Local kid invents device to help people with arthritis

Most kids are worried about their cell phones and gadgets, not about helping a vulnerable part of their community.

Except for a local middle schooler, who has turned his concern about dental hygiene into a device that could make it easier for thousands living with arthritis to brush their teeth.

In a Kxly 4 Exclusive, Caroline Flynn met with the inventor to see his latest creation.

Growing up we all heard to “brush your teeth or they’re going to fall out.”

When Jake Gendreau got braces last year, he heard that warning and took it seriously.

“I didn’t know what would happen if I didn’t brush so I went home and researched it and I actually found not brushing can lead to bad-looking teeth, bad breath, bleeding, or swollen gums,” Jake said.

Those were just the obvious problems. Then Jake learned not brushing could lead to death, and the wheels started turning.

“My invention is called Get-A-Grip, and it is a home dental care system for people who suffer from poor grip strength, poor grip geometry, and/or lack of fine motor skills,” Jake said.

It works with the simple push of a button, dispensing toothpaste in seconds. Jake is a problem solver and already an accomplished inventor.

“Finding a problem, thinking up an idea to solve that problem and how I can make it work, overcoming all the issues I run into, I just find that really fun,” said Jake.

Last month, Get-A-Grip won at Invent Washington. In May, he’ll bring it to a national competition in Michigan where companies will be on hand, ready to buy ideas.

Jake thinks he has a shot. Through his research, he learned more people will develop arthritis as the population increases.

Whether he wins or not, it won’t get him down. The title isn’t what inspires him.

“It’s a pretty serious issue and I want to make it easier for them to live alone,” Jake said.