Flossing is one of those chores many of us don't look forward to, but it's essential to good oral hygiene. That's why the folks at Flosstime in California have created a solution to make this element of personal hygiene a routine we can enjoy – or at least, one that we remember to do.

Inspired by theories on how to form habits, Flosstime created what it calls the world’s first smart floss dispenser, quite unlike other recent developments in flossing. Presented in a simple and elegant design, it can be mounted on the bathroom mirror or wall with an adhesive trip or a microsuction tape.

With the push of a button, Flosstime automatically dispenses 18 inches (48 cm) of floss, which the American Dental Association says is the ideal length for proper flossing.

But Flosstime does more than dispensing. It features a 90-second flossing timer that looks like a mini-disco with its blue, glowing lights blinking around a circular ring. At the end of it, all the lights will light up to form an approving smile, a reward for a job well done, which is part of the habit-forming mechanism.

Conversely, in case of negligence, Flosstime will give you an orange frown and will set off light cues as reminders.

For couples or room-mates looking to improve their flossing together and perhaps encourage one another, the device offers a dual user mode, so it can be shared by two people. In this case, each person gets a half frown when they don't floss – and, of course, their flossing mate will be able to see it, too.

The team also thought about kids and teens with cute animal characters that can be snapped on Flosstime. The reminder in this case is the glowing warning lights, seen through the animal's eyes.

Flosstime is currently fundraising on Kickstarter. Pledge options start at US$17 for a single unit, $20 for a kiddie version with an animal motif snap-on, and $39 for two devices and a snap-on, besides other options. Each unit comes with a year-long supply of floss. If all goes according to plan, it will start shipping in August 2016, worldwide.

More information is available in the promo video below.

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