BRUSHING your teeth may not be the most inspiring of daily tasks.

But it was the trigger for 13-year-old Joana Baptista to invent some award-winning technology.

The Summertown schoolgirl is the brains behind Brush!, an app that tells parents if their children are cleaning their teeth properly.

Joana, who lives in Summertown and is a pupil at Oxford High School, said: “I was brushing my teeth one night and began wondering if my parents would know if I didn’t do it properly.

“That started me off thinking about the possibilities.”

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A gadget attached to the toothbrush sends alerts to both children and parents about their dental habits.

Children can then take part in brushing challenges based on divas and ninjas and can share their achievements on Facebook.

It also allows parents to email gifts and messages to reward good brushing.

The Brush! technology can be attached to almost any type of toothbrush and there’s no chance of cheating, as it tracks up-and-down movements and has a heat sensor to make sure it stays in the mouth.

The concept was named Best Commercial Potential and Audience Selection at Emerging Tech Weekender last month. The event, held at Oford Brookes University’s Headington campus, brought together business experts, tech designers and developers.

Five teams had to turn their ideas into possible business ventures with commercial potential. Joana’s team included 11-year-old Cherwell School pupil Tyriah Allison and Oxford Brookes University students Seren Davies, 19, and Andrew Hayzen, 20.

Joana, who hopes to have a prototype pulled together early next year, will have a chance to pitch the idea to investors in February.

If successful, Brush! could end up on sale in shops.

Joana added: “I wasn’t expecting to win and when we did, it was amazing. I never thought I would be doing this.

“I’ve always wanted to invent something and this proves there’s nothing stopping people my age doing it.”

Dentist and mother-of-three Katherine Rees, who works at Botley Dental Practice in Elms Parade and writes a column in the Oxford Mail, said: “I think it’s a great idea.

“The main concern of parents when they come in is asking how they can get their children to brush their teeth properly.

“Most kids are wise to the idea that all they have to do is put a bit of water on the brush and it looks as though they’ve done their teeth.

“I would love something like this for my own children, so I’m sure the idea will take off.”

Emerging Tech’s judging panel included Nigel Crook, head of computing and communication technologies at Brookes University, Julian Jantke, co-founder of technology start-ups, and Tony Hart, digital network navigator for Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Parnership.

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