It’s hard to get children to brush their teeth – no doubt about it. For kids, full of boundless energy, it can be hard to start an effective tooth-brushing routine.
But it’s imperative that you make your kids brush their teeth in order to instill healthy habits into their later lives. The American Dental Association says that every kid should brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day in order to keep their teeth fresh and healthy – however, this is easier said than done.
Luckily, the digital age has brought technology designed to do just that. The following five applications are designed to help make brushing your teeth fun and accessible to kids.
Pokemon is one of the most recognizable brands in the world, with its games selling millions of copies around the globe. Last month they announced the release of an innovative new game – not one designed to save the world, rather one to save something far more important: your kids’ teeth.
Pokemon Smile, as recently announced in a press release, allows kids to help rescue their beloved Pokemon from “cavity-causing bacteria.” Using augmented reality, the easy-to-use application tracks brush movements with the front-facing camera. After a successful brushing away of all the cavity-causing bacteria, the user is rewarded with a chance to catch their very own Pokemon.
Interestingly enough, Smile isn’t Pokemon’s first foray into healthy living. Last year, they released Pokemon Sleep, designed to help you wake up refreshed and ready for the day.
While Pokemon is the newest major media company to develop an app geared to get children to brush their teeth, it’s not the first. Disney beat them to the punch by a few years by partnering with Oral-B to create the Disney Magic Timer.
What sets the Magic Timer apart from Pokemon is the vast amount of characters Disney is able to tap into, including Star Wars, Marvel, and other classic Disney characters.
After downloading the application, the first step is to pick your favorite characters. As your child brushes, these characters appear on the screen, rewarding them for brushing their teeth effectively. If certain goals are met, they can even win prizes and unlock stories for their characters. The downside to Magic Timer is that you need to purchase a compatible toothbrush in order to use the application.
If your kids are die-hard fans of Disney princesses or superheroes, there’s a good chance this application is for you. Disney Magic Timer is compatible with all Apple and Android devices.
Stepping away from apps from major companies brings us to Brush Up, a toothbrush trainer application that helps teach, empower, and motivate your child to brush their teeth.
Brush Up has its own interactive AI for children to follow along to – a virtual toothbrush trainer named Budd who guides your kids along their tooth brushing journey. By following Budd’s movements and verbal instruction, kids learn how to brush their teeth most effectively and efficiently. At the end of each tooth brushing session, kids are able to evaluate and learn how to improve their brushing ability, putting them on the road to a healthy brushing habit.
The most common error kids have is not brushing their teeth the dentist-recommended two minutes each time. Brush DJ aims to make this easy for kids by playing two minutes of their favorite songs to help make the time fly.
Brush DJ also sends out reminders to brush, floss, use mouthwash, and when to schedule appointments with your dentist for a cleaning. Better yet, this app is completely free, with no ads attempting to get you to spend your money.
While this last one on the list isn’t technically an application, it’s still an effective way to get your kids – or even you – to brush your teeth regularly.
Chompers takes a similar approach as Brush DJ in that it tries to make the two minutes you need to brush your teeth – a time that can seemingly last forever – more interesting. Chompers is a podcast that covers an entire topic in the time it takes to brush your teeth. This could be a joke, brainteasers, or facts all jampacked into a two-minute window. Each podcast also gives off an alert telling you when you need to change the quadrant and when you should finish brushing.
Furthermore, Chompers is fully compatible with Amazon Alexa, which is able to keep track of how often your kid brushes and encourages them to keep a streak going.
For kids, brushing teeth can seem like a chore, with many not understanding the importance of long-term dental health until much later in life. Luckily, there are many applications to choose from that make brushing your kid’s teeth a walk in the park.
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Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.