology class with Gamed Academy, previously known as Minecraft Homeschool. I have done other classes with Gamed including Poverty Project, Revolutionary War, and This Amazing World.
For one of my first assignments I was told to come up with my own nano bot. I had a hard time thinking about this, but with a little bit of help I got an idea together! The assignment was to write an article to the World Science Fare about why my nanobot should be on their show (for pretend). This is what I wrote!
I have had braces for about 6 months. While I know I’ll be glad I got them in the future, right now they are annoying. My mouth hurts after adjustments, it’s difficult to floss, and they are there for everyone to see. While I don’t mind them being colorful, I know some kids get teased and bullied for having them. I decided that I want to figure out a way to make having braces less of a big deal.
The first problem I want to address is the visibility of the braces. There are options for clear braces, but, similar to retainers, they can be easily lost. I wouldn’t want to constantly be worried about losing mine while I eat and drink. I decided to create braces that have similar mechanics to metal braces, but which are also hard to see. Like metal braces, there is a small “bracket” glued to the front of the tooth. Instead of being metal, it is a clear plastic material. Instead of the two wires I have in my mouth, two clear and slightly flexible arch “wires” reaches from one molar to the opposite one, attaching to each bracket along the way. In this way they are similar to the braces I have now, but nearly invisible.
The second factor I’d like to focus on is flossing. Flossing is necessary hygiene. It protects you from cavities and gum disease. But right now, flossing take up to 10 minutes because of my arch wire. I have to use a special tool to get the floss through the wire, taking about 10-15 seconds per tooth instead of the usual 3-5. This makes me worse about flossing every night when it’s the most important time to do so. The only reason flossing is difficult is because of the arch wire. So what if you could just remove it when it’s time to brush and floss, then put it back on afterwards? I’ve decided that I would make the brackets robotic. The wearer can open and close them with an app on their phone. When the app sends the “open brackets” signal to the appliance, the brackets will open automatically and the wires easily comes out of the mouth. After flossing and brushing, the wearer can put the wire back into the brackets and slide them into a designated place on the molars. Once the wire is correctly placed, the brackets will automatically close. If the wire stays out of the mouth for over 15 minutes, the brackets will vibrate constantly until the wire is put back into place. The feature can be manually turned off on the app, but the parents of the child/teen would get a notification alerting them that the wire wasn’t being worn as it should.
Now, for the discomfort. The reason that my mouth hurts after I get an adjustment on my braces is because the Orthodontist makes such large changes at once. But what if, instead of large changes every 8 weeks, there were hourly, or even constant, tiny changes? Here’s the way to do that: On each molar there is a nanobot with the treatment plan programmed into it. These robots have full control over the wires. The nanobots pull on the arch wire constantly in tiny movements. This way the teeth are always being adjusted, yet the wearer doesn’t feel anything. If anything isn’t going as planned, the wearer will get an alert on their smartphone, and they will need to make an appointment with the Orthodontist. Other than when there is an error with the nanobots, nothing needs to be done to the appliance by the Orthodontist. The only time there would be things done to the patient’s mouth would be when the appliance is put on, attached, and if there were any issues along the way. The Orthodontist might also have the patient wear rubber bands, but only if needed.
Like anything, there are pros and cons.
- Nearly invisible appliance.
- Easier to floss.
- Little or no discomfort.
- Less frequent Orthodontist visits.
- Wearer must have a smartphone to control appliance.