My nephew hates to brush his teeth. He just sort of chews on his brush for a minute and then scrapes his tongue to get the toothpaste flavor out of his mouth (and that's with bubblegum flavor). My nephew does, however, love playing video games. If there were some way to incorporate the two ... oh wait. There is.
There are stories your kids can follow, apps that they can use to keep track of how long they've been at it, games that reward kids with cool prizes for proper brushing, and smart toothbrushes that even use augmented reality to make brushing an adventure.
If your little ones (or maybe yourself) hates to brush their teeth, maybe it's time to get some help from tech.
- Story time for teeth
- Apps and games that make brushing fun
- Toothbrushes that turn oral hygiene into an adventure
Story time for teeth
Never underestimate the power of a good story. If your little one is struggling with fears and anxieties about brushing their teeth, identifying with a familiar character going through a similar experience can be a great esteem booster.
Dock McStuffins: Brontosaurus Breath
No one wants to be ostracized for having stinky breath. Bronty learns how fresh breath can help make it much easier to make new friends.
- $3.99 - Download now
Toothbrush: A Day with Correy the Toothbrush
When Jon forgets to brush his teeth, Correy the toothbrush decides to have an adventure all his own. It's fun. It's gross. It'll teach your kids the importance of taking care of their teeth.
- $2.99 - Download now
I Love to Brush my Teeth
Your kids will probably identify with this book. It's all about a little boy that hates to brush his teeth. Sprinkle a little magic into the tooth brushing mix and you might find that there's more to brushing than toothpaste.
- $2.99 - Download now
Apps and games that make brushing fun
As you're teaching your children the importance of following a specific routine, it's easy for them to get bored or distracted. Two minutes to a child seems like two hours. You can help them by making that two minutes a lot of fun.
Disney Magic Timer
Disney has the most identifiable characters and is probably the most likely to get your little one motivated to brush their teeth. The Magic Timer unlocks little cartoons, fun digital stickers, and more when you brush your teeth for two minutes twice per day. If you use a Disney character Oral-B toothbrush, you can unlock even more characters from the Disney kingdom.
- Free - Download now
Set the disco ball spinning and let your little ones drop the beat with this simple, but effective timer app. For two minutes, music will play while your child brushes their teeth. In addition to twice-daily brushing, you can set reminders to change your toothbrush every three months, floss after brushing, and go to the dentist every six months. You can set an age range to provide additional dental hygiene information based on age.
- Free - Download now
Toothbrushes that turn oral hygiene into an adventure
If you really want to invest in your children's oral hygiene, a kid-friendly smart toothbrush is hard to beat. Whether it lets parents know when kids are brushing, gives little ones a reason to brush, or is just a fun twist on a boring daily personal chore, smart toothbrushes are nothing to spit at.
Philips Sonicare for Kids HX6321
Philips makes some of the best HomeKit connected smart home devices, so why shouldn't they participate in the oral hygiene department, too? With the Sonicare for Kids, your little one can interact with a dedicated app that connects to the toothbrush via Bluetooth. The app tracks the brushing activities, like how long, how often, and how well kids brush their teeth. There are friendly examples of the best way to reach the difficult back teeth, and bonus progress rewards for proper brushing. The Sonicare for Kids costs $39.99 and comes with eight customized handle stickers for a variety of fun.
At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, we learned about Kolibree's Magik toothbrush, which incorporates augmented reality with the activities of brushing your teeth. Using the front-facing camera on your smartphone or tablet, kids can pretend to be a deep sea diver or a princess. You can fight monsters with a couple of good strokes across the teeth. There is also a parent's connected app that allows you to sync up with the phone or tablet your little one is using, which lets you know when your child has brushed their teeth and for how long. This tracking data can help you keep watch on your younglings habits and give a little push when they need it.
It's not out yet, but it should be available later this year for about $30, and the companion app is free.
Brushing for two minutes straight is important, but not if your little one just brushes the same four teeth the entire time. Grush promises to track exactly where your child is brushing within their mouth, awarding points for getting to those hard-to-reach spots. This is all done using a fun app, connected via Bluetooth. Your kids' brushing activities are also stored in the cloud so you can check in with their daily brushing and offer gentle reminders to keep up the good work.
If your little one is just getting started with this crazy tooth brushing thing, Grush might be just the right smart toothbrush to help them learn how to get to all of the teeth, not just the easy ones up front.
How do you get your kids to brush?
Do you use technology, whether it's an app, a smart toothbrush, or a digital book to help encourage your kids to brush their teeth? Put your helpful ideas in the comments.
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