The science of a healthy smile

Most of the bacteria are good, helping us fight disease, digest food, and keep our mouths clean. Some of the bacteria are harmful, with decades of research showing they cause oral diseases like cavities and gum disease by releasing acid and other harmful byproducts.

Our mouths are home to trillions of bacteria, known as our oral microbiome

These microbes include a variety of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Decades of research have shown that most are beneficial and keep us healthy, but others are harmful and cause diseases like cavities and gum disease.

We use genomics to measure the good and harmful bacteria in your saliva

Using a saliva sample, we analyze the DNA of every microbe to identify which species are present in your mouth and in what quantity. Higher levels of harmful bacteria indicate a high risk for disease.
By looking at the DNA of the bacteria, we can tell which species are present and in what quantity. If you have higher levels of harmful bacteria you are at a higher risk for diseases like cavities and gum disease.

We match your unique risk profile with our recommendations to help optimize your health

We've compiled research and consulted with a team of oral health experts to curate the most effective diet, lifestyle, hygiene, and oral care product recommendations for improving your overall health.
We've compiled research with a team of oral health experts to match you with the best advice for your unique risk profile.

Your oral microbiome

The good, the bad, the ugly.

The Good.

There are different types of bacteria in our mouth that play critical roles in keeping us healthy and functioning at our best— these are the "good" ones.
How do these bacteria help us?

The Bad.

Bad bacteria in our mouths convert sugar from the foods and drinks we consume into acid that erodes our teeth and the surrounding gums. An acidic environment in our mouth supports plaque buildup, a sticky coating on our teeth called biofilm. As plaque hardens on and around our teeth, it becomes tartar, weakening our teeth and gums.
What are the results of bad bacteria?

The ugly.

The connection between our mouths and the rest of our bodies go far beyond chewing, swallowing, and digesting food. The bad bacteria in our oral cavity can travel throughout the rest of our body.
What are the downstream effects of poor oral health?

Spit happens— what can we do about it?


1. Measure

By measuring the number of good and bad bacteria we have in our oral microbiome, we can gain insights into our unique microbiome and understand our oral health status.


2. Plan

Poor oral health can be the result of diet, poor hygiene, medications, and other lifestyle decisions. Once we understand our oral health we can create a plan to optimize it.


3. Track

Not all oral health tips and products are effective at fighting off good bacteria. With Bristle, you can measure your risk for disease over time and see what actually works.


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