The start of a new year is often the point at which we pause and set goals. For many of us the goals relate to unhealthy habits we want to kick or new ones we want to create.
But parents shouldn’t have a monopoly on setting goals. If we share our approach with kids, they can benefit too. Not only do they learn the value of setting a goal. They also learn what’s involved to bring that goal to life.
One easy area where they can learn about goal setting is in the area of taking age-appropriate personal responsibility for their oral health habits, particularly with brushing.
With the arrival of brushing apps for kids, fortunately this could be easier than you think; especially those who are tech savvy.
In this blog, we highlight features and benefits of some of the more popular brushing apps for kids (and adults) which can help you set – and achieve – your kids’ new year goals.
Luca Lashes Learns to Brush his teeth
Ideally suited to little ones, the Luca Lashes online books turn a child’s fear about certain things into fun. Learning to brush teeth correctly is just one of the ‘firsts’ Luca Lashes learns to conquer. Together your child and LucaLashes can start to instil healthy oral health habits for life.
Again, ideal for younger people who need encouragement to brush their teeth. The Brushing Hero app is designed to make brushing teeth fun. Children can hold their toothbrush and face the camera on their device and they’ll be transformed immediately into a hero with an iron helmet. Children can chase monsters (in their mouth) by brushing their teeth neatly. At completion of the game, players are awarded ‘hero cards’ depending on the number of coins they earned on the way. The best part about Brushing Hero is it supports proactive brushing of teeth – and that’s what we want. The more you play (as in brush your teeth), the stronger you become. It’s a win-win.
Toothy: Tooth Brushing Timer
Designed for the more mature user, Toothy, tooth brushing timer, could be used by adults and teens. Promoting itself as the ticket to making one of life’s more tedious tasks a whole lot more fun, Toothy is actually a very practical tool. With the flexibility to work with both electric and manual toothbrushes, Toothy allows you to set reminders for changing toothbrush heads, brushing twice daily, flossing, using mouthwash, and regular hygiene visits to your dentist. The bonus? Brushing time is even added to the personal health data on your Apple Health app, with statistics and achievements helping to strengthen good oral habits. Helpful ‘how to’ videos are included too.
Disney Magic Timer
Whether you’re a kid, or just a big kid at heart, the Disney Magic Timer by Oral-B is meant to bring more fun to daily brushing. Naturally, it features Disney, Marvel and Star Wars characters – 23 of them in fact, to encourage kids to brush longer. And if Nemo doesn’t do the job, then Darth Vadar can always be called in as a reinforcement! Incredibly, the Disney Magic Timer app has been the #2 downloaded app in the USA. Seems like there must be plenty of people wanting to create new oral health behaviours.
Oral-B Tooth Brushing App
Again, this app is better suited to teens and adults, however it’s definitely worth a mention here. Marketed as a digital dental coach, the app is designed to elevate your brushing routine using AI technology. Available for all Oral-B Genius X*** electric toothbrushes, the app helps to ensure you cover every area of your teeth and gums while brushing. It seems AI knows no bounds – this app will even provide tailored advice about your brushing technique and how to improve it.
The wrap up on tooth brushing apps
Tooth brushing apps can be a great tool for encouraging, teaching, and strengthening a solid tooth brushing habit. They can make what many people believe is a boring daily task into something that is more fun and enjoyable. However, regardless of whether you use an app or go ‘old school’ to teach your kids how to brush their teeth, the rationale remains the same. We want kids to own responsibility for their oral health habits and ultimately keep their teeth for life.
Dr Sarah Dan is one of Australia’s leading orthodontists. She is an advocate for encouraging personal responsibility in her young patients, particularly as they navigate the journey from early interceptive treatment through to more advanced or complex orthodontic treatments, including braces. You can learn more about Dr Sarah and her approach to orthodontic treatment at menaiorthodontics.com.au and drsarahdan.com or by ordering her book, SO Smile.